Third year team project | Sep 2021 – May 2022 | Unreal Engine 4

An online multiplayer, roller-skating, 4 vs 4, FPS arena, that encourages anti-camping through it’s movement and rail grind mechanic that charge the player’s energy-based weapons.


  • The Rookies: Game of the year 2022 – Draft Selection
  • Falmouth University 2022 Expo: People’s Choice 3rd Year Award
    • Members of the public got to vote on their favourite expo game, BladeGunners won in the 3rd year category.
  • Falmouth University 2022 Expo: Flashiest Award
    • Staff award, given to the game who had the flashiest visuals out of all the games at the expo.

Team Practice

Mediocre Reality was a team of 11 people, with the composition: 2 Designers, 3 Programmers, 5 Artists and 1 Sound Designer.

Key Software and Skills utilised:

  • Git
  • HacknPlan
  • Practice of SCRUM and AGILE

Everyone in the team was successful in updating each other on our progression daily, offered and iterated on each others feedback. We held regular meetings to discuss any issues we had run in to, or to discuss a mechanic proposal, it was very much a team-wide contribution to any issues we encountered and the direction we wanted to take things.

We were commended by our lecturers for out team dynamic, it truly felt like a friends working together, helping each other anyway we could to make this game a reality.

Systems Design

It was the job of myself and Mediocre Reality’s other designer, Elise Dennis, to refine and define the mechanics of BladeGunners. The process ended up being fairly fluid with the rest of the team, we ended up achieving a constant feedback loop. This helped keep everyone on the same page cross-discipline, and ensured that we were all heard when it came to ideas. Our rough approach step by step:

  • Decide on a feature with the team
  • Refining the feature in a smaller meetings with relevant people
  • Updating the team on the defined feature – Getting feedback
  • Revaluating the feature if there was feedback
  • Ensuring everyone was up to date with the new feature
  • Implementation

Key Software and Skills utilised:

  • Design documentation

Though a design document was used and updated regularly the early to mid stages of the project, there was a point where we did stop using a Game Design Document. As the idea developed, everyone’s vision of the game sort of aligned, if anyone had any questions on the direction, it would either lead to a discussion to iron it out or a quick update to get them up to speed.

UI/UX Design

My main responsibility throughout this project was the design and artwork of the HUD, which required a great deal of iterative development via user testing and peer-to-peer feedback to ensure it’s functionality and usability.

Key Software and Skills utilised:

  • Photoshop
  • Unreal Engine 4: Widget Blueprint Editor
  • Iterative design through feedback and testing

BladeGunners is a first person shooter, the the HUD needed to display vital information in a clear and concise way, in a way that didn’t obstruct of distract the player from the gameplay. I looked in to HUDs from successful FPS team games, with the biggest influences in the final design deriving from Overwatch and Apex Legends.

The HUD’s final design was created over several iterations of feedback loops, with a layout and element sizing influenced mainly from Overwatch’s HUD; this created a HUD that had relevant information in easy to find locations, without making the screen too cluttered with information.

Apex Legends was a big inspiration for the HUD’s geometric shaping of the components, patterning and information display. It was a personal choice to lean the style towards Apex Legends, as it displays the vital information in a clear way, with distinct style elements that can be seen throughout the HUD, which is something I wanted to replicate with a BladeGunners twist.

In-game capture of the finalised HUD.
Blueprints that handle the Death Overlay screen.

I worked together with Lucy Poole, one of the team’s artists, to create the game’s menus and implement feedback effects. With the HUD feedback effects, they created video assets that were designed to overlay the HUD, I implemented them in-engine, giving them basic functionality using blueprints, which was later expanded upon by programmers.

The team logos were designed around a few aspects, the colours we had collectively chosen for the teams and how roller derby teams often involve animals in the names. The animals I picked to represent the teams were flamingos for team pink, as they are actually pretty badass in nature, and dolphins for team cyan because they are deceivingly brutal creatures. Each logo was designed to emphasise a different curve style to help communicate the team if you were looking at the logo from the corner of your eye.

Blueprints that update the team logo on the HUD using Slate Brushes

This is perhaps one of the first times I used blueprints inside of Unreal, this function was used to replace the Team Logo on the HUD when a player loaded into the game. It did function as intended, but I suspect it make be the cause of some performance issues which occur after dying a bunch.

Level Design

My role for this project was not as a level designer, I did however help re-design a portion of the map, known as “Skatepark”, alongside Elise Dennis, the Level Designer for this project.

Key Software and Skills utilised:

  • Peer Development
  • Unreal Engine 4: Level Editor
  • Iterating on design, based on feedback from user testing
Video captured by Elise Dennis


Key Software and Skills utilised:

  • Photoshop
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Managing the team’s social media
  • Unreal Engine 4: Level Sequencers
  • Creating marketing assets to a brief

One of my tasks became to create a proper game title logo for BladeGunners. I knew I wanted to try and incorporate “futuristic” graffiti elements in to the typography. One of the core pillars of the art direction of the game was street inspired x futuristic/dystopian, we already had glowing graffiti inside of the game and I thought it would create a more visually eye catching piece.

I tried incorporating a graffiti-like style to the “Blade” part of the title, incorporating stylistic shapes often associated with a graffiti style.

The finalised logo still retains some of the original features from the first couple of placeholder logos we had, such as the word “Gunners” font eventually getting stylised around the font used in the second iteration of the logo, as well as the original colours used in the first placeholder.

On reflection: I like the controlled chaos that the “Blade” communicates, in contrast to the sleek clean design of the “Gunners”. It is an incredibly bulky title logo, I would’ve liked to have created a design that could be more scalable, so that it could be adapted universally for whatever purpose we would’ve needed it for.

The first trailer prototype.

Quite early on in the project, I threw together a rough idea for a trailer, it was quite rubbish on the tin, but it got the basic pacing and general vibes of the trailer, you can see a parallel of how it was translated into the finalised piece.

We left it quite late to record the in-person footage, but with the help of Elise Dennis, Kalvin Malloch and Bart Byczkowski, we were able to get it filmed in time for implementation.

Pacing prototype when the in-person footage was first implemented.

Everyone on the team gave feedback on each of the iterations of the trailer, allowing it form into what it is today. Many ideas managed to get into the trailer, which I think added a lot of character and personal touch from the Mediocre Reality team.

Screenshot from The Rookies Twitter account.

When we entered BladeGunners into The Rookies 2022 awards, the trailer got picked out for video of the day which I was something I was really proud of. The Rookies uploaded the full trailer to their YouTube channel as a part of this.