Role: Level Design / Environment Design
Silvans Shroud is an RTS and FPS survival game where the player must build a base and survive the onslaught on enemies while managing resources and units as they switch from overhead RTS view to a first person perspective to fight.
The first problem we had to solve was the mechanic of building bases and what the level the players would play in. We only had 2 weeks to create the game with playtesting half way through.
My first sketches were to get an overview of what the base building might look like. I came up with simple cubes that would act as nodes for the player to be able to snap buildable objects to.
The second concept I wanted to sketch out was the level layout and how the different enemy camps would fit together. The experience I was aiming to create was a short entry into the concept of the game so I wanted the camps to be quickly accessible to the player so they can start playing with the main mechanics as fast as possible.
After presenting the cube node idea to the programmer, he thought it would work well and started to implement it in Unity.
After he gave me the scale he was working on for the nodes I started planning how the world would laid out.
After getting an idea for the kind of level I wanted to create I jumped into Unity to start getting a better idea of the scale the camps and the players base would take up. At this point I also planned out the types of buildings that the player would be able to build and what they would cost since that would directly correlate to the amount of trees the player can cut down.
Playtesting was at the end of the first week of development. The team and I were able to playtest the basic mechanics of collecting wood from trees and building the players base.
We saw that player enjoyed the base building and the perspective switching was fluid since each playtester understood what was happening.
One change that I made based on playtesting was the overall scale of the level. Players did not move as quickly as expected toward the enemy camps and thus dragged the experience out for too long. After playtesting I was able to move the enemy camps closer to the players starting position and with some extra playtesting players started to attack the camps faster than they did before.
Another change I made was the environment design since I wanted the player to not need a mini map to know where they are in the world. To fulfill this I created 4 distinct biomes to help the player be able to orient themselves in the map based on what their surroundings looked like.
The final game version was due after the 2 weeks had passed. In the end the game turned out quite fun. The player could collect wood from trees, build their base which consisted of walls, a town hall, and a worker hut.
Silvans Shroud received an A from the professor.
Some things I would change about the project if I was able would be the UI interface. With a game of this type there are a lot of controls and buttons that need to be pressed. We had a basic UI but it was not out main concern when starting the project since we needed to see if the mechanic was fun to begin with. This led to the UI being pushed back and creating a clean intuitive UI ended up out of scope of the project.
In the end I enjoyed working on Silvans Shroud and think it was a quite fun game.