Level Design

A thread to discuss about the Level Design aspect, challenges + ideas regarding the MAP.

THIS IS NOT A 3D ENVIRONMENT THREAD.

We will not discuss about the look and aesthetics of assets here, but rather try to assemble the assets, codes, quest/dialogues etc that will be created into an OVERALL fun-ctional gameplay environment and make updates on what more might be needed to create a wonderful level! Even more, it could provide some modular/procedural solutions (like creating procedural roads) to make everyone’s life easier when making decisions and changes to reach the final outcome.

Level + game designers, architects, 3d + environmental artists, concept artists, technical artists, creating-worlds enthusiasts let’s see what we can do to help the Unity Team make their final decisions on this exciting journey.

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

Make sure you know everything about the world we are building! -> https://open.codecks.io/unity-open-project-1/decks/65

Always look at the game map updates! -> https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_kkiU1T0=/

Always look at the roadmap! -> https://open.codecks.io/unity-open-project-1

IN GENERAL: Try to have an OVERVIEW of what is currently being implemented in the game in all the sections (assets, quests, codes, dialogues) as we should be talking on how to implement what is being made by others efficiently on the map + environment!

Sharpen your pencils and minds, do your research and start drawing/creating/discuss on references :)

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What we know so far (this part will be updated after every live stream):

The game takes place in a tropical ISLAND (“completely covered by trees and palms”).

The ISLAND map consists of 6 parts:

  1. BEACH part (Arrival - Tutorial level: the part where you meet the Bard Hare and learn about the upcoming catastrophe that the island locals fear.)

Gameplay:
1st stage: Movement tutorial – Attack tutorial – Phoenix tutorial – Burn canes with the Phoenix – Free roam in beach
2nd stage: the end of the game – leaving the island

  1. GLADE part (Where you encounter the locals=Forest Eyes that want to keep our protagonist away of their island.)
    Gameplay: Free roam – First encounter with Forest Eye (dialogue) – Defeat it

  2. FOREST part (where you will fight with Critters and later on search for samples to make the recipe)
    Gameplay: 1st stage: Free roam – Fight with local critters
    2nd stage: Free roam – Search for ingredients A and B

  3. TEMPLE FRONT part (where you encounter some Forest Eyes and you reach the Temple Door)
    Gameplay: 1st stage: Meet Forest Eyes – Dialogue – Defeat them
    2nd stage: Meet Forest Eye guard – Dialogue

  4. TEMPLE ENTRANCE (that leads you to the inner chamber)
    Gameplay: Free roam

  5. INNER CHAMBER (where you meet the King Eye and the ritual will take place)
    Gameplay: 1st stage: Dialogue with King – Take on main quest

    2nd stage: Ritual – Goal achieved

Each part has a clear setting – goal, so it would be nice to start discussions and give that ProBuilder Greyboxing card slowly a shape.

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This looks like a great start for discussing level design. Thanks @itsLevi0sa !

These areas (Beach, Glade, Forest, Path, Temple Front, Temple Entrance, Inner Chamber) will each present its own unique opportunities.

While I'm also excited to get in-engine to start putting things together into a graybox environment (a featureless level created with simple gray shapes) Do we want to start working "on paper" with some of these things first? It would be faster to prepare text lists or sample images that we can share and discuss before building away. I'm by no means an artist, but it would be great to see if someone would volunteer to do some concept art as well so we can think about building in interesting visual areas.

I know there's a thread here about 3D Environment Art , and I suspect more than a few people will be in both channels to coordinate what assets we need to develop each scene.

While we give some time for concept artists to sketch some things out, we can either blue sky (a brainstorming session where nothing is turned down for being "not feasible") a list of level features here, or we could perhaps sketch out some rough level ideas taking another pass at the game maps linked above. After all, we'll be going through the level in several passes as we add detail, so we can practice as a team just working with the wireframe to add detail quickly.

I did a rough sketch using Google Drawings of a more detailed version of the beach scene. I'd love to get some thoughts around that!

BEACH: (image here: https://connect.unity.com/p/unity-open-project-level-design)

  • Our little pig's BOAT has landed, knocking over a TREE and blocking the shoreline.
  • We have a small sand area to get familiar with the controls.
  • At the RED X, we get our first decision point - head towards the Hare we can see on the beach, or get lured deeper onto the woods towards the FALSE EXIT.
  • We can go too far, and are blocked by the stream. However, there's a CAVE here that we can explore, but it's too narrow to go far.
  • Finally, we can take the EXIT to the GLADE.

6372900--709467--UnityOpenProject_Beach_Wireframes.png

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Hey, @GregoryLane

One of the pictures you posted is corrupted!

Also, great way to start the thread @itsLevi0sa . Really loved how you detailed it! :smile:

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I know the story says pig chef is looking for recipe and tracked it down to this island, but how does the player know that? Is waiting to find out until encountering the bard hare set in stone, or should the player need to know where the pig chef came from sooner? Probably scope creep to add another location, but wanted to put it out there.

Maybe an intro 2D cutscene/image with dialogues?

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[mention|p9VRPWzp9auBSdZ1UyChug==], check out our Dialogue and Narrative post to help brainstorm how we can have causality within the story.

My initial hunch is this will be a story that is in medias res. Our protagonist, Pig Chef, already knows his goal. He tracked down the recipe to this specific island.

Ideally, we can visualize as much narrative as possible without resorting to an exposition dump of cut-scened backstory that takes our player out of... playing.

