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Island of Rage

On an island that you walk in the midst of a hostile raid, you enter the scene looking at the main object landmark which is a castle-like church on a hill in the distance. You can see billows of smoke and a lot of movement on the horizon. The psychology of the area is threatening and empowering to serve order.

Role: Level Design

Duration: 2 Weeks

Tools Used: Unreal Engine 4

Genre: Action Adventure


The Level Map is Based on this area in Eldin Ring.

This is what it turned into.


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: Intro area, a damaged caravan, the first fight encounter. Here there is a damaged building with enemies roaming outside it, this is the first fight a player has. I wanted this area to be pretty open with direct access to pathing when the player has explored the area. This first encounter sets the mood for progressive combat beats. After funneling to the intended path, you are faced with a mini-boss fight, this area is designed to feel like a standoff between you and the enemy. 



















Area 2: The graveyard, this area is home to a scenic area with a strong demi boss with a weapon upgrade. This point also has clear sightlines to the main objective and landmark, the castle-like church on the mountain.





Area 3: the mountain & the castle-like church is the final area that the player must scale towards. It is the main focal point of the map and the traversal of the space amps up towards it in terms of combat beats. The mountain once climbed has a good overlook of the previous and lower space which adds creates new visual interest on the horizon. This area had been designed to see interesting locations that can only be viewed with altitude and as a result, causes the player to want to explore more. The final mountain climbs up to the castle-like church ramps up in difficulty and was created to have that brute force experience, like climbing up a mountain. I decided this would be an excellent opportunity to feature archers that changed combat to become a more survivability challenge.


















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The biggest learning from this project was scope and scale. I created a level twice as big as the one presented. For deadline and assignment purposes it exceeded the time given to each project. This was an eye opener because even though I knew I could produce some twice as big as expected, I had to do a lot of damage control in make the playable experience seamless and worthwhile. This prompted me to cut areas in the map once they were somewhat finished and guide the more on the path of how to beat the level, not just explore it. I think the last minute edits were an important lesson for scope and helped me consider time as a thought when planning. Learning how to recognize space and timing from getting to one level beat to the next really helped bring awareness to that process. 


I think for this level I missed an opportunity for platforming. Traversal and elevation changes were apparent in the design but I feel like the space felt like the player was constantly running, opposed to fighting, running, balancing. I think this element could help break out the monotony of the overall space. In addition to this, adding more nooks and broken ruined buildings along the path could help the general flow of the pathing to the top of the mountain.
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