Thursday, 26 January 2012

Meaning to get to the story post, I have a rough idea just need to get it down into blog form. 

This, is my current Level Design progress.

Only rough sketches and ideas so far, but my initial idea is to start the level off in a sort of market district type area. This will have implications for story reasons, but from a gameplay point of view this will be a slow intro to the level.

The player will be tasked with walking through the alleys to reach the black market zone inside an old factory (I'm sort of using the library across the way from Futureworks as inspiration, in its circular shape).

In this area, the player will have to find a specific contact character. There will be a few things to interact with in this area however mainly this intro sets the scene for coming events.

Once the player finds the contact, they are lead into the court yard rectangle area to the right of the image. Here an exchange of information will take place before the meeting is interrupted by my worlds answer to a police force.

Those involved split up and scatter different directions, the player must run down the court yard (following the NPC contact) before being ushered into the alley way on the left (players right). Running straight down the alley the level begins for real and starts the platforming element of the game.

The rest of the level will take place on the roof tops of the residential zone but first the player must reach the height. Ascending the alley will be a fast paced platforming challenge, an example is above although the final thing will be longer and better thought out.

Things will break and collapse as the player moves across the environment, meaning quick thinking and agility is key. Additionally the chasing police force will attempt to the stop the player and must be avoided at all costs. 

This is not a level where fighting is key.

Building tops will be heavily industrialized, with moving parts that mimic pistons and cogs. This all goes into the movement system that the city runs through and will hopefully make for some interesting dynamic environments. 

The main feature here of the drawing is the moving cog which the player can clamber to and ride round in its circular motion. 

Once on the rooftops, the player will have various challenges to overcome. Finding the correct path through the environment is key to emphasize the haste and pressure of the level, however still keeping the open world feel the city must give. 

Ill need to be more thought out with my level design and come up with ways I can subtly guide and navigate the player through the world, without obvious checkpoints or arrows. 

For now, this is my current design-ish. Not the entire level, just an example of how it could look and some of the challenges found within.

The building at the back of the level plan (stamped with the word steam to make it stand out on the images, it will be something story related when I think of it) ((Unless its like, past future Valve or something)).

This building (whilst not necessarily looking as such) will be the levels ending and main set piece moment. perhaps larger in height, the player must ascend the building to its peak, using bits of machinery, pipes and eventually cogs to clamber onto. 

Whilst climbing, enemies will present challenges forcing the player to move or wait at key locations.

The building its self I want to be large and contain some form of lettering. This idea lends itself to the "focal point" of the level, a natural zone in which the player is casually lured too through subtly.

Once at the peak of the STEAM tower, the player, left with no other options, will be surrounded by flying troops. (Ill get to that) 

Very Mirrors Edge inspired (Ill also get to that) the player must run and tackle a specific guard, sending the pair spinning out of control and landing painfully on an adjacent building further down. In the confusion the player is able to regain his composure and burst through a fire escape type door, successfully hiding from the pursuers and ending the level.


Above is the whole building section of the level shown via top down perspective; complete with arrows, numbers and notes.

Again, I will stress this is only a draft of my level and just includes some of the aspects and mechanics I wanted to include. The final thing will probably be totally different although lend heavily from my initial thoughts.

I'm dead set on the beginning and ending to happen as they do, its just making the middle section fun next.

Just a quick side note about flying guards.

I wanted the enemies / thought police to be able to intercept the player whilst traversing the heights of my game; which sees a given. This being said, I didnt want too have parkouring guards similar to Assassins Creed and wanted a method so that enemies could ambush the player and appear from around corners or from out of view.

This sort of, hand helicopter thing, was my first idea, which Ben laughed at.

Like, vocally chuckled.

Which made me slightly dubious, but never the less I kept it in. Expect this to change, as much as I like it, just my current thoughts.

Hand held helicopters; Handi-copters.

You heard it here first.


Secondly, I wanted to include some research / inspiration I had from this level, since it is relevant. 

I wont make this drag.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

The opening section to this game is amazing. I loved climbing on the ship whilst it exploded and want to mimic the same action and adrenaline people felt when playing enslaved for the first time.  

Mirrors Edge

Such a massive influence and has been one of my favorite games since it came out. The chase aspects in these games were intense and unforgettable to me. Anyone who has played the game will see the similarities between my level and this whole freaking game.

Also, perfect reference for research into pacing; specifically for my level.

Minority Report

You`re seeing it all come together now, right? Flying cops? You know it.

I love this chase scene. It blends together perfectly the city and the character. Tom Cruise has to use everything at his disposal to escape his captors and he does this through clever use of his surroundings.


I hope the research I presented shows the spirit I want to inject into my level (and indeed my game). 

That of one long chase scene.

Ill post some more tomorrow, I might even get to the story post, but for now this is all.

Sweet, success.

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