Game project 07
As a bounty hunter, shoot and jump your way through a spacestation greenhouse in search of rare plants to imbue your weapon with great powers!
Level Designing all levels together with LD colleague, switching ownership.
Visual scripting basic level functionality.
Level Propping / Level Art / Lighting.
Created most of the top downs.
14 weeks half-speed
Unity as level editor
3 Level Designers
3 Game Artists
6 Game Programmers
Enemies and Stealth
Blue - Main path Green - Button and Corresponding Door Red - Enemy Path
A picture of what the entry way looks like in Gold. Enemy patrols from the bottom right corner and flies underneath the broken bridge.
The button needs to be shot to activate the door, since this was one of the first levels I placed this button so the player could easily see the interaction between these game objects.
I brought this area from rough blockout to refined whitebox. I also did level art, visual scripting of basic level functionality and lighting.
I planned the enemy encounter which has the player time their movement and encourages stealth before a head on approach.
The player enters the room from a slight elevation which gives them prospect. Here they can view the enemy patterns from an observation point before deciding how to plan their move. From this point they can also view their end target: the door at the end of the room as well as the button that opens it throught the glass wall.
The player is then funnled to a bridge, only to have to jump down from the elevated section. This communicated the transition from "planning" to "executing" their plans.
Enemy Side-scene and Immersion
The enemy garden bots are seen throughout the game tending to plants, here I set up a side-scene where these bots train their garden tools on a practice bush. The player has a chance to observe in greater detail how the enemy functions, what sounds correspond to what enemy action as well as the timing for animations.
The door to the right was meant to open when the player triggered the enemies in the room, therefore spawning more of them. This was cut because of the limitations of the visiual scripting tool, however, the side scene remains as a narrative component and contributes to making the level more visually and narratively compelling.
The player exits the area by shooting a button seen at the entryway to the room, there's a small transition space for the player to rest before tackeling the next combat encounter.
Shoot the button to open the door and enter the transition area which leads the player to next combat encounter.
Second Enemy Encounter
This room I brought from rough blockout to refined whitebox. I also did lighting and some setdressing.
These two bots guard a player upgrade. Their patterns are easy for the player to see and plan their movements accordingly.
The space encourages the player to keep a stealthy approach as the navigate and time their movements.
After the player has reached the upgrade they will perform a bait & switch by turning around and seeing a button on the wall. This will open the door leading to the next area.
The player upgrade makes their gun deal more damage meaning that they now can choose a more head-on approach during enemy encounters.
Blue - Main path Blue Circle - Player Upgrade Red - Enemy Path
On their journey the player travels through the backrooms to reach their next treasure, a rare plant that grants them the ability to freeze moving platforms in the air.
Level overview, pacing and verticality
This level was created by me from top down concept to refined blockout and certain areas, gold.
My works areas included: level concept and overview, blockout, implementstion of basic level functionality through visual scripting, enemy placement, platform puzzle, lighting and dressing.
The first top down concept for this level. Went through many revision when playtesting it showed that it was not fun but rather confusing.
I made the player enter this level from an elevated height. This gives the player a clear view of their short-term goal as well as the mid-term goal through a foreshadow. It also presents the player with a problem and the solution in the same room.
The door is inaccessible - look for a different path forward. This will encourage the player to observe their surroundings and look around for solutions to more complicated button puzzles later in the game.
The door to the left and the window is meant to attract the player attention and encourage them to approach the left door. The door won't open as it is broken. The player will then turn around and see the door to the right.
This is a set up for a bait & switch, the player walks up to the door they realize that it's broken.
When they turn they see their short-term goal which is the second door with corresponding button.
The mid-term goal can be viewed through the glass window. This acts as a foreshadow to an enemy. The enemy can be seen patrolling the catwalk on the other side.
This gives the player a reason to navigate the backrooms of the space station instead of heading through the level in a manner that the inhabitants would.
It was important for me to design this space in consideration of how the world would have functioned normally, while simultaneously designing it to be fun to explore.
Hallway and Speciment Room
This room presents the end-goal through the window, creating a foreshadow. Through a one-point perpective the player has a focused view on the button framed between the glass tubes.
The door to the left is the short-term goal and leads into a light platforming puzzle.
Foreshadows and Puzzles
Problemsolving and Exploration
The foreshadow from the start of the level seen from the other perpective.
I wanted the player to see where they needed to go and why they couldn't reach their goal.
The path is blocked and they have to go down mutliple staircases, jump on platforms and fight enemies to reach the next room which brings them above the lasers and to a drop down. I wanted to play more with negative space, leaving one side more open and leading the player through enemy placement and catwalks.
I also designed a hidded room that's reachable by timing jumps to reach a hidden platform that bring the player to a room above the level.
During this project I learned a lot about space planning and how difficult it can be to get the scale of the areas correct. Delivering information to the player while not overwhelming them visually was a fun challenge that I learned a lot from. Creating a design that was more metroidvanian was difficult but stimulating and I found myself spending more time doing revisions than in previous game projects.
I learned more about using Unity than in previous projects, I and my teammates made a lot of mistakes that ended up with me rebuilding multiple levels from scratch, however we grew from this and learned how to communicate better and make sure that everyone understands the tools properly.
I was a lone level designer for about 1,5 weeks during beta and gold which was a struggle. I was happy to support my team as much as I could and I think I delivered my best performance considering the project was only halftime. I came up with a lot more interesting interactions between different gameplay mechanics and seeing them work together was very fulfilling.