Nostalgia

Genre: First-person Horror Game

Project Role: Solo Developer

Platform: PC

Engine: Unreal Engine 4.22

What is it?

"Nostalgia" is a horror game based on Japanese mythology, where you play as "Sato Kenta", a young college student who returned to his hometown only to accidentally opened a secret box that imprisoned evil spirits.

Afterward, he asked the local monk for help with the evil spirits harassing him and found a way to pacify and reincarnate them.

If you are interested in playing this game, the installer can be found here.

This project has been refactored. The new version is developed with Unreal C++.

If you are interested in the new version, you can find it here.

What did I do for this project?

For this project, I designed and implemented a custom dialogue system that supports three different kinds of dialogue:

  • The first being similar to subtitles. These are triggered when Kenta is thinking or murmuring. They do not have an encapsulating box, nor do they lock player movement.

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  • Next is the general dialogue which has an encapsulating box and a speaker portrait. When this kind of dialogue is in use, the player movement is locked until the conversation ends.

  • The final style of dialogue requires images to fully demonstrate the content of the dialogue. In addition the standard dialogue box, it has a background as well as the required images. 

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This system also supports the utilization of a conversation log, which can be accessed via the “log” button or by pressing “Tab” on the keyboard. Since the log history is stored in the game instance, the log can be carried between levels. 

In combination with the interactive system I created for “Just Desserts”, it allows a dialogue event to sleep until a certain event is triggered. Most of the dialogue in the game is set to be triggered when the player enters its surrounding area.

In addition, the dialogue system can also wake another dialogue chain when one ends. This means that the dialogue flows in a player-friendly fashion and not pop up too early if the player doesn’t move along with the guides or hints.

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What went wrong?

Some of the dialogue has typos and there are grammar errors. The evil spirit was not enough of a threat to the player, and there was not enough player interaction. I was also unable to resolve some odd UI bugs that occur during a playthrough of the game.

What went right?

The art dressing, music, and ambiance used in this project proved integral to the game’s immersion.

When I was developing the dialogue system, I took one UI asset as the reference and learned a new way to arrange the UI from it. I tried to apply this new method to my dialogue system and the result was good. It really helped me solving the overlapping issue of the UI that happened randomly.