Level, Mission, and World design are elements of Game design that I regard very highly. The architectural and environmental elements used in a game can set the mood and utilize the game's mechanics in interesting ways. Below are some of my works that display a various range of levels I have designed for games. This list will continue to grow as I further pursue my passion for creating interesting and unique spaces.
IN PLAIN SIGHT
This game was designed to be a class based shooter with the unique quality of forcing players in to 1 of 6 unique characters with their own visibility advantage and detriment. The game was meant to be a twitch based shooter where players would stalk each other in pristine, lab like arenas and compete to prove their stealth tech was superior.
The main challenge in designing levels for this game was the importance of blocking the initial line of sight towards an opponent in each arena, as being spotted first in the game would almost certainly lead to a quick death. For this purpose we created a minimum requirement of 12 spawn points per level, where none could have a direct line of sight to another spawn point.
The challenge of creating a level with 12 well balanced spawns had me thinking about symmetrical shapes. Inspired by the Roman Colosseum, I decided to create a circular arena using large columns and ramps as cover. The layout allowed for constant flow of combat and provided a central interest point with four access points and four key areas along the outside to counter players who over used it. Walls and ramps were spread strategically to force players out of their section in search of other combatants in the ideal circular motion.
Due to the inability to thoroughly test the stealth mechanics, this map was never combat tested, but would have certainly benefited from the feedback.
I decided to continue my inspiration for circular arenas in an adaptation of a Nuclear generator. This level contained a diversity of intriguing spaces for players to stalk one another. There are three floors, each connected symmetrically to allow for balanced combat and flow through the entire level. I enjoyed designing the long hallways where players might meet face to face and depending on the character, not know there is someone else there until they collide. The center provided a middle ground to access the top and bottom floors as well as a place to hunker down, though they could be flanked from the ramps of the 3rd floor.
This map as well required more feedback and play testing before it could be polished.
Maintaining the theme of symmetrical battle arenas, I decided to use more abstract shapes in building Origami. The center was again used as the focal point for combat, however there are 4 ramps surrounding the center with tactical advantage. These sniper nests were meant to be used to use the tactical advantage, but In Plain Sight was designed to expose the player once they fired their weapon, and firing from the nests would easily make you visible to the rest of the map. Each tactical location had its benefits and detriments in order to maintain balance throughout the map and the 18 spawns.
Before graduating from Full Sail I was given the task of completing a capstone project, essentially a thesis to be completed within a smaller time period. My interest in level design led me to analyze the most highly regarded multiplayer level designs and break down the elements used in their design process that made them engaging.
My research pointed at 9 different elements that re-appeared throughout several sources, and indicated their importance in the design process. These elements are: Tactical Locations, Flow, Accesibility, Variety, Balance, Size, Symmetry/ Asymmetry, Fun and Playtesting. For more info, click the above image to view the project.
This arcade game relies on 2D level design that allows for fast vertical movement through the use of wall jumps and clear drops. Thematically, the game takes place in a city, more specifically, a span of three skyscrapers that range from 25 to 27 floors. The player must quickly and seamlessly move between these buildings to hand in Résumés before the timer expires.
Creating these levels required substantial testing and experimentation to successfully allow for fast paced gameplay. The most interesting parts include obstacle placement, Office desk placement as checkpoints, and shortcuts for mastery.
This level, aptly named Frozen Ruins, was built using place holder assets from Infinity Blade for a 3 v 3 third-person magic arena game called Deicide. Though the assets themselves are placeholders, they closely resemble the aesthetic of the games' design. For this reason, we chose to use finished placeholder assets over box prototyping.
Frozen Ruins features two asymmetric points of elevation that offer visibility of the map, as well as fast access across the level and towards the heat of battle. The game focuses on a mix of ranged and melee combat, therefore the level provides varying elevations, ample cover, escape routes, and flank routes to vary the combat and create unique encounters.
Drafts to Frozen Ruins are pending further player feedback.