In the pursuit of improving my Level Design abilities in Unreal I’ve started taking courses at World of Level Design. After running through the fundamentals this was the result of the first follow along BSP exercise:
Lately I’ve been itching to practice my level design skills. I’ve found such an opportunity with Total War Warhammer 2 where Creative Assembly has made their battle map editor Terry available for public use.
Therefore to practice my level design skills I’ve decided to take my love of Total War, my design skills, and support from the existing map making community to try my hand at creating maps for Warhammer 2.
First I tried some paper mapping for an existing Warhammer map called Atldorf.
Next I thought it would be good to remake a map. The map I chose to copy was a tutorial map from the map community. My intent was to make a bare bones version so I can focus on practicing using the tool. I began with studying the tutorial map.
For me the development process was loosely:
First pass at terrain, textures, and water.
Setup of deployment zones & playable area.
Second pass at terrain and textures (more detail work).
Rinse and repeat steps 4-5.
Some In-Editor Shots
Some In-game Shots
Next I plan to practice creating a map, this time with an imported height map!
We encounter a door that can be opened with a shiv. This in my mind established an accordance that doors that looked like this could be opened.
Later on we may encounter another door that looks like that same shiv door from before, but this one doesn’t open (affordance confusion)!
3 – Drawing Attention to Areas of Interest
Like the contrast on the left side, draws my eye to the area where the safe is located.
Sign as well as red car.
Like the depth on the right side, draws my eye.
Depth and blue police car.
4 – Lock Before The Key
In this section the player finds a safer that requires a numerical combination to be opened.
Further down the street the player sees the glint of a note against a dark junk wall, and finds the combination to the safe written on the note. I have an issue with this!
The player does need to do backtracking which isn’t ideal, but it isn’t much, my issue relates to getting the combination. When the player gets the combination it would be an additional plus to underscore receiving this important information with a touch of VO that hinted the relationship between the safe and note e.g “hmm wasn’t there a safe back there?”.
In an effort to continue building on my 2D Layouts, and 3D blockouts skills I thought I’d try a short exercise of creating an area in a game that I am playing. The subject of this exercise was ground floor of the Briar Patch diner in Mafia 3.
2D Top Down
I began with a very rough to scale-ish 2D top down to get a general shape.
Next I began 3d work which involved taking in game pictures as reference from various, and areas of the ground floor. Using these ‘references’ I created approximate blockouts. The following is the results of this exercise.
Introduction: Over the summer of 2017 I interned at DICE LA, a studio of Electronic Arts. My time was spent working with DICE LA to ship the downloadable content In the Name of The Tsar for Battlefield 1.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 | Time: 12 weeks | Role: Game Designer | Team Size: ~90
Deliver high quality level content through iteration.
Develop my ability to analyze and critique level design in a professional environment.
Practice supporting the efforts and vision of senior designers on the team.
Bolstered Battlefield 1’sDLC content with map analysis. This took the form of:
Collecting, processing, and documenting Battlefield 1 level data for use by senior level designers.
Offering map feedback on flow, map features, cover, spawn placement, and play space volumes.
Used Frostbite’s visual scripting language to implement:
Content bug fixes from JIRA tickets.
Then iterate based on feedback of game modes such as Supply Drop, Team Death Match, War Pigeons, and Domination for multiple levels in the DLC pack.