in which I did
Game/Level design, pitching
▸ Designed and balanced 15+ in-game upgrades
▸ Worked on functions and balance of behaviour and stats for all in-game enemies
▸ Contributed with a level design concept that changed the project for the better
▸ Created design documents for clear communication of game systems and mechanics
▸ Assisted in the design of 15+ level patterns for the game's randomisation system
▸ Conceptualised the overall level design structure
▸ Pitched and presented the game several times in front of industry experts
Made in Unity for Android
As part of DADIU, as a student, you have to work together with students from other schools to create games. My role was as a game and level designer - a role that I shared with two others on my team.
We made three games in total as part of the DADIU semester. Primal Arena was the last of them and the only one that got released publicly. I learned how to work on a team with developers with different skill sets, and the difficulties that can arise from communicating across different qualifications. As part of the semester, we also had to pitch our game weekly to people from the industry, and we got unique workshops with experts based on our individual roles. Because of my role as a game and level designer, I got to attend a workshop in rational game design at a professional level.
I learned about the close work you do with programmers as a game designer, and how to communicate clearly about different tools that I, as a designer, would needed to be incorporated. I learned to work with QA experts and to analyse playtest results and using them actively to improve the game. Furthermore, I got the opportunity to train my pitching skills and present game concepts and ideas to industry experts.
The Gauntlet Level Principle
When designing the levels for Primal Arena, we had settled upon a generation system, which would randomly place pre-designed level patterns across the arena, in a hexagon layout. The player would spawn in the middle of the arena, and then they would have to defeat all enemies in each hexagon, in order for the exit to appear, which would also be in the middle.
This level layout had a couple of issues. When the enemies were stationary, the player would spend a lot of time going to a hexagon, then return to the middle, then onwards to the next hexagon, then back to the middle, and so forth. We tried to combat this by having the enemies automatically run towards the player, when the level was loaded. This made way for a lot more combat and action, but also made the design of the hexagon themselves somewhat redundant. It also meant that the player would easily get overwhelmed, and difficulty balancing would be more challenging.
The new design, which I came up with, and presented to the rest of the team, was called the "Gauntlet". By starting in the middle, and having all the hexagons walled off except one, the player would naturally start with one randomly chosen hexagon, and then going through the others, one by one, with the next one always in front of them. By making the enemy behaviour static again, this meant that the level pacing was also improved, as the player could catch a breath between each encounter, while still progressing at a better pace than in the first design.
Furthermore, by designing around a set path for the player, this enabled us to create much more advanced hexagon patterns, with traps and other obstacles to traverse, while also having to fight enemies. This made the gameplay a lot more dynamic.
The old design, with all the enemies storming to the middle at once, was implemented as specific Horde Levels, which would occur every 3rd level.
One-Page Design Documents
As part of the production, and as a way of communicating to the rest of the team, we designed one-page design documents to convey our design principles and different aspects of the game that we had decided on. Below is a small gallery of the ones I created during the production of Primal Arena.