This week, I’ve been working on finalizing the first level in our game. This was interesting because I got to work from the ground up, starting out with the basic design, getting started on environmental design, finishing it, designing the puzzles intended for the map and then finishing the details of it all.
So Level 1s design is based around a library. The reason for using a library was both that it was easy to design multiple encounters all in the same level and be able to create a memorable experience for the player. The reason a memorable first experience is important is because it will be what a new player will remember and keep the player interested in our game.
So to actually go into the design, the first encounter is as soon as the player enters the library. The player encounters a guard moving in a circular motion, which is very easy to read but still creates a challenge, due to him moving nearby the bookshelves. This makes the player more aware that the sound he/she makes goes through the walls.
This encounter is mostly there to actually give the player a heads up that the game is really starting up now.
After finishing the encounter with the circular patrol guard, the player is given two choices, to either take left, or continue upwards. If the player chooses to go to the left, they will encounter the second section; if they go upwards they will encounter the third section of the library.
The second section of the library is one of the harder parts of the library; it puts the player at risks from 2 guards at the same time, while requiring both timing and nerves to get through. This is due to the patrol paths of both the one guard inside the section and the last one that looks into the section from the third section.
The third section is composed of 2 paths, which entwine by the end of the library, the player who progressed through the second section have a much easier third part and the player that skipped it by going upwards need to go through several encounters with guards (about 3 depending on speed and timing). This gives the player different risks, and play times depending on which route that is chosen.
This gives the level much more replay ability and gives the player a chance to explore the level more than if there wouldn’t be several paths.
And with that I say Goodbye from a Van and a Game Designer!