Heliotrope is a third-person 3D puzzle platformer. While venturing into an imposingly beautiful canyon landscape, the player will be forced to use their cunning, creativity and coordination to reach their goal of gathering three enchanted gems that will unlock a mysterious tomb. To aid them in their quest, the player has the ability to conjure magical crystal pillars that grow out from the environment. These pillars act as multipurpose platforms that can help the player bypass traps, navigate the environment and outsmart puzzles.

This game project was made over 9 weeks in collaboration with all three disciplines. The game was made using the Unity Engine for Playstation 4.

Heliotrope Screenshot 1

This project was a real challenge for us due to the relative scope of the game. It provided a great learning experience in regards to knowing what to cut and when to cut it. The project also pivoted a few times, in a few different ways. The most notable was the removal of combat in favor of more puzzle oriented gameplay. After some AI prototyping, we realised we were not confident that we could create interesting enemy behavior within the 9 weeks. The main mechanic (creating pillars) was at that point robust and malleable enough that we could, with relative ease, bend its purpose to involve environmental puzzle solving instead. 

The team is very proud of the end result, especially in regards to the artstyle and mood of the game.

Heliotrope Screenshot 5

Team Pillar Bug Studios

Heliotrope was made by these students from the PlaygroundSquad class that started in 2020: