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Developed as a Final Year Team Project with seven other students and with music/sfx provided by two external contributors, BBBFAD is an Unreal 4 cooperative top-down twin-stick wave survival shooter.

Fulfilling similar roles to that of Mira's Tale, I utilized Blueprinting extensively as a gameplay programmer and used 3DS Max's CAT Rigs for rigging, skinning and animation. Particular aspects of contribution included:

  • Most of the non-C++ gameplay actions (sprinting, diving, melee, health, weapon projectiles)

  • Enemy attacking and damage reactions

  • 2D/3D UI programming / animations (HUD, Chaos/Character select cards)

  • Character & Enemy rigs/skinning/animations

  • Small amounts of clutter props

  • "Boss Fight" Chaos card 2D art (later touched up by primary artist)

The game was entered into Games Republic Student Showcase and won three awards:

  • Gold in Sumo Digital Award for Game Design

  • Gold in Rebellion North Award for Art and Animation

  • Joint-Bronze in Rockstar Leeds Award for Best Team

Design Highlights

Character Variations

Seven characters were implemented, with unique variation to models, melee weapon, UI and special abilities.

With the intention of creating a balanced experience between all players, all seven were derived from a common base class, featuring the same basic controls, movement and animations. This kept gameplay expectations consistent.

Models are built with the same skeleton, and feature a common animation blueprint, allowing for faster development time.


Each character features a unique special ability, tailored to the personality of each character's persona (loosely based on the developers of the project). 

Vaulting system

To give greater character maneuverability, vaulting between two points was implemented in appropriate places on the map. This allows actions such as diving over tables, through windows and down great heights to avoid enemies.

Specific points were set up across any object, functioning as a two point spline arc with entry collision points at each side. Entry while sprinting causes the player to automatically follow the point with retained offset.

Points could be used by multiple players at the same time, and can also be one way for sheer drops.

A design intent of the points was also to give the player a choice when using the points, as diving through windows will break them and allow enemies to path through the new opening.

Enemy Hordes

In an attempt to keep performance consistent with larger enemy counts, increasing hordes of enemies involved a trick that allowed a single enemy to represent a bunching of 3 or 5. These begin to appear in later rounds of the game.

A two additional variations of the basic grunt enemy were created, featuring additional skeletal meshes attached to the pawn, which were removed as the health of the enemy lowered. This gave the illusion of more enemies on screen without the burden of additional pawns and AI controllers present.

Damage and health was scaled appropriately for these enhanced variants, and greatly helps to keep the difficulty scaling intact at later levels while not being too apparent for the average player, when intermixed with standard grunts.

Weapon Selection Panel

Between rounds, the players can purchase new weapons using the money acquired from gameplay.
In order to visually show the weapons in a way that would suit the multiplayer style, a 1x3 wall panel was created that allows the cycling and purchase of the vast weapon assortment.

A conventional UI was intentionally avoided as this would become confusing with multiple players attempting to select and access tabs and buttons. Instead, the goal was to integrate the interface into the gameplay, by using the melee attack as an interaction function to select weapons and activate the two switches that cycle the weapon panel back and forth.

Player Melee Loop

As weapon reloading was an intended feature, implemented to give the weapons more distinction beyond damage & fire rate, a gap in the player's attack was created in which they are left vulnerable to enemies.


To counteract this, and to give greater variety to the combat loop, a melee attack was implemented that can be used during the reload time. This was not intended to be a direct attack, but rather a means of pushing back enemies that are crowding the player. As such, it does not directly deal damage, but instead rolls enemies in a straight line away from the player's aim direction. If an enemy contacts a wall, it deals great damage, often killing smaller grunts in one hit.


This attack is given greater combat utility due to it's stacking effects and directability. Enemies can be knocked into others, pushing large groups away and it provides a useful way to defeat the explosive bomber bunnies, as it can knock them into an oncoming group, destroying them all in a large radius.

Money Swap Interactable

When playing long periods in multiplayer, it became apparent that sometimes player's could have a substantial gap in money and/or experience situations where they are very close to a new weapon, but are slightly short.

To combat this, as well as offer some social elements to aid the experience, a simple money swapping mechanic was implemented. To avoid using any UI's or complex inputs that could impact the multiplayer, a melee-activated interactable was placed in the center of the den. Repeatably hitting the interactable would deposit money from the player into it, acting as a bank.

After a brief pause, the bank would change from a receiving state to a collection one, with the next melee hit giving the initiating player all the banked money at once. While simple, this proved an effective enough method that kept the pace up.

Big Bad Bunnies From Another Dimension

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