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Thursday, 11 October 2012

XB2001 - Level Design Project

Our next project is to create a level design document featuring a level that we have designed and created that could be used within an existing game, and so it would use the game's already existing mechanics.

For this task I have chosen Assassin's Creed, 2 to be precise, although I had aimed to possibly create the level out of the normal time of the Assassin's Creed series to a different time if I feel at a later stage that it would benefit the level and make it an even more exciting play through.

As Assassin's Creed is quite an open game with lots of freedom to move I felt it was important to make note of the game's mechanics such as free running etc so that I may include all of the game's mechanics within my level to make it as interesting as possible.

The mechanics are as follows:
  • Free running- Climbing up walls, running along rooftops etc worth a note is the quick run areas where a player can easily build up momentum and get access to higher buildings quickly.
  • Combinations in combat, players could fight whilst being surrounded
  • Hiding Places to break line of sight of chasers, eg hay bales
  • Areas on rooftops to do a "Leap of Faith"
  • Eagle Vision to identify enemies and targets
  • Pursuit, cant lose line of sight of an enemy for too long
  • Pick pocketing
  • Enemy Morale, can be broken to cause other enemies to flee
  • Crowd Blending and Allies, to aid in infiltrating areas.

    Additionally, what I think is a good note would be to work backwards from a player's main goal for instance, work out what the player's main target is, then consider the target's location and it's surrounding area and then how the player gets there etc.

    In order to get a sense of how the level should possibly be laid out I will look at screenshots and concept art from within the series to gain a sense of how high buildings should be and how concentrated these buildings are.

    Large open square which featured crowds of people to blend into in the actual game.

    Fight scene showing how densely populated the areas can be as well as allies you can hire.
    Map of Florence, which gives me a sense how far apart major structures should be spaced. Additionally this has also just reminded me all the collectibles within an Assassin's Creed game that I will also need to include.

    A good reference photo of how high and dominating some structures can be within the game as well as how high other structures should be.

    Another map showing the layout of the Venice section in Assassin's Creed 2. This map is very helpful as it shows how sometimes an environment could be made up of lots of clusters of buildings whilst being linked together.

    From looking at past Assassin's Creed's maps and having played through the environments myself I think that even though there is a freedom to attack a target from any angle, there is no incentive to do so. Sneaking past guards never seemed to reward me as a player other than the fact I got to kill my target a different way. For my level design document I will give players incentives to go either which way such as a bonus reward for attacking from range such as a bow, or a battle axe for a frontal assault etc.

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