A grey-boxed single-player, third-person stealth level based on an existing demo project from Unity.
The level consists of 3 primary sections that introduce the game’s mechanics, test the player and then challenge them.
I planned the level’s layout using bubble diagrams, flowcharts and a beat map. The structure of the map was then created in Maya and game components were added in Unity.
I also wrote additional scripts to expand and improve the functionality and play-ability of the original demo project.
Above: Colour coded keys, rotating cameras, mini map and section checkpoints all added to the base project.
Above: Guard responding to the player walking through a camera’s view. Glass prevents the guard from reaching the player.
The level’s pacing and playability were of the utmost importance to for this project. Rapid iteration and extensive diagraming allowed me to developed a layout that lets the player learn each of the game’s mechanics safely (e.g. the first guard is behind a glass wall) while offering increasingly challenging scenarios.
Many of the mechanics in the original demo were poorly developed and hindered the players ability to be successful. Some of the problem areas and my solutions include:
Slow player movement: This one was easy, I simply increased the the sneaking speed of the player so that they could maneuver more easily without running.
Aggressively punishing: I added breaks in the AI’s navmesh so that fewer guard could swarm the player when he was spotted and I added a checkpoint system.
Small field of view: I pulled the camera back slightly and added a mini-map to the upper right corner of the screen, allowing the player to see key points on the map as well as guard paths to empower the player though information.
Lack of counter-play: I added a trigger volume and script that allows the player to sneak up behind a guard and knock them out, promoting stealth but allowing the player an additional gameplay option.
Above: In-editor view of a guard. I added ragdoll physics and a kill-zone w/ script (the small box behind the guard).
Above: The player sneaks up on a guard and knocks them out.
Each of the level’s three main sections were diagrammed before starting the grey-boxing process. This allowed me to rapidly construct the first pass of the level before iterating on the design.