This week’s update is probably a bit boring because it doesn’t have a lot of new images or animations to share. I designed the first full iteration of floor 01 in the game, including the basic tutorial, a couple of game zones, a special bonus set of levels and a boss fight. Also the custom level editor has more features to help create rooms faster.
I read several articles and YouTube videos about designing interesting levels for games and one of the best ones I found was this article: A Beginner’s Guide to Designing Video Game Levels by Mike Stout which discusses about five easy-to-understand steps that can be applied to design game levels. I used some of these ideas to create the first level of the game, made few iterations and drafted a full version of it.
As a first step, I listed up all the mechanics that were going to be part of this floor, including simple basic rules such as just moving or jumping, different types of hazards and items, including locked doors, keys, switches and collectables.
The whole floor was divided in four different big parts: basic mechanics, 2 areas to reinforce the basic mechanics (reinforcement 1 and 2) and a bonus area with a special rules. In the middle of the floor, there is a door to the first boss room, which connects to the next floor and that can be opened after collecting a couple of keys from the two big areas. The bonus area is optional and players will get an extra reward if they complete it.
This is just the first version of this level, after fully implementing it and putting it out there for people to try, the plan is to get feedback and improve until completion.
In order to speed up level creation, I added few tools to the current editor in Unity to visualize, add, remove, link and organize rooms in the game. With these new features, it’s possible to quickly see how rooms are connected to each other, their status, how many doors they have and they type the belong to (regular room, bonus, boss, etc).
There are also few more features (currently in development) that help create waves for each level. You see in the following image a grid with all the possible positions for each platform, which also helps compare with the rest of the objects.
There soon will be a way to see hazards on the screen and how they interact with the player throughout waves in the game.
Having a full initial idea level design for the first floor of the game and new tools to implement it will help tremendously when testing and iterating. I expect to keep adding more stuff in the upcoming weeks.