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The Ritual

The Ritual

My role in the project:
  • Narrative Designer

    • Schematize the narrative in a multidisciplinary team to consider the scope

    • Developing the tone of the narration with my colleague Esteban Gilbert

    • Writing dialogue for Sheriff Pike McCloy

    • Staging “cinematic” moments

  • Technical Designer

    • Modify blueprints from the Horror Engine for our needs

    • Interaction blueprints

    • Control scheme


  • Complexity of starting from a blueprints asset and altering it for our needs

  • Timing, flow and CCC changes for our “cinematic” moments (especially the attic sequence)

  • Two weeks of production





The Ritual is a project carried out in the Unreal 5 engine for Adventure Jam 2023. Relatively free with a few points to respect, the project was produced in two weeks. The team was made up of 10 motivated UQAT students who, for some, were on their first game jam experience.


The Ritual is a short game where the player takes on the role of Pike McCloy, a sheriff tasked with finding the son of the mayor of Tombstone who has been kidnapped and brought to a secluded house. The protagonist must carry out an investigation to find the child and understand that mysterious forces are at work.

In its western atmosphere, The Ritual is composed of several puzzles requiring objects, actions or understanding to progress.


General narration

After the ideation phase for the game concept, the team determined that it would be a western with an animal companion that could be possessed to solve puzzles. As a result, we planned the story with the puzzles that block our protagonist in his search for the mayor's son. Also, we focused our planning a lot on level design (Jérémy Bolduc) to use all areas of the land.

External LD
Internal LD
After putting together a list of puzzles that were deemed satisfactory, we thought about how to connect them and make sense in the context of the story and spatially. The different narrative delivery methods are:
  • Dialogues 

    • When you collect an item

    • When you use the incorrect item on an interactive element

  • Description of items in the inventory

  • Cutscenes

    • Visual effects​

    • Caméra

    • Dialogues

    • Activation of other events (sequentiality)

    • Smooth sequence

      • ​Timing, timing and more timing

  • Letters and notes from the kidnapper

Schematic 1
Schematic 2
Schématique 3
Pike McCloy

It goes without saying that being a game jam on itch, the use of English was decided. Being much more expressive in French, I found the experience formative in determining my ability to write dialogue in the language of Shakespeare.


By coordinating with my colleague Esteban (narrative designer), we determined that with the personality planned by him for our kidnapper (Wade), it would be interesting if Pike stood out well. Where Wade would be bitter and desperate in his notes, the Sheriff would be vocally mocking and somewhat flustered at the mystical elements of the plot.

Pike's Intended Behaviors
Another way to bring out the sheriff's personality was to embellish his dialogue with expressions. A vocabulary search functioning during the conquest of the West:
  • bloody

  • bullseye

  • etc.

  • by geeswax - a slight swear word for Jesus

  • dang my melt - literally, curse me

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