Created For University Module Level Design and Scripting: An adventurous penguin gets separated from his family by an avalanche. He must traverse the harsh environment to find a way back to his family. cd
Tools Used: Unreal Engine 4, Maya
Objective: Reach the Penguin Colony
Gameplay: Traversal (Sliding, Parkour)
Estimated Duration: 5 minutes
Camera: First Person
Skills Used: Level Design, Game Design, Level and Gameplay Scripting, Level Blockout (Unreal Landscape Editor)
Level Layout and Game Mechanics:
The level was designed to serve as a Tutorial Level to an Original Game Concept: Penguin Game, featuring 3 main mechanics: Sliding, Jumping, and Picking Up Objects, so the main design goal was to successfully introduce the mechanics to the player and teach them how to use them.
Introducing the Mechanics:
1: Jumping is an Important mechanic in the level, so a ditch was placed in front of the starting point, which players must cross by learning to jump.
2: A fence blocks the players way, so they must learn to use the slide mechanic to break through.
3: A To reach the next section, players must move a box to create a way to jump up and out of the area. The box has been highlighted by the placement of a light.
5: To add some variety to jumping, water pools are introduced, which can be used to perform high jumps to reach high up places.
Annotated Map of the level:
4: By this point, players should be used to jumping, so oil is introduced as a hazard to be jumped over using the floating boxes.
6: Ice Sliding is re-introduced as a way of reaching far places using an ice ramp. At this point the player should have a good knowledge of the game mechanics.
Opening Cinematic and Landmark:
The purpose of the cinematic was to give context to the level, and show players the objective as well as the fact that they can reach it from the mountain.
The mountain from the cinematic is the main landmark, easily visible throughout the level, improving the player's sense of orientation:
When the player finally reaches the top
of the mountain, they are rewarded with
a clear view of the objective (Penguin Colony) which has been hidden since the opening
cinematic. They are also rewarded with a very fast but safe ice slope to slide down.
Originally this slope was going to have dangerous obstacles to dodge, but I decided to remove them as it would likely be frustrating to die at the very end of the level, and it would reduce the sense of triumph and success this part of the level is designed to convey.