Level Design A2

662763 Level design Assignment 2

This assignments goal was to showcase my level design skills in the format of a playable blockout of the level we designed. The game has an opening menu with a “quit” button that closes the executable and “play” that starts the main level, this was made using a widget and programed buttons that switch the player between my two levels. I have made it so you spawn into a small room that serves as my “tutorial island” as it tells you to move with WASD and there are notes on the table that explain the other blueprint mechanics of interacting and shooting. When the player spawns they are stood on a trigger box for the text and they pick up the “gun” actor that is invisible for shooting fireballs. The player can pick up the notes and when doing so it removes them from the table and if they walk away it makes them put the note down, this was done in its own blueprint using a base interact system that I made at the start. The other note is just a story building “dear diary” note that also sets the tone of the game as non-serious. The player can also get used to the shooting mechanic that spawns a lasting flame, I used the base projectile blueprint and changed the object fired to a fireball. After they are done testing the mechanics when walking towards the door, a text prompt shows above telling them to use the teleport pad to get to their destination. This helps guide the player and when they interact with the door it opens and there is a Funnel and Reveal of going from the small room to the large open landscape which builds excitement for the player as it makes it a much more impactful scene and memorable then if they could see the world from the start. The door interactability and text was done in the level blueprint using trigger boxes for the text as sensors. To make the world I used the landscape tool and editing brushes to make a realistic and sweeping landscape, this was an invaluable tool and allowed me to work quickly yet effectively and with the smoothing tool it took off many hard edges for that natural look.

Being on top of the mountain shows all of the areas the player will be able to go and this is an instance of Denial and Reward as they can see where they want to go but will need to progress in the level to be able to driving the player forward. I learnt about a lot of techniques from Tommy Nordberg’s blogs. It also puts the player at a vantage point that pushes the contrast of height in the level as you have such a sense of scale. I also added collision boxes that are invisible so the player cant jump off the cliff which is a small feature but is important. As the player looks out they can see three weenies which are the church and the two villages as these are the only man made objects and they are highlighted with added lights to further help guide the player to them. When the player turns they can see the teleport pad that has a particle effect made in the Niagara system and when they go through it takes them to the bottom of the mountain, this creates an affordance that purple particle pads will make you teleport. The teleport pad uses a trigger box that is blueprinted in the level blueprint to get player location then change it.

At the bottom of the mountain the player is guided with a path encapsulated in trees, made with the foliage brush, that takes them through a small walk with a dead end that has an easter egg at the end to reward player exploration. If they keep following the main path they will be able to approach the church that has minimal lighting on it besides the front door and the cross to further push these key features. You can walk around the church and find an area with three peaks that has no use yet but can be explored and the player will have to backtrack here later in the level, backtracking helps your level feel bigger then it is as you reuse areas with backtracking.

The player knows they can open doors and when they approach the church entrance they can enter and are presented with a contrast of heights inside the building, going from the hallway to the main room with the high up ceiling for the bell tower portion of the building that has lighting in the bell to make it stand out. There are church seats that match the players scale and can be jumped on, proving this point. Scale is important in games to keep even unrealistic games feeling natural. At the front of the church there is a bible that the player can pick up which is just a small detail but allows the player to interact with the level. This again uses the note blueprint previously used.

The backroom is dark but as the player walks through the lights turn on using a trigger box for a Scripted Event. They can see crates and items on shelves and will most likely set them on fire, completing their objective. After they leave through the back door the player will grow in size as will their fireballs and they are presented with text stating their next objective of spreading destruction then meeting back at the three points which the player has already seen for backtracking. You are presented with two paths to take that are non-straight and on non 90 degree angles which makes them seem natural as trees grow freely.

The player is more likely to go down the path closer to them and at the end there is a small hill they can climb up and there is a large important looking building due to its size and height variations and a tower with winding stairs and lights to guide the player. Once done with the first village they look around on top of the hill which shows all of the destruction they have caused for scale which is very effective. They can also see the other smaller village and there is a split path they can take towards it. After the quick walk to the fishing village, small hut-like buildings can be seen with little lights on top around an open lake. After the player is done setting the village on fire there is another path back to the church and they can go to the three points seen earlier.

In the center of the three points there is another teleport pad with the purple particles which the player has learnt if they walk through they will teleport, making an affordance. When you go through it takes the player to a new white floored world meant to be very heaven-like in colour, having a sharp contrast to the dark and foggy environment the player was in before. There is a large wall blocking the player from going back and are confronted with steep large stairs that is meant to feel very imposing and take a moment to walk up, the stairs also show another instance of height contrast and scale. Once at the top there is a large empty plane with clouds surrounding it, enclosing the player in. When they step forward an enemy spawns in and they can be set on fire. After walking by the burning enemy, text appears on screen that says “thank you for playing!” using a trigger box for both text and the enemy appearing. The player can then shut down the level as there is nothing more to do.

Video commentery:

I have also included a zipped build of the game in the comments of this submission, enjoy!

Asset list:

sketchfab.com. (n.d.). Cloud – Download Free 3D model by TechArtBGN. [online] Available at: https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/cloud-3a76eb255e3c4c0199bbfedb2b54342f [Accessed 18 December 2022].

Tommy Norberg. (n.d.). HOME. [online] Available at: https://www.tommynorberg.com/ [Accessed 10 December 2022].

Quixel Megascans. (n.d.). Quixel Dragon Tree. [online] Available at: https://quixel.com/megascans/home?category=3D%20plant&search=trees&assetId=wfypejzha [Accessed 11 December 2022].

Quixel Megascans. (n.d.). Quixel Elderberry. [online] Available at: https://quixel.com/megascans/home?category=3D%20plant&search=trees&assetId=wfzobb2ia [Accessed 11 December 2022].

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