Raul Huerta - Web site and Portfolio


Portfolio - Project Golden Idol

This project started as a needed tool for some of the experiments regarding Immersion and Presence research at the University of Texas- Pan American where I'm currently studying to get my Master degree. The details of the research will be released later in the year when is finally published.

The approach to this project was to create a level that had different challenges that will increase in difficulty trying to maintain the player in a flow state. The level was designed in an abstract way first to fit into that model.

Once the basic design was finished a prototype was made only with BSP brushes and tested out. As seen on top the player went from simple challegues like hitting some switches to a laberynth, a visual puzzle and lastly to a platforming section. All this was divided by each of the rooms that go around the center one.

Then context and narrative was given to the whole setup. The player will end up being an adventurer that wants to find the Golden Idol, an ancient artifact of immeasurable value that is supposed to be located in lost temple in South America. Every room was transformed with textures and meshes to convey that and even text narrative was added to give purpose to the player objectives.

Project: Golden Idol Screen - Entrance to the Temple

Now the player will have to collect different objects from each of these rooms in order to proceed to the final room where the idol is. Also, the plot is enriched by the addition of the Tree of Life character and a plot line that happens to involve the fate of the entire world. Narrative in this game gets to point of actually conveying agency by giving the player two ways to end the level with different outcomes.

  • Project: Golden Idol Screen - Tree of Life
  • Project: Golden Idol Screen - Platform Room

Everything was done using the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), using the level editor, a heavy use of Kismet and Matinee Scripting. Most of the meshes and assets used on the construction of this level are included in the default UDK distribution.