This upcoming Wednesday, we have our Alpha due. Therefore, I wanted to get every level in so that the team has a good idea about what the levels will look like and play like.
So to start things off, I quickly finished the last few areas I wanted for Level 3 that had not been done the previous week. I wanted to ensure that there wasn't just 1 path to an area, so that the player had multiple ways to access any area. This would make the area easy to traverse and feel less like a linear path and more like an open space for the player to traverse however they please.
Because of the focus on elevation I have present in the level, I added some more platforms on different levels to add to more differences in elevation.
One thing that's important to note is that the enemy being introduced in this level is a small flying enemy that can cast a shield down in front of other enemies that phases in and out on beat. Allowing the player to close the distance between the themself and the enemy will help them deal with enemies that have a shield over them easier due to it being easier to hit the smaller enemy and easier to go around the enemies that are being shielded.
I wanted to also fill in the spaces a bit more and make the perimeter of the map more. I kept this area a bit more simple to help break up the areas a bit more and make each of them feel more unique.
While doing all these edits, I did want to ensure that the entrance to the level stayed captivating. And so, I moved things around to ensure that this view remained similar to how it was before.
Largely, this is just a pretty general blockout using the provided assets. I still need to add things such as the nests, environmental props, some light sources, and other details.
Next came level 4. At first, I struggled on what to do to also make it feel unique. And so, I started looking up different images for reference, trying to find something to base the design of this level generally off of. Then, I found a picture that was quite simply a hanging light that just looked like a smaller circle inside a larger circle. And that's where I got this idea from.
I decided to make this area sort of like a box inside of another box. Having a slightly more boxy environment fits for this later level because it would make sense for the context of our game. Corruption is more box-like and less organic in nature. And so, having a bit of a middle-ground level that has some organic features and some boxy features would be a good transition between the prior 3 levels and the boss.
So to start off with the whole "box inside of a box" concept, I created a top and a bottom. One problem with my original idea is that it could make the player feel too enclosed, and so I decided to try out making a glass floor and ceiling for this first floor to make it feel a lot more open.
I then created the sides of the box, which I decided to make small walls that mostly functioned to break up the space and separate this inner area from another outer area.
I also created more above and below the initial starting area as well. The outer areas is where there will be more organic areas, featuring things such as curved walls and stairs, to still make the area not completely boxy.
Lastly, I quickly threw together a level 5 layout with what time I had. For the moment, it's a hallway with side balconies that lead to a large door that is an octagon-shaped boss room. This also gave one of the programmers a space to start testing out the boss.
There are definitely edits to come with this, because all this is a very general layout.
And so, I have created the 5 levels we need for this game. From here on out, my focus will be on finishing last details, then just going straight into constant iteration based on QA results. The levels are still not balanced particularly well, and I need to ensure that the progression from level to level is stable.