Pig Chef will want to prepare for his journey into the heart of The Island. We can probably skip the whole being on the boat and go straight to a scene in which Pig Chef has already set up camp on a vacant beach. Bard Hare soon arrives and guides Pig Chef, and thus the player, through completing the tutorial.

While learning the basic controls, the player is also given the main objectives through Pig Chef interacting with Bard Hare.

Who knows how it'll happen, but come add your input to our post .

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Just wanted to float the idea out that this game could/should have a alternate way of "beating" the enemies with out fighting.

In my opinion sneaking past enemies to gather some extra cooking ingredients in each zone and being able to go into a small cooking mini-game to bake some food that makes each type of creature happy (go into a food coma), would be super cool.

For bosses you might be given the choice right up front, to fight or to have a cook off and then its a variation of the same cooking mini-game, except you are racing against the boss to make the best dish in the least time.

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I think this story is conflicting or not interesting to play. Here's my proposal.

  • The Pig Chef came to the island looking for the receipt
  • Then he will meet the Bard Hare.
  • Then the Pig find out that, it's a land of hares and they were overthrown by a set of critters.
  • The Bard Hare will show you a receipt that wakes up a god who's at the center of the temple which will save there land
  • That sounds like the receipt Pig Chef is looking for

  • So, Pig Chef teamed up with Bard Hare to find individual items with fighting the critters.

  • Bard Hare is our guide and we need to collect items while protecting him as well.

  • Then he finally goes to the Temple and defeat the King and wake up the god.

  • Shockingly, that god is the evil master of the "Bard Hare" & the bard hare's story is a fake one

  • Then this god impression all these native critters & Pig Chef inside a cave

  • Then we finish the game. So, we have an entry for the full game.

The question is, is the island the beginning of the full game?

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[/QUOTE]

I think this might bee too small of an area, it might need some expansion... if the downed tree is not enough we could add some rocks/cliff area. Also isn't this supposed to have tutorials for all the controls, basic fight , how to use chick ?

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We can absolutely work to scale this area as we see fit. :)

The idea of a tutorial on how to use the lantern is a brilliant idea.

  • If so, we'd have to move the cave, add some other very dark forest canopy, start the level at night, or have Chef Pig go into the dark underdecks of the ship to collect something before going out.
  • Perhaps he'd need to go back into the ship to get his knife to cut some vines that initially block his path?

This area is absolutely perfect to reshape to introduce all the mechanics.

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That's a great question!

For now, We'll presume that it is, because in this vertical slice (a small complete section of a game for showing at expos or pitching for publishing) will be all that the player gets. We want to make sure our players have a good FTUE (First Time User Experience) and know what the mechanics are so they can see the maximum amount of fun we can provide.

In addition to looking at each of the rooms, We'll need to keep in mind how all of the spaces across the island interact with each other.

Below, you can find an image of all of the "rooms" connect to one another in the initial documentation. While we certainly can do some backtracking (perhaps the Temple Entrance is locked and Chef Pig needs to get something from the Path to explore the Inner Chamber?) we may also want to consider some circular design.

Popular in many modern games, circular level design provides a different/unique exit to an area. This can help get the player back to their original point much quicker than backtracking, and can provide a different experience through spaces.

I'd love to know what you're all envisioning as well! Keep the ideas coming! We can also chat about what has or hasn't worked in the games you've played in the past. Everything still on the table!

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This is a great question. If it does become scope creep (an expansion of work that grows during development) perhaps the narrative team would opt to add some exposition as a text introduction.

If we did add a space to the start of this, what did you have in mind?

For some reason that's exactly where my mind went too. Not sure why I want the Bard Hare to be using Pig Chef, but it adds some complexity.

This makes me think that Bard Hare would gift the Phoenix chick lantern to Pig Chef at the start. The old, "You're gonna need this" kind of plot device. Any advantage to Pig Chef bringing the Phoenix chick lantern with him in the first place?

Has it been established what the lantern does? Perhaps as an ability on a longer cooldown, the lantern can summon the Bard Hare to help Pig Chef in a fight. Then it can still have a much quicker regular ability.

Outside of a little assistance in fighting, and serving as a guide to new game mechanics and areas to explore; my instinct says we shouldn't see Bard Hare all the time. Especially if we end up making Bard Hare the primary antagonist, :sunglasses:.

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[quote=“GregoryLane”, post:15, topic: 810982]
If we did add a space to the start of this, what did you have in mind?
[/quote]
Could be as simple as where the chef first had the meal and the tutorial becomes figuring out the need to go to the island to track down the recipe.

Or the narrative team could do the thought bubble exposition I asked about in the Dialogue and Narrative thread , as we see chef sailing at sea before a storm. Taking that approach, maybe the storm is the first sign of the pending catastrophe and chef’s arrival is why the Forest Eye are afraid. Starting at night to do the chick tutorial could also lead into a whole “the one who comes in the night” thing.

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Maybe make a "base" for you to go back save and heal at the beach so the path leads to the temple front instead? i guess it will be a short cut for you later on in the game to move back and forth?

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I think this is a great idea. But I think we need an adverse to practice our skills so make the false exit full of "crabs"? We can use them as part of the beginning tutorial. Maybe help bard retrieve something from that general area. And for that, you get the Phoenix? Just an idea of course.

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I thought Chick was just part of the Chef character, like they are a team. Chef needs it to cook: Knife, fire and a bag that contains ingredients/spices and a pan/pot is all that he needs. (Derived from concept art)

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