FIEA - Capstone Project

Engine: Unreal 4

Development Time: December - July (8 months)

Role: Project Lead / Designer

Team Size: 17 Members 

Masterkey is an alternative First-Person-Shooter that combines physics and wall-running for a fast paced action experience. 


In this project I served many different roles, ranging from scheduling, designing enemy AI types, and influencing nearly every aspect of the game. Overall this project was a tremendous learning experience, and it taught me what it is to be a better leader, team player, and developer.


Project Lead

  • Designed initial game pitch, and built a team of 17 in a competitive self-forming team process.
  • Maintained high-level vision of game from inception to completion.
  • Collaborated with leads and team to establish team goals and priorities.
  • Directed meetings with team to construct and enforce pipelines for each discipline (art, design, programming).
  • Scheduled and conducted play-tests, collected user information and feedback, and synthesized feedback into actionable goals for use by the design team.
  • Presented status of game to faculty and students on a bi-weekly basis. 



  • Designed a first person experience featuring a physics-focused tether gun to manipulate the environment, paired with wall-running to facilitate high levels of movement critical for survival.
  • Prototyped initial physics demo of cable tether to assist with pitching of idea.
  • Designed 4 enemy AI types that work together to emphasize player locomotion abilities.
  • Assisted level designers with creating experiences that fully utilized the game's mechanics.
  • Consistently worked with art team to establish characters, world design, and lighting style.
  • Collaborated in developing game story and world.
  • Assisted in audio direction and design.


A bit about me:

"My name is Joel Thomas, I received my Master's Degree at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy in Orlando as a Technical Designer and Project Lead following my undergraduate degree in Game Design at UCF. 
I have acquired 9+ months of professional development experience before graduating with my undergrad, and always strive to be an irreplaceable member of each team i'm on.

I enjoy leading by example, growing with my team, and bringing the best out in people to make something every person on the team is proud of. I have acquired significant leadership and development experience leading teams to success on professional and class projects alike.