Into the Sewers
The narrative of this level was exploring an alternate way into a castle by going through the sewer system.
The idea was to create pockets of save points and items with spaces. I wanted pathing to feel tight than to open up to big spaces, that was the goal of recreating an underground sewer-like system. Toxic water helps sell the space and keeps the player sticking to an intended path. It breaks up the corridors and adds visual interest.
Role: Level Design
Duration: 2 Weeks
Tools Used: Unreal Engine 4
Genre: Action Adventure
The initial block-out process came from taking a space relative size to the introduction space for Zelda Breath of The Wild. I knew I wanted 3 focal points that could be viewed from a central point in the level, this gave the opportunity to introduce narrative which could act as a hint to give meaning exploration and flow of the space. I really wanted to establish a hierarchy of locations to visit and even though it was semi-open, in a way where you could visit any area in any order, i crafted it in a way that helped guide it to do so. I used enemy encounters to gate locations that funneled the player to avoid areas until they got better upgrades, I also used environmental noise and space to encourage exploration and solve environmental puzzles.
Area 1: In the first atrium, starting inside at the bottom of a well, the player is incentivized to pick up the loot at the end of a pipe, this allows the player to see a giant enemy through the grate and allows the player to survey the area before they go to explore it.
Area 2: this area is the second atrium at the end of a trail of corridors, this also features a demi boss which isn’t noticeable until the player follows the path leading down to the boss battle. Up top, the ledge at the top of the ladder contains a key needed for the next level. This area could be easily missed which is something I regret putting in without context, Using narrative I would have been able to make it clear that this area was one that contained the key for the next level.
Area 3: contains an environmental puzzle that has invisible walls and one of them is correct. I felt this was a fitting challenge for the final area of the space before the next level. One interesting part about this area is it is connected to the first area’s atrium which is inaccessible until the player has reached the area 3 puzzle. This makes that demi boss an optional boss.