Cult Villian – Level Design Exercise

A level design exercise that includes a narrative element.

Setting: Located in the bustling heart of a metropolis, a church sits atop a hill with an adjoining graveyard. Tonight the church is abuzz with attendants as it is the cult’s former leaders funeral.

Initial 2D Sketches

Final 3D



  • The players mission is to investigate the new cult leader, and so has been provided a cult uniform. Given the setup, we would expect player to enter the gate ahead. 
    • Gate is lit.
    • Crowds block both side entrances.
  • Arriving at the gate the player is allowed access by the guards as they recognize the uniform.

Lower Graveyard

  • The player may immediately try to enter through the next gate, but cannot due to lacking necessary information about the cult. 
  • Fortunately a nearby cult member seems to be able to get the player in, but this requires the player to strike up a rapport with them.
    • The cult member’s behaviour should be anxious, evidently fearful of the new cult leader. It would seem that they have slighted the new leader in the past. 
    • The cult member should give a hint that the player  can gather information nearby.

Upper Graveyard

  • Cult knowledge is available from a number of sources. All sources incorporate an aspect of the new leaders personality.
    • Widow – Reveals a common habit of her husband, a former cult member.
    • Grave diggers – Reveals knowledge about the cult, they mention the frequency of having to dig graves since the new leader took power.
    • Gravestone – Motto of the cult written on a gravestone.
  • Presenting these pieces of information obtained from nearby, the player earns the trust of the cultist, who then escorts the player to the next area.
  • On proceeding to the next area the players weapons are taken by the guards who watch the gate.
  • In the next area the doors of the church are not yet open and so the player is instructed to mingle. This is a good opportunity to ask higher ranking members about the cults new leader.
    • Each group reveals a different aspect of the new leader.
    • There are whispers of how old leader died.
    • Brown Block Possible Reference:

The Church

  • The bell of the church rings signaling the beginning of the funeral ceremony. The doors of the church swing open, light pours out, and the crowd hears a hymn from inside the church. Cult members make their way into the church for the funeral. The player and the anxious cult member follow.
  • The player enters the church and views an altar well lit, and hears a full blast of hymn singing. Player enters the church takes a seat.
    • Lighting reference:
  • The player can join in the hymn, through choosing verses to sing. After a short while the hymn stops, and with an appropriate procession the main villain enters, and begins preaching. The player has met the villain.

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