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Rethinking my approach to level design and testing out some new moves for the main character!

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Rethinking the Level Design

After playing around with a bunch of different configurations, I didn't find what I wanted in terms of fun or flow within the original method for procedural generated levels (The original concept was based around fitting a variety of standard sized rooms inside an existing building shell, which you can read about here). For this reason, I've decided attack this from the opposite direction, building exactly what I want the final levels to look and feel like, and then trying to convert this into a procedural based system. In hindsight, this should probably have been my original approach, but I'm still learning!

I started by blocking out exactly what I wanted within the levels in order to create a good flow and interesting situations for the player. This included creating new types of obstacles and reworking old ones to suit the new layouts. As you can see in the images below, the levels are becoming more fast paced and skill based.

As the levels are very vertically inclined and the player creates noises when they fall from high ledges, I created a "dodge" roll in order to allow the player to land without drawing attention to themselves.

Evading enemies with a dodge roll


I also added a non-lethal shooting mechanic which can break through vent doors and other objects to allow access to hidden routes (Animations are yet to be implemented!)

Non-lethal shooting mechanics


Along with moving lasers and timed beams, I've included circular saws on some of the walls, forcing the player to keep moving rather than hanging out in one spot. All of these electronic based obstacles can be shut down for a limited time using an EMP grenade, or if you destroy their power source, you can take them out permanently!

Circular saws and dodge rolls!


The level design overhaul also includes reworking the current AI to do more interesting things, have a larger variety of weapons and also be a lot more aggressive towards you when caught. I'll detail the AI design in a future post once I have it completed, but it's already allowing for a lot more possibilities in terms of gameplay so I'm looking forward to building new levels with this in mind!

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