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Mantra - Death Laser

Level Designer - Scripter

TASK

I was assigned to Design and Blockout the final part of the Death Laser level (level 2). This segment consists of mostly combat spaces as well as environment puzzles that will require the player to be creative and clever.
 

PRE-PRODUCTION

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DOCUMENTATION

Since I was the one in charge of the entire Level Design it was important for me to share my vision to the team. To do so I started by making a LDD (Level Design Document) where I noted all the key points I wanted to add and drew the design I had in mind on paper.

Doing this allowed my team to have a clear vision of the Level Design before I even started working on my Blockout.

LEVEL WALKTHROUGH

INTRODUCTION TO THE LEVEL

MOVE INTO THE COMPOUND

INFILTRATE THE INTEL BUILDING

SNEAK INSIDE THE BUNKER

ESCAPE THE COMPOUND

INFILTRATE THE CAVE

MAKE WAY THROUGH THE CARGO DEPOT

FIND AND PICK UP INTEL

LOCATE AND EXECUTE THE HVT

LEVEL FLOW

I wanted to experience to start slow allowing the player to scan the area and come up with a plan of action. As they progress into the level they will face more enemies forcing them to improvise new strategies and increasing the intensity. Finally once the HVT is found an alarm will trigger sending waves of enemies at the player peaking the intensity thus accentuating the rush of adrenaline at the end.

LEVEL DESIGN TECHNIQUES

AFFORDANCE

I wanted to add verticality to my level to give more freedom to the player, but I quickly came to realization that it wasn't always clear where you could climb up.

To fix this I added Affordance using lights or a brighter color to help the player understand where he could climb or jump which undeniably improved the flow.

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DRAWING THE ATTENTION

By having helicopters drop off guards or simply flying over the compound, it delivered the idea that this location is very important and secured while also bringing attention to key areas.

To achieve this I used Sequencers that I could very easily link to scripted events or overlap triggers.

PROBLEM SOLVING

A great way to make the player feel clever and in control
is to use Problem Solving. Forcing the player to look around and think outside the box.

In this specific case I blocked the obvious path with a guard that would be too risky to takedown, the player is then compelled to find another way around which is soon revealed around the corner.

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FUNNEL BEFORE REVEAL

To enhance the player's immersion when entering the compound I made sure to perfectly frame the landmark and also added a helicopter flyover behind.

To make sure they would see what I intended, I used
 rocks to narrow the path until I made a Funnel which would bring the player exactly at the desired location.

SCRIPTED EVENTS

CUSTOM BLUEPRINTS

To accelerate the development I created custom blueprints using public variables. This allowed my team and I to quickly add or modify the blueprints in the level such as doors, inventory items, notes/clues and even some scripted events without having to open the blueprint and lose a lot of time.

BEAUTY SHOTS AND CLOSING THOUGHTS

This was one of my favorite cooperative project so far since it was all very new and challenging for me, I learned so much especially regarding Scripting since I spent most of my time making scripted events and custom puzzles.

I've encountered many difficulties when trying to create custom scripts for this project but each ones thought me so much, every trial and error I've had to do definitely allowed me to learn a lot.

Thank you for reading.

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