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Assassin's Creed Da Vinci's Workshop

Disclaimer

There is no plan for a commercial release, this is a student only project. As part of the learning experience the staff from Ubisoft have given the team valuable feedback from their field of expertise.

About the Project

As part of the educational program, Da Vinci's Workshop is a collaboration project between NHTV University of Applied Sciences and Ubisoft for in-house experimentation with Virtual Reality, in the form of an escape room using the Assassin’s Creed IP. The players are tasked to cooperatively solve numerous puzzles inside Leonardo's workshop to recover a piece of Eden.

UI/UX Design & Narrative Design

Within the project it was my responsibility to design the player's experience while playing the game. I programmed the UI so that it looks as much as the animus menus that players are familiar with in Assassin's Creed. All of the menu and UI programming are done with Unreal blueprints.


I was also in charge of providing the premise of the game. To accentuate that task I designed the majority of the narrative to go along with it.. To make sure players wouldn't leave the VR headset sick I designed the 30-minute timer that would go off as soon as the player enters the actual level. From there I made sure the game, for the most part, adherred with the lore of the AC universe so that players can properly recognise the IP.

What I Learned

This was my first project where I extensively worked with Unreal UI/blueprints. Before I had little to no experience with working on visual code. As such this project proved to be a great learning experience for me. I find that Unreal offered a nice working environment to create what I wanted to create. Of course the amount of possibilities Unreal engine offers was overwhelming at first, but when I took it one step at a time I managed to create something that I am very proud of.


This was also the first time I worked on a AAA IP. Even though the game will never be commercially released it still felt exciting to work on a series that engaged millions of players worldwide. The feedback sessions with Ubisoft were also very informative.


Things I learned:

-Working with Unreal engine's UI creation interface and blueprints

-Animating UI elements according to the style of a AAA-game

-The responsibilities that come with a AAA IP development (e.g. NDA's)


Challenges:

-Breaking down tasks step by step in a visual programming environment

-Creating a UI experience that fits the Assassin's Creed style

Technical Information

Engine: Unreal Engine 4.15, using Forward renderer

Code languages: Both C++ and Blueprint

Platform: HTC Vive (Windows / SteamVR)

Duration: September 2016 - July 2017

Final Team

Tim van Kan (Team Lead / Technical Design)
Margit Meesters (Producer)
Tom Raudys (Design Lead / Technical Design)
Eythor Skulason (Art Lead / Environment Art)
Niek Kleverlaan (Environment Art)
Sietske Hereijgers (Character Artist)
Malou Peeters (Art Lead / Engine Artist / Environment)
Robin Vahland (System / Technical Design)
Tom Somers (QA)
Benjamin Drees (QA Engineer)
Lars den Herder (Puzzle / Level Design)
Matthew S. Stenquist (UI Design / Art)
Steven Lee Dias Morias (UX / Narrative Design)
Bart Kort (Sound Design)

Special Thanks

Ivar Slotboom (Network Programming)

Jelle van der Gulik (Previous Tech Lead / General & Network Programming)

Irini Wiersma (Previous Art Lead / Environment / Character Art)

Nikiana Sofia (Concept Art)

Elke Zoutewell (Environment / Prop Art)

Dirk van de Rijt (Puzzle / General Design)

Danny de Bruijne (UI Design & Gameplay / UI Programming)