Follow the Light is a vertical maze built with Unreal Engine. To escape the maze, you have to follow different shades of lights and find which door or hole leads to the next level.
My initial project plan was different from this version – I wanted to make a maze that transforms the player as you pass certain boundaries. Initially, I thought of a game where you have to ‘detach’ your body to access certain parts of the maze because the entrances are too small.
However, since I was new to Unreal, I decided to dig with the environment and light aspects for the first project. I changed my concept of the first person controller and level design, just to focus on building elements in Unreal.
Building the scene in UE4
First, I tried building the levels in blender without thinking how to implement it in Unreal. I made a giant level in blender and imported it in Unreal.
However, I discovered that my workflow was not great – the imported models were extremely slow and my first person controller couldn’t pass through the holes inside the model. After a lot of futile attempts I decided to change the level design and build the whole maze in Unreal from scratch, without using Blender.
The changed level design has the same concept of the vertical maze, but I changed the maze’s mechanism to make it more interesting. I placed colored point lights behind edges, doors and holes – so that I can only slightly hint that something exists behind the wall.
Takeaways & future plans
I couldn’t implement all of what I really wanted to do, but I became more confident in world building inside Unreal. Especially, I had a fun time playing around with layered point lights and using lights as an affordance for player movement.
My next goal is to develop this vertical maze idea more further and implement more complex levels and player interactions. In addition, the demo video above has background music and sound effects that I post-processed in Ableton Live – next time I am planning to implement the sounds inside Unreal directly. Stay tuned!