“Embark on an adventure and command your flock to bring your woolly friends back home. The mysterious disappearance of Ramsey sparks your journey as you must collect, throw and bounce from sheep to sheep to bring him back home safely. Leaping over lava, feeding hungry golems and running from speeding boulders is all just another day on the job for a Shepherd.”
I was the Lead Level-Designer and Environment Artist within a team of 7, and was in charge of designing and building each of the environments, along with modelling a large portion of objects found throughout them.
I was also responsible for all lighting, tutorialization, particle effects (player & environmental), camera sequences (including the trailer), implementing audio and ensuring a high level of polish across all elements of the game.
My main focus on this project was to build an Environment that evoked a sense of whimsy and imagination, and primarily was enjoyable to look at and fun to explore. I placed a high focus on making sure each environment provided an entirely unique look and feel, each containing varying hazards and challenges, and supporting vastly different colour palettes. I also spent a lot of time ensuring sure the landscape’s composition from each explorable area remained balanced, and the player’s path was always as obvious as possible (when necessary) to allow for more intuitive gameplay.
I did extensive 3D modelling for this project, creating a large percentage of the assets found in each of the environments, with the help from another artist the team who provided me with packs of multiple reusable assets. I built and composed all of the spaces in the game using assets modelled with Probuilder and coloured using an extensive palette of Unity materials.
Tutorialization was another element that I was primarily responsible for. As the player begins the game they are introduced to a short tutorial sequence that is presented to them through dialogue, world-space text popups and various camera sequences. The player’s objective is also highlighted by a glowing beam of light, with the occasional arrow pointing towards the destination. A number of camera sequences throughout the game were also designed with tutorialization in mind, aiming to make gameplay as streamlined as possible. When the player acquires a new ability, various instructions are presented to the player, either via screen overlay, or scattered throughout the environment for the player to discover as they progress.
Camera Sequences were an element that were necessary to ensure a fluid gameplay experience. For certain parts of the game where the desired path may be unclear, or for tutorialization purposes, camera sequences were used to highlight points of interest and assist in directing the player through the world. These cameras were also used when entering a new area to showcase the environment and for various cinematic cutscenes throughout the game.
The game’s Official Trailer was recorded using the standard Unity Camera with an Animation component attached. I keyframed each of the positions, adjusting camera position, rotation, tilt, and utilized post-processing volumes to gradually adjust depth of field, exposure and focal length. These clips were compiled in Adobe Premiere and edited to fit the soundtrack.
All of the Particles throughout the game were created using Unity’s Shuriken Particle system, with textures created using Adobe Photoshop. I was responsible for creating all the particle systems, some consisting of: wind/dust effects, player ability particles, ambient environmental particles (wind streaks, fireflies, heat distortion),
I was responsible for designing the Bell UI Design and it’s functionality. I had assistance from another designer to get this implemented in the game. I created an overlay effect each time the player levels up and acquires a new bell. This animation makes use of post-processing volumes to fade-in/out an effect during the sequence, also accompanied by various audio and a text notification.
All of the Audio in the game was legally acquired from external sources and I was responsible for implementing them into the game.
This includes ability audio, ambient environmental audio, player feedback (puzzle complete/checkpoint) audio, sheep/player audio, music for each environment and main sequences throughout the game, and many other elements.
The Main Menu was designed by myself early on in development, and it only received minor changes before release. It features an introduction camera sequence that travels towards the paddock, revealing the main character and the sheep, accompanied by a ‘Press Enter’ prompt. When Enter is pressed, the camera moves to a new location behind the house, revealing the landscape and Play/Exit buttons positioned in World Space.
The menu uses a separate scene from the main game that has been optimized for performance.
Below are a number of images demonstrating each of the different environments in our game.