Since my last blog post, I have focused on editing and polishing the levels. We had one week off, but other than that one week, I've been working to get these levels not only on the right track for the end of the semester, but also on the right track to be level for PAX.
We decided that we are bringing two levels to PAX, and so I am particularly focuses on level one and two.
To start things off, I decided to do a bit of an overhaul on the corruption in both level 1 and 2.
First up is the corruption bridge below, which now has it's only distinct mesh to differentiate it from the rest and make it look more like a bridge. I took a few assets the artist made for the surface of the bridge and put pieces together to make this.
I then decided to work on a room that was still fairly empty, and fill it up and make it its own area. I wanted to keep it fairly simple since it is a fairly small room, and I thought a lounge with large TVs, like a karaoke lounge, would be an interesting addition to this area.
I also tuned down how much corruption there was in the level overall. Since corruption will be constantly growing throughout the player's time in the level, I wanted to ensure that the corruption didn't cover too much in this early level, since it's supposed to still be the early stages of the corruption taking hold in this level.
After that, I then made the game quite a bit easier. I hadn't gotten around to tuning the levels too much, as QA results have been a bit shaky due to a bug in our game that has been happening where the game drops to very few frames per second, making it very difficult for the players to play. Even so, though, I wanted to make sure that people at PAX could play both levels, and so I figured that making the game a bit more on the easier side would benefit showing off what we have done. I did this by cutting the nests' health in half, lowering the cap of number of enemies they could spawn, and made them spawn a bit slower.
After getting the levels ready for PAX, I started working on Level 3. This was so that I could ensure I still kept on track of what was needed to be done by Beta, which is the finalized (though not necessarily perfectly balanced) iterations of level 3 and 4.
And so, I started with creating different areas in level 3 that all have a different prominent color to make them even more distinct.
This is the first 2-floor dining lounge on the right of where the player starts. The main focus of this area was that it could see over the stage, however it should feel like it's own private lounge. And so, I kept the area distinctly separate by having it on a different elevation from the lounge on the right of it. The bottom floor is on the same elevation as the area on the bottom left to allow the player to easily move from area to area in more ways than just the stairs and bridges. And so, to keep it more separate and private, I also added the glass pane.
I then also created a small lounge (right) and a small bar (left). In terms of realism, it would make sense for an area with drastically different elevations to have multiple bars so people wouldn't have to travel too far to get their alcohol in a night club. And so, I added this bar between the private dining lounge and another side lounge. I wanted the two lounges to be a bit different, giving people options where they would prefer to take their drink after getting it if they didn't want to stay in front of the bar.
In terms of level design, the side lounge is meant to be mostly a transition area to the top floor from this side of the level. It's a way to get up, however it's not meant to be an area the player would remain in for a particularly long time. And so, it's fairly small, creating a small choke point for the player when they are trying to get up, however it's still large enough for the player to get around enemies if enemies are in their way without having to jump off.
The bar looks over the stage and the player can jump from the top platform to the stage, adding to more fluent movement throughout the level.
I then created a lounge in the back as well. I wanted there to be a nest back here to force the player to move around the entire area, and added a glass pane in front of it so they couldn't take it out from a long range without going to that area. The glass specifically makes it easy to notice the nest as well, drawing the player to the area.
Lastly, I created this small bar on the bottom floor. I wanted it to have its own distinct area, because of how important a bar is to a dance club. But, I didn't want to pull away from the focus of the dance floor in the level, so I kept it a bit smaller. It's visible from most areas in the level, however never the focus of any view in the area.
We're gearing up and about ready to head to PAX, and we're on schedule to having what we need done by Beta completed.