Development Diary #10: Level Design!

Welcome back to another installation of development diary. Today we’re talking a bit about the level design and the reasoning, how and why around the levels in Tamarrion.

Level Design

Originally, the game was not supposed to feature “segwaying” between boss-locations in the level, neither were there any plans of creating trash monsters that roamed the halls and locations of Tamarrion. This utopian idea of the ultimate “raid instance” where there was no waiting between bosses did not bode well for the overall pacing of the game.

So, we expanded our levels, redesigned and did a complete rethinking of how our levels would look, feel and play. Since Tamarrion is all about mastering mechanics, the space between Boss A and Boss B provides ample room for mechanical improvement, and for us as designers to introduce new mechanics to the player. This gives the player a feel and understanding of upcoming mechanical situations, as well as room for improvement in both play-style and skill; as well as some breathing room between said bosses.

6_z_Hazards.png

Environmental/Mechanic Features between two bosses in Tamarrion (Credits: Måns Löf)

The picture above illustrates a hallway between two bosses in Tamarrion. There are several things to take into account when creating space in video games, especially when the game focuses heavily on a specific features – in our case Boss fights.

  • How do we introduce boss mechanics before the boss?
  • How do we generate proper pacing between two boss fights?
  • What kind of situational challenges can we create?
  • Does said challenges fit the physical room?

“Environmental Hazards”

One of the first things we introduced when we introduced larger space between bosses, was the idea of having, what we call, environmental hazards. That is, non-boss monster mechanical challenges (think platformer games) that fits the pacing of the physical 3D space.

In the example above, there are several different environmental hazards, that couples with others. Let’s have a look:

  • Zombies – A mindless zombie that pops out where you least expects you to. They’re placed in such a way as to obstruct view and distract you from other mechanics that might be lurking around a corner.
  • Fire Trap – Literal Fire spewing out of the wall in patterns.
  • Cave in – A mechanic from the upcoming boss – making the roof cave in and dropping stones all around the player.
  • Desecration – The hands of the dead rises from the ground, slowing the player down. Coupled with Zombies and Cave ins, they can become a serious issue.
  • “Ray of Death” – Another important mechanic from the upcoming boss, which creates a gauntlet event that the player has to overcome, whilst battling all other Environmental Hazards.

This is just one small area of the game; which hopefully will be enjoyable for the player to explore, defeat and overcome.

That’s it for todays Development Diary. Have a great week!

//Perkulatorn – Lead Designer

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