Genre: 3D Platforming
Development time: 1 month with multiple projects
Team Size: Solo
Roles: Level Design
The project goal is to create one greybox level with engaged gameplay flow and a reasonable difficulty curve.
For any given mechanic(verb), teach the player about mechanics, test their comprehension, and challenge their skills.
Movable object (throw, push, pull)
Moving platforms (between set locations)
ii. My Plans
To build a dynamic experience, I craft the main path to be a linear progression with hidden paths and failure paths to keep players engaged at all times.
There will be three Acts of Teach, Test, and Challenge in this level with beats of every verb. Here is a general plan that I designed and followed for the next process: greyboxing in Unity (and of course, plans are always for the start, not for the finish).
The Beat Map for Gameplay
Bubble Diagram for Map and Lore Design
I find it enjoyable to imagine a backstory for everything I build, even during greyboxing. In this project, the protagonist is a seasoned journalist exploring an empty city of skyscrapers.
The Bubble Diagram serves as a guide to the general theme and flow for the next step: greyboxing.
iii. Greyboxing: Main Route < Golden Path >
Based on the Beat Map and Bubble map, I started doing greyboxing in Unity with basic geometries
Main Strategy for Main Route
Applying different textures to distinguish architectural elements such as buildings, stairs, hazards, platforms, etc;
Placing small shapes against large shapes to disrupt visual uniformity and provide player guidance;
Opting for a circular route instead of a straight path for linear progression to conceal surprises around the corners;
ii. Greyboxing: Hidden Path
Main Strategy for Hidden Path
Placing unique architecture or objects to draw the player's attention away from the main path;
Hiding valuable rewards discreetly to surprise and delight the player;
Creating a return path to the main route eliminates the need for players to traverse the same path multiple times.
iii. Greyboxing: Failure Path
Main Strategy for Failure Path
Placing it immediately after a challenging area to ensure players never get stuck on a single challenge;
Hiding rewards and gameplay surreptitiously to alleviate player guilt upon failure;
Ensuring that the path after failure is never more challenging than the initial challenge.