Relatively Painless Games - Week 8: Level Design!

This past week, we all treated this week like the week that would make or break our game. We needed to make substantial progress towards the right direction to direct our game towards where we need it to be for Mid Mortem. I jumped straight into Level Design.


When creating my levels, there were a few very important things I had on my mind. First and foremost, I wanted to ensure that the play space could effectively portray the mechanics and impact the gameplay. Second of all, we want our game to have an environmental storytelling focus, and so I wanted to create an interesting enough environment that would portray our direction we are taking in regards to this moving forward.


For a quick refresher, our game for this vertical slice will have 6 different unique attributes that each monster can have. I designed this level around each of the 6 different attributes. My idea for this was that each of the monsters with a single attribute was native to one of these zones. For example, the ice monster would belong to the glacier zone and the fire monster would belong to the volcano zone. I then designed each of these play spaces with different gameplay challenges and landscapes to create a different experience between each of the different zones. I then went back to the Asset List to add anything further I believed needed to be added to the environment to make it all feel more believable.


The 6 zones were as follows:

Flying Attribute - Steppe Plateau Zone

Armored Attribute - Temperate Rainforest Zone

Ice Attribute - Glacier Zone

Fire Attribute - Volcano Zone

Chargebite Attack Attribute - Savanna Zone

Spitfire Attack Attribute - Desert Zone


One thing I did not account for is how much different Unreal's Landscaping would be from Unity's Terrain. I loved Unreal's Landscaping, but it definitely took a lot more time that I originally expected. Even so though, I was really happy with the result, and I feel that I made each of the 6 different zones truly unique and interesting in their own rights.


When looking at the progress made by everybody else this week, I'm definitely impressed. I see a lot of good work was done this week, and I'm fairly confident that we can push forward to get to the point that it needs to be at.


However, I still do have concerns.


I think the success of this game going through Mid Mortem hinges on two things in particular: The player choice and control involving the fusion of the monsters and the combat. Combat is how the player actually interacts with the game mechanics and the player choice is the unique spin this game puts on the Hack-and-Slash genre.


Right now, we have no testing to show that the fusion is good and intuitive and we still do not have combat in the game. We now have the fusion in the game, but we still need to mess with it so that it's where we want it to be.


All in all, we still have a lot of work to do. I'm scared, but we've definitely been making progress.

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