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  • Unreal Engine 4
  • 3 designers, 4 3D artists, 3 2D artists
  • 4 weeks + 1 week pre-production
  • Scripter, Gameplay designer
  • Nominated for best Design, Art and Game of the year at Swedish Game Awards 2018

What is Symbiosis?

Symbiosis is a physics based platforming puzzle game that takes place in an overgrown research facility.
The game features a way of interacting with your surroundings and becoming one with nature, and this is done by connecting yourself to the vines in the facility to gain control over them.

Use different vines to solve puzzles and traverse the now derelict environment.

What did I do?

In the Symbiosis project I was kind of the gardener, since I took care of the vines and built a lot of things involving them. I also built reset systems, the animation blueprint, managed most sound implementation, built levels, etc.

Vines

As the vines are our biggest mechanics I put a lot of love and labor into making them as good as they could be.
To get the effect of them being living and sinuous, regular animation could not be used. Instead the vines are long physics chains of collision spheres held together by physics constraints, then a skeletal mesh is posed  and placed on top of everything.

This is how the Vine looks in the editor. Each red sphere is a collision sphere, in total there is 32 spheres for each vine!

After a lot of experimental work with splines, a skeletal mesh was used for graphical representation of the vines. To make the visible vine bend and move to match the physics I had to move and rotate every bone each frame. To make the vine smoother, an average position of the physics spheres is used instead of their exact position. This reduces a lot of jitter and noise.

Sounds

During Symbiosis I got to work a lot with the sounds in the game. This included both hooking up cues, as well as making and tweaking sounds. 
This was my first time working with sounds in Unreal and it was a great learning experience, as well as a lot of  fun!

Some of the sound cues became quite complex. The following cue is from a huge door in the game that squeaks when it moves. I had to combine a lot of different sounds in many ways to give it more of a dynamic sound.