Project Vesperi – How College Students Built a AAA Quality Game with Free Tools

Project Vesperi Case Study

Project Vesperi is a branching narrative sci-fi game, where you play as Dr. Evelyn Roth sent to investigate a potential sign of life on Venus. When an intruder enters the station, Evelyn must make choices that impact the lives of everyone around her, and ultimately, humanity.

The game began as an idea for a thesis project by two Chapman University students – Brandon Hill and Trevor Gore. Their goal was to build a AAA quality game that felt like playing through a movie, giving players the ability to impact the outcome of the story and forge their own narrative.

Building a AAA Quality Game on a Student Timeline & Budget

Project Vesperi

Factoring in a college student timeline and budget, they decided to create their game using entirely free tools. The first tool they decided on was Unreal Engine. Back in 2020, Brandon had created a short film with UE4 and had good experiences using online tutorials and UE community forums to learn the engine.

Many teams using Unreal also use a version control system – an essential tool for storing assets, managing changes to files over time, and enabling global teams to collaborate. These factors made it the next priority for Brandon and Trevor. They turned to Helix Core which is free for up to 5 users and trusted as the game developmental industry standard for version control. 

When we came across Helix Core and all of the free documentation and tutorials, it was an easy and seamless integration.

We’ve literally never had an issue with source control...we were able to just focus on the creative and making the game we want to make and the story we want to tell.”

Why Brandon and Trevor Chose Helix Core as Their Source Control

Having used other version control systems in the past, Helix Core stood out for its integrations with Unreal Engine – allowing the team to easily work with large animation files, 4k textures, and Nanite asset packs right within UE5 and its interface. In addition, as their team grew in numbers and became more globally distributed, Helix Core enabled them to streamline collaboration.

Easy Setup for Coders & Creatives

Streamlines Collaboration for Global and Distributed Teams

Unreal Engine Integration

Tips for Indie Teams

Along the journey of creating Project Vesperi, Brandon and Trevor learned a tremendous amount about what it takes to make an indie game. The first tip they have for indie devs is to start with the right tools in order to set their team up for success and avoid unnecessary work down the road. They also recommend being open to collaboration and welcoming new ideas and feedback from other game devs, especially for solo developers

If you’re embarking on building your first game, here is a list of some of the free tools they used to build Project Vesperi: 

Go Behind the Scenes of Project Vesperi

Curious to see more footage of Project Vesperi and dive deeper into their development process? Perforce Gaming and M&E Evangelist, Ryan L’Italien spoke with Project Vesperi Director, Brandon Hill; and Project Vesperi Writer, Trevor Gore, in the interview below. The group dives into topics like:

  • The story behind Project Vesperi.
  • Tips & tricks for indie game devs looking to get started.  
  • How Helix Core established a strong foundation for their global and distributed developer team.

Play Project Vesperi

If you’re interested in checking out Project Vesperi, you can wishlist it on the following platforms:

⭐️ Steam
⭐️ Epic Games Store

Dream Like an Indie and Build Like a AAA

Experience first-hand why Brandon and Trevor relied on Helix Core to bring Project Vesperi to life. Get started with Helix Core today free for up to 5 users. No limits on features and functionality, and no end date.