We Went Back is a time-looping horror game which takes place in an abandoned space station. The exit door is locked and the player must find a way to escape by interacting with clues, solving puzzles and confronting an alien presence. The game uses a looping mechanic, in that the space station changes each time the player makes a revolution around the structure. We Went Back was developed using Unreal Engine 4.
We Went Back is available on Steam, and has been featured in magazines such as The Escapist, and by content creators such as jacksepticeye, H20Delirious, and Lirik.
As an engineer on this project, I was tasked with implementing audio, creating the game's puzzles, as well as sequencing cut-scenes and scares. With an engineering team of only four individuals, it was crucial for us to wear a lot of different 'hats', and tackle features all across the board. This was a fantastic experience for me, as I got to sharpen my skills in a variety of areas, and came to understand and appreciate game development not only from an engineering aspect, but as a whole.
For audio, I used Wwise to organize and sequence the game's sound effects and music. By using the Wwise-Unreal integration, I also set up spatial audio in the game, as 3D sound is vital for an atmospheric horror title. This was my first time using external software to handle audio, and in retrospect was a great decision for us. With hundreds of sounds, and even more combined events, it would have been nearly impossible to manage so many files and settings in-engine. By being able to have an external project connected to source control, making adjustments to the audio was effortless.
The core mechanic of We Went Back is finding clues which later appear as Polaroids on a cork board hidden away in the space station. By interacting with the cork board, the player can solve a puzzle to find a secret password. Instead of using Unreal's default widget class to create the two dimensional puzzle, I implemented my own functions to transform them on a 2D plane relative to the cork board in-game. This was a very rewarding experience, and also allowed me to quickly alter and iterate the puzzle, as its core design changed quite frequently week to week.
Working with our animator, I was the engineer tasked with putting the scares and other cut scenes in the game. Each of these was a scripted event with specific logic, and required the efforts of people all across the team to come to fruition. I enjoyed this task the most, as I got to make real design decisions and develop a quick workflow for creating cut scenes quickly. Since most of our scripted events share a lot of the same events and components, I made them with modularity in mind, so that I wouldn't have to re-invent the wheel going from cut scene to cut scene.