Made in 2020 (1 week project)
Third person shooter
(4 players coop)
Created with Unreal Engine 4
Themes: Gunfight | Tactic | Stressful
Pitch: Elite soldier of a secret task force, your mission is to extract a renowned biomedical scientist who has been abducted by an armed group in what seems to be an abandoned monastery.
Level design project made in week, the players embody elite soldiers in a close future. Once the scientist who needs to be extracted is found, the alarm is given. Trapped inside the monastery, the players need to find a way out, as more and more enemies head towards their position.
Proper to the TPS genre, the constant pressure of the enemies creates stressful gunfights situations. To save themselves, the players need to work together before the place gets overwhelmed and play tactically to get out of here.
Using different level design ingredients, such as covers to crouch and stand, my level needed to support 2 different soft classes with the following playstyles:
- Assault (run and gun with a short/middle range rifle)
- Sharpshooter (Long range rifle)
Two types of enemies could be encountered:
- Soldier (enemy with a middle range rifle)
- Sniper (enemy with a long range rifle)
The players' objective is simple : leave the monastery.
Usually a silent place, a monastery as the playground for this level contrasts well with the gunfights and also provides an unusual setup for the action. The interior is quite narrow (which reinforces the feeling of being trapped) and favors the assault class, whereas climbing the balconies outside favors the sharpshooter one.
In the monastery, a multipath approach allows to complete the objective: the rooftop one, the cloister one and the underground one. Each path gives an advantage to one of the classes:
Being a more opened area, the rooftop path allows the sharpshooters to aim easily the enemies. As the monastery is in a hollow, some snipers on the flanks could cause problems to the assault players. The rooftop and the balconies also give a better defense for the players’ group as they have a good view on the upcoming enemies coming from the inferior levels. Once the players reach the final floor of the rooftop, a helicopter drops additional enemies to add pressure to the players.
The underground path is more of an assault one. Narrow corridors similar to trenches’ architecture prevent crossfire.
Finally, the cloister path is a more balanced path for both classes, as assault players can be in charge of the front, while sharpshooters help them from openings in upper floors.
What I've learned...
When designing a level, metrics help to have a better perception of the 3D space of the level. Defining them clearly at the beginning of a level production (player's line of sight, heights of covers, area of a gunfight...) helps to control the design of a level.
This level has a multiplayer cooperation aspect: therefore, I had to think of how every situation encountered by the players, could be handled by them while respecting the intended experience (the feeling of being trapped). Designing a level as this one is more complex and must require more diligent playtests to validate it.
The multipath approach gives benefits/disadvantages for each path and for each player's class.
Defining and using wisely level design ingredients (space density, number of enemies/covers...) is what creates the singularity of a path, which must be felt through the gameplay.