A third-person game where humans are forced to live underground as the surface has been overrun by flesh-craving zombies.
As this project is purely a level design project and not a full game, I started by asking myself "what type of game will this level be for?". My goal is to tailor this level to suit the type of gameplay so that I can create moments that can allow the player to make use of the game's mechanics to bring out interesting gameplay.
After much consideration, I decided to build the level base on a third-person shooter-style game that draws heavy inspiration from games like Resident Evil and Metro Last Light. Next, I made the decision to create the starting levels to establish the world that the player will be journeying through. This is a great opportunity for me to use using emergent aspects to tell a story through the environment.
As my aim is to tell a story through the environment, the next important step is to come up with the story itself. A situation where the player would end up in after the starting cutscenes.
After a few attempts at the story, I have decided to go with a zombie-filled world where the only safe way to travel around is via the slums like sewage systems but most of these sewage systems have been broken into different territories ruled by outlaws.
Creating meaning behind each level
When building the level, I sectioned out each different level to try and get the player to feel different emotions as they pass through each of them. One of the emotions that I wanted was the feeling of uneasiness. One of the methods that I use is to have the player start out with NPCs around and force them to leave the safety that the NPC area gives into a tight and claustrophobic area. Thereafter, I immediately introduce a threat that could cause harm to the player and continue leaving the player to wander around the levels all alone.
When designing this level, I mainly used a combination of lighting and leading lines when it comes to player guidance. With lighting, not only does it help create the mood which I want the player to feel, it can help indicate to them where they have to move on to next. In addition, it can also give the player a heads up on what to expect ahead.
As the level progresses, I intentionally started the environment using colors like blue, yellow, and greens to achieve the sense of coldness, sickness, and claustrophobia before slowly transiting to warmer lights as the player reaches the next safe zone.
Based on the narrative that I have created, I made sure that there is a gradual change in the environmental assets as the player progresses from a more modernized setting to a slum setting. As things involve zombies, I placed myself within the world and look at what I would do if I was in such a situation
To make a believable world, I placed myself within the world and look at what I would do if I was in a situation where zombies have taken over the world. Through this, I made places that have multiple man-made barricades that create different layers of safe zones.
Additionally, to make the level more interesting, I made different mini-scenarios that happen within the level which can tell stories about certain characters. It can also be used for interactions and quest acquisition.
It is the year 2050 and the surface world has been ravaged by flesh-craving zombies. Embark on a journey as a [sweeper], a group of special forces that is the final resistance of the human race in a bit to protect what is left of the old world. From rescue missions to extermination requests, there will never be a dull moment as you venture through the zombie-riddled surface world.
This level is made using Unreal's free asset pack, different assets are meshed together to create the look that I am trying to achieve.
: 13 Weeks
Roles & Contribution