Development Period: 2012
Workload: 120+ hours
Engine: Unreal Development Kit
Purpose: Student Project
One of my earlier level design projects, Worldbuilder is a deathmatch inspired by Magrathea from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with the core concept being two unlikely locations from the real world pushed side-by-side.
From the themes I had, I ended with an Italian square close to a dolmen structure, connected by an engineering walkway.
With the movement speed and weapons of UDK in mind, verticality was addressed as a means to create variation in play. The map was divided into three floors which each represent three difficulty levels.
The lowest floor (Cyan) is the easiest to traverse, with limited options to fall off the map and many means to get up to the second and third floor. The ground floor also features areas with the most cover and is the only area to include a complete ceiling to allow the player to focus on a horizontal battlefield. The player can find thigh and chest armor, but limited weaponry and ammunition.
The second floor (Yellow) was designed to form a small challenge, lines of sight are move open and ambushes can be performed from above and nearly all sides. The level contains small walls to prevent the player from falling into the void too easily, though the player can still be pushed onto the ground floor. The player is rewarded by fighting on the second floor with a rocket launcher, shock rifle, health and armor.
The top floor (Red) is jump-heavy, requiring the player to time double-jumps or take the slower and more open pathways. If the player runs the gauntlet across the center of the map, exposing himself from all sides, the player may obtain a damage upgrade. Completing the gauntlet also brings the player on a powerful route which passes the rocket launcher and chest armor, though this route can be cancelled by blowing the player off of the third floor and forces traversal of several hot-spots.
The map was constantly iterated upon to prevent dominant-strategy loops, to make gameplay fluent and to make each jump the best it can be.
The gallery shows three images coloured cyan, yellow and red, signifying bottom, first and top floor respectively.
Does not require UDK to play, includes the obstacle course map.
Requires UDK to play, includes the obstacle course map.
Excerpt and reflection on the design document. (PDF)
Tasks performed include: