Out of Ammo


Out of Ammo is a single player level for Gears of War. The player ends up in a situation where he has no ammo left and ends up using a flaming torch as a temporary melee weapon.


Weapon Design
I added a new weapon to Gears of War; the flaming stick. The flaming stick was an experiment in design on creating a highly enjoyable and reusable weapon for Gears of War.

To accomplish this, I added a variety of components to the flaming stick:
  • Immersion - I add two sound effects, one for when the weapon hits something and another for when it misses. When the player does hit something, I also added a screen shake to sell that effect.
  • Powerful Player - To make the player feel powerful, I add physics so that enemies will be flung out when they’re hit.
  • Replayability - To make the weapon feel enjoyable even after being used many times, I added many different ingredients to make each swing feel special.
    - The first is that my melee scripting selects a random melee animation for when the player swings.
    - The next ingredient is the physics again, in which the enemies are flung out based on the direction they are hit, so they’ll be going all over the place depending on the timing of the player’s swing.
    - The last ingredient is death effects. 80% of the time, the enemy will die in a standard fashion where they simply get flung out. But 20% of the time, the enemy will die in a much more spectacular fashion, such as being blown into giblets. The reason I made this distinction is something I learned from Diablo 3. In Diablo 3, they also had a spectacular death effect where the monster’s skeleton would be ripped apart from its body, but it was found that something so spectacular looking would eventually look rather normal after too much repeated exposure.
  • Visual Delight - To top off the weapon’s design, I added a flame effect to this melee weapon that would light enemies on fire. This helped make the player feel more awesome, but was also used so that the player could look back and see what carnage they’ve created at the end of each encounter
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    Vantage Point

    When the player emerges outside for the first time in Out of Ammo, the question of "where do I go next" pops up. I help aid the player along two ways:
  • Color - The outside background has a dull, Gears of War-like brown and grey color scheme. In contrast, bright orange flames, white spotlights, and yellow building lights catch the player's attention.
  • Movement - Flames have the wonderful tendency to move, and movement is another great way of catching the player's eye. Movement of the flickering campfire, the spotlights moving back and forth, the bats above, and the smoke emerging; all of these components bring the player's view back to the building - the point of interest.
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    Thought Process (17:57 m)