Game and level design process

In the original plan in the project proposal, I wanted to make 5 levels but due to time constraints I only have time to make two or three levels, but besides not much of the original plan has changed. The game is still going to have a day and night cycle, during the day the player has to choose where they are going to plant the seed bombs, and then during the night, they have to sneak around the police and try to not get caught.

After making the decision to change the game from 2D to 3D I had a meeting with James about the mechanics, and whether we should or not change it, James thought that the day and night cycle should stay the same, but some of the UI elements should be altered slightly e.g. the maps. In my prototype, there were two maps (a green map and a surveillance map) and these maps had different functions that the player can use.

The green map was to show which land had the most fertile grounds, dark the colour the more fertile those lands are going to be. The surveillance map is the map that shows which area has the most activity at night, this includes the police activity, the idea of this part of the game is to find the land that has good fertility and the least police surveillance. Also one of the UI elements was for the player to go to the shops and buy the seed bombs, James thinks I should keep the currency idea but tweak it slightly, where every time you complete a level you get a social currency from the community and you can use that social currency to buy more seed bombs for the next level.

Also, we talked about the enemies in the game and what should happen to the player if they get caught by the police. Would the mission fail and you have to start again? would the player social currency be decreased?

During the meeting, James also said that during the easter we should focus on the night levels because that wears the bulk of the gameplay is going to be, the day level maps are just going to have a map selection for the player to choose where to cultivate their plants.

For planning the level design I used Microsoft word so that I can keep track of the amount of work that I have.

To help me with the level design I use worldofleveldesign (2022), there they have a lot of resources that help game designers plan their levels. They talk about a lot of things that make a level but the most important elements to have when planning the level is the environment setting, location, Theme, objectives, obstacles, objectives, and assets.

The plan for level one:

Level One-Night: This is the first level during the night, this part of the level is going to show the player how to sneak around the police and grow the plants at each patch. Essentially the night level is going to show the mechanics and gameplay loop of the night part of the game.

Environment setting

  • Park
  • The ground is green
  • Patches in the ground to grow the plants
  • There are houses and shops in the background
  • There are trees around the level, and there are lights around the level to guide the player

Location

in the parks section of the village

Theme

  • The theme of this level is quite basic, which is to introduce the player to the gameplay of the game, which is: moving, sneaking, and growing.
  • The player is in the park to grow the plants so that they can feed their neighbours.
  • Before the game the player had to select what land they had picked via scouts, and this level is the land. That the player chosen.

Objectives

  • There are bridges in the game so that the player is able to connect the stages in the level.
  • The player has to plant the seeds

Obstacles

The police is situated around the level and if you get caught, you fail the game.

Assets

  • Character
  • Police
  • Water
  • Ground
  • Cloud
  • House
  • Shop
  • Mountain
  • Tree
  • Lighting
  • Bridge

Night Level One

Stage one

  • Player is introduced to move via practice e.g. moving across grounds and bridges
  • Player walks up to the bridge.

Stage two

  • Player is introduced to police via, cutscene
  • Player avoids police by sneaking
  • Player is introduced to garden cultivation
  • Player walks up to bridge.

Stage three

  • Player evades the police and grows plants
  • Level finished

Flow chart 

The player moves across the first bridge -> cutscene shows how to grow plants-> Player moves across the second bridge -> cutscene shows to how to sneak around the police ->  player moves across the final bridge -> mission clears

2 – 1st bridge:

The cutscene should have the layout of the level showing what the player needs to do. In this cutscene there should be text showing the player how to grow the plants

3 – 2nd bridge

The cutscene like the last one should have a layout of the level, this cutscene should have a text showing the player how to grow plants

Level two-Night:

This is the second level during the night, the second level is a progression of level one in terms of difficulty.

Environment setting

  • Village
  • There are houses and shops in the background
  • There are trees around the level, and there are lights around the level to guide the player

Location

in the parks section of the village

Theme

  • The theme is quite similar to the first level, but in this level, it isn’t an introduction to the mechanics, the level is much harder as there are four sections that the player has to complete.
  • The player is in the park to grow the plants so that they can feed their neighbours.
  • Before the game, the player had to select what land they had picked via scouts, and this level is the land. That is the player has chosen.

Objectives

  • There are bridges in the game so that the player is able to connect the stages in the level.
  • The player has to plant the seeds

Obstacles

The police is situated around the level and if you get caught, you fail the game.

Assets

  • Character
  • Police
  • Water
  • Ground
  • Cloud
  • House
  • Shop
  • Mountain
  • Tree
  • Lighting
  • Bridge

Level three-Night:

This is the third level during the night, the third level is a progression of level two in terms of difficulty.

Environment setting

  • Village
  • There are house and shops in the background
  • There are trees around the level, and there’s lights around the level to guide the player

Location

in the parks section of the village

Theme

  • The theme is quite similar to the first level, but in this level it isn’t an introduction to the mechanics, the level is much harder as there are four sections where the player has to complete.
  • The player is in the park to grow the plants so that they can feed there neighbours.
  • Before the game the player had to select what land they had to pick via scouts, and this level is the land. That the player chosen.

Objectives

  • There are bridges in the game so that the player is able to connect the stages in the level.
  • The player has to plant the seeds

Obstacles

The police is situated around the level and if you get caught, you fail the game.

Assets

  • Character
  • Police
  • Water
  • Ground
  • Cloud
  • House
  • Shop
  • Mountain
  • Tree
  • Lighting
  • Bridge

Flow chart 

Player grows plants -> Player moves across first bridge -> Player grows plants -> Player moves across second bridge -> Player grows plants -> player moves across third bridge -> Player grows plants -> 

SHOW THE SKETCHES

These are the sketches from level one

These are the sketches from level two

These are the sketches from level three

After sketching the layout of the level I then made greyscale assets,

After making the greyscale assets I then went on to make the final stage of the levels.

Although the assets seemed to have been implemented into unity I did run into some problems with the levels, especially level two. Level two has our planes that are connected to three bridges so that the player can walk across. But for some reason any time that baked it into the navmesh, it wouldn’t bake in for some reason. It will bake some parts of the bridge but the entire thing.

Also, something else that I realised was that the camera would move in front of the player, even though the camera should be at the back of the trailer, I noticed that the x and y axis was off for the player so I turned it around thinking that was the problem that had to be fixed but in reality that was not the case because the camera was still in front of the character, although this might seem like not a big deal, well, it kinda is. Because the bridge won’t bake into the nav mesh the player will not be able to move to the next stage of the level. And this problem seems to have only happened in Level two and not on any other levels. Because of the amount of time that I left, I think it will be a good idea to not build level two, and just leave it until the arcade

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