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The Twilight Dwellers was a custom level that I made for the game, "A Hat In Time", as apart of my Advanced Seminar class for world and quest design. To summarize the game very quickly, "A Hat In Time" is a 3D platformer where you play as an alien (who just happens to look like a little girl) that is marooned on Earth after the fuel tank of her ship leaks. The overall goal of the game is to collect hourglass objects called Time Pieces that are used as the ship's fuel so that you can make it home. During the game, the player will be able to change the different kinds of hats that they wear to unlock different abilities and overcome obstacles


My goal for the project was to create a level that really fit the tone of the game, and was able to tell a story at the same time. In order to do this, I chose to build a level set in one of the game's pre-made environments; The Twilight Realm. This was an environment that I felt was explored very briefly, as it was one of four different sections of one level. Looking at all the environments for the level, The Twilight Realm seemed to have the best potential for a new story, which is why I chose it.

The story that I came up with revolved around the inhabitants of the area; a group of creatures known as the Forest Dwellers. First introduced in another level of "A Hat In Time", many can be found in The Twilight Realm. This gave me the idea to create a story about why the Forest Dwellers are here. The final story is that the Twilight Realm is a version of Purgatory for the Forest Dwellers after they die, and that they are prevented from returning home by a group of guards that mistreat them. The player will be asked by them to distract the guards so that they can escape, and once this is done, the player will be rewarded with a Time Piece.




The biggest challenge that I faced with this project was learning how to use visual scripting. I had only used Unreal Engine a few select times before this project, and even when I had, we didn't do any visual scripting. There was a bit of anxiety when I first started, but by the end, I felt much more comfortable working with visual scripting. I understand that there's still a lot that I need to learn about it, but this project was a really good place for me to start.

I also think I learned a bit more about specialized QA testing because of this project. My level was more made for someone who had already played the game, and I found that when I brought it to QA sessions, it was not as easy for someone who had never played the game. In the future, if I make another level like this, I think I'll gear testing towards those who are fans of the game.


Role: Level Designer/Narrative Designer

Development Period: Late August 2018 – Early December 2018

Engine: Unreal Development Kit (UDK)

Platform: PC (Steam)


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