DATUM

FIRST - PERSON PUZZLE

  • Focus: Level design and flow

  • Game: First-person

  • Concept: Fun puzzles with one type of script to whitebox

  • ​To whitebox

  • Tools: Unreal Engine 4, Maya

  • Time: 5 weeks (part-time)

SUMMARY

  • I used inspiration from The Unfinished Swan and picked the player metrics and features of that game design.

  • ​I began with paper design.

  • The water became my core concept of the game.

PRE-PRODUCTION

REFERENCE

Namnlös_teckning_(1).jpg

Overview made in Krita

OVERVIEW

OVERVIEW PROGRESSION

LEVEL DESIGN -
WORKING PROGRESS

  • Started out by building a blockout, getting a sense of space and scale.
     

  • Early on I created the first blueprints and performed playtesting. 
     

  • I started playtesting with colleagues and adjusted the level after feedback.
     

  • With water as the main theme, I explored the different ways the water could be used as an element to create the puzzles.

  • I had a plan for a second island, as a three-act-structure, but it had to go due to the time constraints and a large-scale map.
     

  • When I was satisfied with the flow and the feeling, I replaced the BSPs with meshes creating simple building blocks in Maya.  I updated these building blocks during the process.

FIRST ITERATION -
BLOCKOUT TO WHITEBOX

  • In the beginning, I used a longer, more rich intro to the level by displaying a lot of obvious triggers to teach the player the gameplay. After some playtesting, I realized that a long introduction to the mechanics wasn´t necessary; the player understood the fundamental gameplay right away by shooting at a trigger connected to a platform. This made the introduction more integrated to the level.

  • Throughout the playtesting, I came up with a flow and good pacing in the puzzles. A challenge was to make unique puzzles while using the same mechanics.
     

  • A way to escalate the puzzles further would have been to add time constraints for the player.
     

  • It was during the playtests that I developed most of my puzzle ideas.

GAMEPLAY - PUZZLE

  • I used the water as a leading line.  But I also used the water to become a part of the problem-solving.
     

  • Later on, during early beta, I moved the tower to the center of the level to be the focal point leading the player to the end destination.

LANDMARKS

INTRODUCTION - LEVEL

PLAYTHROUGH

I really liked working with a limitation, creating one level with only one type of mechanic. In this process, I had to be really creative with what I had.
 

The challenge was how to make the puzzles unique. The water became my source of creativity, which I was using to develop the level. With these kinds of puzzles, I wanted to give the player a varied experience and different types of puzzles to solve.
 

I think that some of the puzzles in the level still are too similar. With more time I would have made the puzzles even more varied. One way to add more variation would have been to add time as an extra element. This would have made the puzzles escalate and made them more challenging. A feature like this would have been necessary to introduce if the level was longer.

With more time I would also have put more work into the environment. 

Despite this, I'm happy with the result. I have found several ways to elaborate on the specific metrics that I outlined early on. Because of this limitation I worked more creatively.

CLOSING THOUGHTS