Conspiracy ’85

You’ve prepared a surprise presentation for the mega-corp GREI’s annual summit. It’s sure to do some lasting damage, but first, you need to get your hoverbike up and running again…

Project Information

  • Project Length: 8 weeks, half time
  • Game Engine: Unreal Engine 4


  • Level Design
  • Scripting – Camera system, character, hoverbike, instanced meshes for roads
  • Lighting & Environment Effects
  • Modelling; Road meshes, blockout meshes

Futurist Dystopia

The choice was not a hard one to make when we were tasked with designing an open world. I decided to expand upon a cyberpunk short story that I wrote a few years ago. Inspired by Italian Futurist architecture, Blade Runner, Akira and RoboCop, I set out to design the northern part of a city called Laguna Rise.

My main inspirations were not just for the design of the city. Their collective themes and strong visual language of looming oppression inspired the setting further. The underground resistance was there from the start, to contrast the massive buildings erected by the all too powerful corporations.

The revised overview, after the second pass of work during the specialization course.

The City of Laguna Rise

The blockout for the whole city, including roads, was laid out during the first phase. Interaction with NPCs and a simple chasing AI for the police drones was also implemented.

Though not unlocked in the designated demo section of the world, the hoverbike was also fully functional. This was to ensure that the roads in the city were traversable and felt logical.

Refining “The Slip”

As the city grew, so did my desire to refine the the structure and its foundational story and themes. I dove into the project again as part of the specialization course at The Game Assembly, putting in another 3 weeks (half time) worth. I iterated upon and redesigned large parts of the slum area, where the gameplay slice takes place.

Using my already versatile pipeline for my road networks, I polished the paths and optimized some of the blueprints used for the inner city zones. Though a lot of the structures are fairly simple as far as mesh complexity goes, it doesn’t hurt to always take a look at what can be optimized.

A Living Underground

Aside from committing to a major iteration on the slum area, I also worked with the underground hub area during the ‘second pass.’ My goal was to make the space feel more like an actual base for a small resistance cell. Adding new NPCs and assigning them roles communicated through little dialogue interactions was a large boost. Cementing everything further with more detailed propping brought the hub to a much livelier state.

Another district, experimenting with bolder coloration, inspired by Akira.
A view overlooking the Intercity Station. Higher residential/commercial district looms in the top-right quarter.
Zoomed out view of the city.

Closing Thoughts

As I approached the end of the second pass, I called over classmates and got spontaneous visits, taking more in-depth looks at the polished city. The world building through the city’s various layers of larger and larger buildings really sold the oppressive cyberpunk theming I was aiming for. I received a lot of positive feedback and, most of all, people were curious and asked further questions about the world. Sparking a curiosity for the greater story and its inhabitants is something I always strive for. It’s the kind of feeling I love to find myself experiencing through the many and vast universes in the video game medium.

Credits & Special Thanks

Hover Bike mesh by Ptis (SketchFab)
Defect Ultimate Props Bundle Vol.1 by Defect
Old Rusty Bike by Steven B (SketchFab)
Pizza by (SketchFab)
MegaScans assets by Quixel

ActorCore Sample Motions by Reallusion Store
Concept Car 038 by Unity Fan youtube channel (SketchFab)
Hover Train by MOJackal (SketchFab)

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