The Marvellous Mr.Maskelyne

PC, Unreal Engine 4.13

Project introduction

The Marvellous Mr.Maskelyne is a Unreal Engine 4.13 game project that I worked on in a team of 3 game designers for 3 months during my second year of Computer Games Desgin. We had to choose a theme from a list to design the game from. The chosen theme was Indoor Places of entertainment and Illusions, Magic & Impersonators.

The game is an innovative new first person comedy game. In which the players take control of a mystical magician (John Nevil Maskelyne) who must relive periods in his history in order to escape a purgatory of his own creation. He must interact with mystical posters, that act as portals into his past, that force him to recreate acts he has since forgotten. You must help control his hands so he can escape the abandoned theater by solving the puzzles and challenges within the posters.  

Co-op multiplayer

Players have to co-operate in a new and original way. Both players control one hand of a magician, and have to work together in order to complete challenges.

Real magic tricks

Every trick playable in the game are based off of magic tricks taken from the book Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversion, A. A. Hopkins (1897).

One mechanic

The only mechanic is to grab object and move them around with the magician's hands. Every challenge uses that mechanic in different manners.

Funnily difficult

The controls for the game were made intentionally difficult in order to add a layer of absurd humour. Additionally, depending on the level, players are either working together or against one another.

My contribution

During the development of the game, I took part in different aspect of the game. As secondary programmer, I worked on a lot of small technical elements including sound implementation, lighting as well as rigging and animating the hand. The following are parts of the game I mainly worked on.

Cut in half trick

Each member had one trick to design and implement, I chose the classic Cut in half trick. During this level, players have to co-operate in order to set up the magic trick by sliding to panels at the same time, then as one player holds the saw to cut the body in half, the other has to hold a book up to the camera. 

Sounds & subtitles

We wrote a script to accompany the player has he progresses through the game. We wanted a very sarcastic narrator to guide the player when he needs it and make fun of him when a mistake is made.

We recorded all voice lines ourselves using the university's facilities. I implemented them as well as implemented all the corresponding subtitles.

(The play through doesn't showcase the subtitles on its finished stage. )

Trick book and UI

I implemented the Trick Book, a easy to access tutorial that both player can access without obstructing the other player. By pressing select, the book will appear in the corresponding player's hand. It will display instructions on how to complete the current challenge. 

Additionally, I implemented a pause menu with options to let player Restart a challenge or come back to the main menu.

Instruction Book Cover
Instruction Book Cover

The cover is a reference to the original Maskelyne’s Book of Magic wrote by the magician itself.

Instruction Book
Instruction Book

The book can be opened at any timeby pressing select. It displays instructions relative to the level that is being played.

Option Menu
Option Menu

Instruction Book Cover
Instruction Book Cover

The cover is a reference to the original Maskelyne’s Book of Magic wrote by the magician itself.



Extra work

- Rigging and animating of the hands.

- Lighting, I experimented with IES lighting (not           showcased in current playthrough video)

- Modelling and texturing of extra assets (tables,         book, box, saws, swords)

- Trailer video editing

Here is a descriptive of the play through video.