Reimagining the classic iconography of the afterlife, Hereafter links Heaven, Hell and Purgatory in a single-player game experience. I designed all three levels of the game play environment utilizing kismet and physics and creating puzzles with the ultimate goal of creating a spiritual adventure for the player while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of typical afterlife games.
Mini-Game Design Document: Hereafter: A Spiritual Journey
GAME OVERVIEW: Hereafter is a single player FPS Unreal 3 game that explores the worlds of the afterlife.
Purgatory: is the starting point of the game and the gateway to Hell and Heaven.Players start far away from the gates and must cross a series of far reaching jumping platforms to reach the portals. At the entrance to the temple are physics elements that the player can interact with. The gates to Heaven and Hell are watched over by grotesque guardian statues. Stepping into the red light in front of Harpy statue teleports you to the 2nd level of the game.
Hell: The second area of the game takes place in an evil chapel filled with traps outside of the Devil’s Castle. If the player damages the statue in the temple the four horsemen are spawned into the temple and start coming after you. Once the enemies are defeated, a way under the temple is revealed. The only way out is to jump into the raging fire below the chapel underneath the evil statue, which returns you to Purgatory, ready to enter Heaven.
Heaven: After entering the blue light in front of the angel statue you are teleported to the gates of Heaven. There is a force field guarding the gate lock that is only disabled after the player rings all three giant bells above the gate. When the force field is disabled the player can shoot the gate lock which explodes revealing three large stairways ascending into heaven. At the top of the stairway players are teleported to face God himself.
CREATIVE USE OF ASSETTS: In order to make a unique environment with a specific theme using pre-made static meshes I added many decorative elements to ”make-over” the environment and “dress-up” Unreal’s commonly used assets.
SOUND ELEMENTS: Finding the right music was important for portraying the character of each level. The song “Leaving Hope” by Nine Inch Nails was chosen for Purgatory because of the haunted layered ambience, and because it’s so totally beautiful. The song “Darkness” by Tangerine Dream from the Legend soundtrack was chosen for Hell because this music has been in my nightmares my entire life. The song “Summoning of the Muse” from Dead Can Dance is probably the most divine sounding music I’ve ever heard, and the constant ringing of the bells fit perfectly.
INSPIRATION: One of my favorite games is Doom. It’s was groundbreaking in terms of FPS and PC gaming and it had such a dark story and disturbing “sci-fi-hell” theme; I wanted Hereafter to reflect the tone of Doom and explore other realms of the afterlife.