Project Overview

CosmoKnights is a PC game developed by a team of students at Flinders University. It was under active development for a couple of years leading up to its demonstration in the Indie Game Room at AVCON in 2015.

CosmoKnights is a multiplayer, arena shooter. Gameplay happens on a 2D plane but all graphics are 3D with high quality effects and detailed textures. The main goal for the team was to complete a certain amount of game content and have a playable version that we could demo at AVCON. We acheived this goal with an end product containing two full levels, two player classes, eight weapon types and a 2v2 team deathmatch mode which we had setup across four computers for the public to use in the Indie Games Room.

CosmoKnights Gameplay #1

A player character firing their shotgun as they leave the spawn area.

My Role

I joined the project when the team was looking for 'programmers' and quickly assumed the role of Lead Programmer as I had the most experience developing games. Rather than writing C++ code, which Unreal Engine 4 supports, we decided to work entirely in the engine's node based scripting system "Blueprints". The Blueprints system in UE4 is very powerful but also easier to understand for non-programmers which is great when working on a project with such a varied skill-base.

CosmoKnights Gameplay #1

One of the blueprints developed for CosmoKnights. This is a function which takes the input of a team and returns a random spawn point belonging to that team.

Developing UE4 Blueprints

I learned a lot through this project about the UE4 Blueprints system; how it follows a lot of similar methodologies to conventional programming. A massive challenge for me was learning about developing client/server multiplayer; something I had never worked on before. Many functions of the game that worked fine in a single player environment had to be completely redesigned once multiplayer was implemented.

In UE4 I had to get my head around "replication" and where to replicate functions and variables while keeping things efficient. The images below shows some of the player character functionality, a lot of which had to be replicated so that the visual experience is similar across all players' computers.

CosmoKnights Gameplay #1

A section of the main player caracter blueprint showing how blueprints can grow in complexity but my organisation skills can handle it.

Game Artwork

The art team had been working on this project for over a year before I even joined the project. I was impressed with the attention to detail and quality of the assets created. The screenshots below are all renderred in-engine.

I do not take credit for any of the artwork or assets created. These assets were all created by our game art team.

CosmoKnights Gameplay #1

A small collection of some of the environment assets created for the game.

CosmoKnights Gameplay #1

A close-up of the main player character model showing some of the material lighting effects.

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This is one of the weapons from the game code named "Hand Flamer". The flame effect in--game was created using a GPU particle system.

Bonus Screenshots

Here are a few more screenshots of the jungle level.

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The future of CosmoKnights?

We acheived our project goals and I received High Distinctions for two topics for which CosmoKnights was my major task. Though we all learn a lot through the project and were proud of the result, we have all moved on to other projects now and left CosmoKnights as it was.

There are no plans to continue development or publish the game.

Thank you for your interest in this project. I'd love to hear from you if you have any feedback or would like to know more.