Deliver Us the Moon

Summary:

Deliver Us the Moon: Fortuna is a third person adventure game. In the game people have colonized the moon to try and procure a new energy source but their communications with Earth has been lost due to mysterious circumstances. So the player is tasked to travel to the moon and investigate what has happened.


Specifications:

• I worked at KeokeN Interactive as a Level designer intern  from October, 2017 to May, 2018.


• My responsibilities included designing areas and rooms, lighting, propping, set dressing and visual scripting in Unreal Blueprints.


• Deliver Us the Moon was released 28th September, 2018 and can be purchased at the Steam Store.

Full playthrough of Copernicus Outpost I. A playthrough video with a players commentary can be found here.

Copernicus Outpost I is a base on the moon that got abandoned in a hurry by the colonists stationed there. The player arrives to the base through a monorail train towards the later part of the game. It is the area of the game that I did the most work with and it was a lot of fun to help create. 

Copernicus Outpost I

Below I will go into detail about the design of a level called "Copernicus Outpost I" and then also show some of the work I did outside that level.

As the story and puzzles were still in development during the making of this outpost it was very important to keep communicating a lot with the narrative designer and game designers to make sure that everything would make sense in the big picture. Even so the outpost layout had to be changed multiple times to fit new story elements or gameplay changes that would come after feedback from playtests.

In the final product you arrive to this outpost with a monorail train but it was originally supposed to be accessed from the moon surface via a lunar rover. This meant that the player could drive around the entire building so it was important to make sure the base looked good and polished from all angles.


The Copernicus Outpost I exterior.

Leading the Player

Copernicus Outpost I takes place in the middle of Deliver us the Moon when a lot of features and mechanics have already been established. The player is on a monorail train when it suddenly grinds to a halt. They have to investigate why it has stopped and leave the train. That is when they enter Copernicus Outpost I.

There are plenty of crucial plot points that have taken place inside the outpost before the player gets there. Some characters have sabotaged the base and escorted people away against their will. So it was important for the interior of the Outpost to help tell that story.

The Copernicus Outpost I interior. 

When exiting the monorail the player learns where they are by a sign on the wall. The name of the outpost has been foreshadowed and mentioned in dialogue and maps earlier in the game. From here you can see past a railing and notice there are stairs descending to a lower part of the outpost.

To reach the staircase the player has to pass by a locked computer with a note next to it. Picking up the note reveals "Frank has the code". 

Passing by the computer and going down the stairs, a hologram becomes visible downstairs. Holograms are cutscenes of evens that have happened in the past, revealing plot points in the game. 

The hologram cinematic shows a person leaning against a doorway to the outposts sleep quarters. The person is also adressed as "Frank" in the cinematic. If the player walks up to the door that they saw in the cinematic they can see the board next to it states the people living in the room.  Frank is one of the names on the board. Next to the door there is also a pipe leading into the wall. Pipes have been used earlier in the game as a a path for your robot companion ASE to travel through. 

Turning around from the sleep quarters or the ASE hologram the player can see a window and computer terminal at the end of a corridor on the other side of the room. The windows show the monorail tracks and moon station you arrived from. Turning the corner the player can find a audio log. These are collectible items that plays audio recordings from past events that give more context to the plot. Beyond thte audio log is a ladder that descends down to a garage.

In the garage you can see pipes going along the upper walls and ceiling.


In Deliver Us the Moon you are equipped with an "astrotool" that fires a laser that can destroy bolts holding hatches and doors together.


Another feature the player is introduced to early in the game are moveable objects.


Reaching the pipes.

When the player enters the garage they're presented with an obstacle: the entrance to the pipes are too high for them to cut through. From the same angle they can see the solution which is a moveable staircase. 

It was important to have the problem and solution readable from the same angle as a more difficult puzzle is coming up and this serves as a small warm-up puzzle by putting two familiar features in the same small puzzle

Traversing the pipes with ASE.

The end of the pipes lead straight into the sleeping quarters where a note with a code can be found. This is the code for the computer panel at the start of the level. On the way back the player can also use the code to enter the sleeping quarters and pick up a collectible in there. This helps making the backtracking a bit more fun. The biggest use of the code is at the computer panel at the start of the level which is now accessible.

The player will need to take a small walk to the computer panel at the start of the level and access it with the code. The computer informs them that the monorail station is offline and the only option left is to unlock the maintenance doors. These doors are located to the left of the computer panel and leads up to the power supplies on the roof.

The puzzle on the roof was created by other developers at KeokeN and it's a puzzle where you have to supply power to the station so you can power and open the monorail doors to leave with the train. To help with readability I made the puzzle visible from windows and placed the ASE pipe required to do the puzzle visible from the same angle. 


Finishing the puzzle allows the player to go back to the train and finish the level. This also unlocks an optional area on the roof they can explore and maybe find more collectibles before they leave.

Environmental Storytelling

I was often tasked to make areas fit the world better by improving set dressing and propping. As this is a very narrative driven game there are a lot of areas that tell stories through it's layout and set dressing. One of my favorite things to do is to tell stories through the environment and below are some of my contributions to the environmental storytelling and setdressing. 

Apart from this I helped out with a other parts of the game with optimization through merging assets and editing visgroups. I also did some bugfixes with smaller scripts and fixed some faulty lightmap densities. I enjoyed working at KeokeN Interactive a lot and I’m very happy to have Deliver us the Moon as my first commercially shipped title. I hope that you enjoyed reading about my time working on the game!