Personal Projects – Blockouts
On this page you will find a collection of blockouts I’ve made for the intention of learning more about level design. Each blockout was made in 1-2 days from initial idea to playable prototype. For each project you can read what the goal was for each level and some of my design thoughts when making it.
The goal for this level was to create an intense experience where the player has to reach the target by moving from cover to cover while avoiding an enemy sniper. By combining precise cover placement and sound effects the player will feel like they are on the brink of failure but in the end they succeed.
The players goal in the level is to get to the sniper and eliminate him, but how to get there is up to the player. By creating an open environment I wanted to give the player the opportunity to choose their own path to the sniper. This is of course achieved by creating a branching path where the player is presented with different opportunities at various locations. By avoiding to make the paths too linear and enclosed the player is encouraged to break free and find their own way.
The experience in this level was to have the player slowly realize that they are shrink in size throughout the level. So at first it all seems to be normal, almost boring, until they see that they are becoming smaller at which point new challenges are presented. What I was aiming for was a very kafkaesque feeling, where this very absurd thing is happening but as the player you simply have to continue, as if nothing is out of the ordinary.
As the player changes in size they are presented with new opportunities. Obstacles that simply looked like part of the scenery can now be traversed and ventilation pipes now work like tunnels. So by having the player change in size allows an environment to be used in many different ways without changing it.
The in this level was to create a linear experience where the player has to move towards a tower and them climb it. To add some mystery there is a sound emerging from the tower that rumbles the world, creating obstacles for the player along the way.
In the canyon the player is on a linear path leading towards the tower. In certain locations along the way the player will be presented with a view of the tower to show progress as they get closer and where they are in relation to the tower. Along the way parts of the environment will change, forcing the player to find a new path or simply traverse the area in a different way. When inside the tower the level keeps its linearity but adds a lot more traversal challenges. These challenges escalate as the player gets higher up the tower, just to add some tension before the ending.
For this level the goal was to create an environment where the player knows where to go without being handheld through the experience. So without knowing what the objective is or where it is, the player will find it nonetheless by following landmarks and other objects.
To make sure that the level didn’t become too linear I made it like a small open world where players can go where they please. This of course meant that creating clear landmarks for the player became very important. So throughout the level the player will encounter various landmarks and from each landmark a new one will be visible making sure that there is always something asking for the players attention. This together with other objects of interest creates an intuitive experience where the player is never forced in one direction or the other but feel like there is someplace they want to go.