Seek: Find Your Friends is a game for Android and iOS built in Unreal Engine 4. Using the accelerometer, Seek gives the player an immersive first person view via a ‘window to the world’ to find their friends. With each friend found, a new perception is unlocked, allowing them to further explore the island and its secrets.
Seek was originally created as part of the international gaming competition Dare to be Digital by Five Pixels, a five person team. It won the ‘Artistic Achievement Award 2014’ sponsored by The Foundry and soon after picked up the ‘Best Student Game 2014’ TIGA award. It was also showcased at EGX on Epic Games Standout Indie Game booth 2014, on the Unreal Engine website and in Develop magazine. It went on to win the ‘BAFTA Scotland New Talent Game Award 2015’ and was featured on the App Store under ‘Best New Game’. When released Seek had over 110K downloads.
As lead animator and artist my role involved:
- Defining the art style
- Designing the environment
- Modeling and texturing parts of the environment
- Animating the characters
- Producing artwork for promotional purposes.
- Contributing towards the game’s design.
The first part of the trailer depicts the events leading up to where the player starts Seek. I created the artwork in Illustrator and Photoshop before animating it in After Effects. The second half of the trailer features in-game footage.
Above depicts the full mural I created for the trailer which can also be found in a cave in the game. I was inspired by traditional Celtic and North American art with interweaving elements.
In game, I modeled many of the environment assets. The texturing was mainly done through UV sets; as we were aiming for mobile devices we wanted to keep texture sizes low and so used the edge loops on the geometry to keep clean defined edges between colours. This ended up defining the art style for seek, with bright colours and crisp edges.
Apart from the unique control scheme, Seek’s mechanics are centered around perception. The player starts the game with the ‘Sight’ child at the beach, with the objective of finding their friends, like hide and seek but with a twist. Each child found allows the player to see the world in a different way.
Using the ‘Smell’ sense, the player can follow scent trails which leads them to different sections of the environment.
With ‘Thermal’ sense, previously passed unnoticed structures become focal points to direct player attention.
The ‘History’ sense alters the state of objects, where broken structures are now whole, clearing paths and allowing access to different areas of the island.
Whilst the ‘Sound’ sense allows the player to navigate dark places using a visulisation of echolocation.