Marco Turzynski

Level Design

Not A Plant

Genre: Third-Person Platformer

 

Platform: PC

 

Engine/Tools: Unreal Engine, C++, Blueprints

 

Time: 4 Weeks

Team Size: 12

 

Role: Level Design/

Gameplay Design

Not a Plant is a third-person platformer where the player takes control of a small creature named 'Planty', who's going on an adventure to find his best friend, Papa.


With the task to create a game with emergent gameplay, it meant for us to first understand what emergent gameplay meant. We came to the conclusion that for us, emergent gameplay meant;


"a game that gives players the freedom to discover new ways of playing within a world with already established rules, whilst finding ways to bend those rules."

Responsibility

  • Level Design - Iterated on the block out of the level, 2D sketching, implemented and tested the platforming events.


  • Gameplay Design - Was part of the prototyping and testing of the game mechanic within the level.


  • Collaboration - I worked closely with the other deciplines in creating the moodboards, design of mechanics and the overall feel of the game.

Design Objectives

  • We wanted to create a sense of freedom for the player, we did this by having as little restriction as possible.


  • Create gameplay for the player that allows for emergent gameplay. It is the player that creates their own experience.


  • Show the player the goal of the game but leave it to them to decide how they get there.

Top Down

Tutorial

Third Area

Starting Area

Fourth Area

Second Area

Tower Area

Upper Area

End

Before and After

The early iteration of the level design made it clear for me that changes needed to be done. Much of it felt messy and unclear. My main goal was to make the level easy to read, easy to understand where to go and create better level beats.

Player Guidance

To give the player a sense of progression and direction, I decided to make the first half of the level consist of squares and rectangles and the second half consist of cylinders.

before1
after1
Before2
after2
before3
after3

Everything below this point is the completed version of the game

Reveal

lan2
lan3
lan1

Re-reveal

re1
re2
re3
re4

Tower Climb

ivy1
ivy2
ivy3

Tunnel

tun1
tun2
tun3

Reflections about Improvements

Going back to the project made me recognize that there are a lot of things that I would have wanted to change. One of the things is how I teach the player the mechanics of the game. Another is making affordances and other 'guidances' clearer for the player.

Improvements in teaching Jump

The player is never taught that they can jump. Originally when creating the level, my thought was that the player wouldn't need to learn the jump, due to them having the tongue in their arsenal to reach higher grounds and covering distances.

Now afterward, I believe that teaching the player jump would have eased the overall gameplay experience. Using the jump in combination with the tongue would have enabled the player to reach affordances and other objects more easily. It could also have lead to new ways of creating challenges.

imp0
imp1
imp2

Improvements in teaching Swing

Initially, when teaching the player the swing mechanic, the idea was to do so together with them getting to know the affordances. Looking back at it now, I feel that it could have been executed better. The way we teach the swing feels too rushed and doesn't give the player enough time to get used to it, which leads to a very clunky start.

swing1
swing2
afterswing
swing3
swing3after

marko.turzynski@futuregames.nu

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