So, this is my second post following my level design walkthrough. In the previous post I talked about my level design process, the thinking behind the design, and the progression from paper to playable.
Since then, I’ve added a few more levels to the game, some of them work, others not so much
In this blog I’ll be talking about one of the smaller levels created for Fragmental.
What’s a smaller level you ask? Well let me show you.
Fragmental is made up of a mix of Small, Medium and Large levels, which are then further categorised into Safe, Risky, and FragMENTAL. This is pretty much how we approach building each level. We’ve got a checklist with a set number of each type we want to have when we launch. We grab a template (basically a square panel showing the min to max scale the level should be) and get to work.
Some players prefer the small levels over the larger ones, while others like a mix. The plan is to have three preset level lists that follow the Safe, Risky and Fragmental approach and each of these will have a mix of Small, Medium and Large levels, but better still you will be able to edit and create your own level playlists, adding only the levels, weapons and modifiers you want to play with. These new presets can then get saved and used whenever you want.
The image above gives you an idea of the scale of these levels. White = Small, dark grey = Medium and light grey = Large. The coloured rectangles represent each player character. And below the in game comparison…
Small Level: Small Chunk
Medium Level: LOP
Large Level: Interlock
So, as you can see you don’t have a lot of room when it comes to a designing a “Small” level. Trying to fit 4 Players, multiple Weapons and Modifiers into such a small space is no easy task, plus it needs to be balanced for each player, oh and fun… yeah no pressure!
Think damn it… think.
So what’s the idea for this one Mr. Level designer?
Well the idea is simple. Players start on one side of the level – possibly unarmed – then they have to run to the opposite end of the level and grab a weapon. Unfortunately the other three players start right next to you (only separated by a door) and they want a weapon at the opposite end too, they might even want to grab the same weapon you had your eye on. Guess you’ll have to fight for it!
And that’s it, I created the level based on this idea with a slight twist on the player and weapon spawn positions. It’s a great laugh charging forward to grab your weapon all the while avoiding the other three players all attempting the same thing. You end up needing to make the decision of going in early, and sprinting to try to grab the weapon, turn around and shoot the guy right on your heels; or hang back and try to catch them with a melee strike just as they pick up the weapon – which will stun them and make them drop the weapon – then you grab their weapon and shoot them with it; or you simply punch them in the back of the head on the run to stun them and give you the chance to get to the weapon first, then you realise there’s another 2 players also on the move trying to do the same thing, or… Even a little map like this throws up a lot of options for tactics, and you only get a heartbeat to actually make your mind up. That’s what we love about this game.
Anyway, here’s what the Level looks like.
I’ve named it Claustrophobic Corridors (I’m a massive Donkey Kong Country fan so I took the Rare approach when naming this one. The thing is, it doesn’t even look like a corridor… oh well). It plays exactly how I imagined, becoming one of the many “FragMENTAL” levels currently in game, which are definitely our favourites when playtesting the game.
Blog Post #2…Done!