Dungeons and DRAGONS Map 1 Version 2

For my level design class, we had to redo our Dungeon and Dragons map. Taking feedback I received from the previous assignment, I decided I needed to edit my previous map into something a bit more tough.

In the last assignment, the main critiques I received was that the enemies were much too easy. In this map I added much more enemies to the environment and upped the stats of enemies as well.

For my second version of my Dungeons and Dragons map, I for one decided to make the rooms bigger in order to make room for more enemies. I also wanted to add lighter and darker colors into the map in order to use spells like light more efficiently.  For this version, I decided to use a Dungeons and Dragons map maker tool recommended to me by a previous playtester. I found the tool on pyromancy.com. I liked this tool because I was able to make the map more efficiently.

What went right in my map according to the people who playtested my map, was that it was a very easy map layout for a tutorial level. My playtesters liked the flow of the map, and found it very easy to understand. My playtesters thought the critical path made it obvious where to go throughout the map.

Unfortunately my playtesters found that I upped the difficulty on the enemies a bit too much. I had to restart the game because my playtesters died in the second room in my map. And though I had parts of the map which needed the use of mechanics such as jumping and spells, there was only one instance of each in the map, so there was not enough varied environmental gameplay showcased in my map. The enemies were not appropriate for an introductory level, and were way to powered up. There also was not any circulation elements in my map.

To improve my map for next time, I am definitely going to playtest my enemy NPC’s before the actual playtest. I need to get a handle on enemy characters and how to effectively Balance them. And I think for next time I am also going to vary my map layout more. I want to keep the path obvious, but I want to add more circulation elements and add in different paths in order to reward exploration. I think for my next map i am going to add more stairs and elevators. I also want to add ambushes into my next map. I will be playtesting my map and will be trying to figure out how to make more challenging but fair enemies. That is something I definitely need more work at.

CAGD 270 – Dungeons and Dragons Version 1

For my CAGD 270 Level Design class, we were assigned to plan and create a Dungeons and Dragons inspired level. For the level, we had to create a tutorial level in order to teach the player the mechanics of the game. We were giving a list of the many different rules to the game, some rules were fine while others were rather broken. Our professor told us that as level designers, we have to push the game design to it’s best possible application, meaning that even if rules were broken, we as the level designers had to make sure we take those limitations and create something great out of them.

I have never personally played Dungeons and Dragons before. Though I knew of it, I never had an opportunity to play it. After researching the game a bit more and looking up some sample maps, I decided to create a very simple and linear map. I used a map generator online to help me get some idea’s for the level.

I decided to add in item chests, potions, and keys for locked doors into the map. I wanted to attempt to reward players for exploration in my map, so I drew in a part of the map where a player would have to backtrack a bit in order to unlock a door with a key they’d find further into the map. I also made it so when players killed an enemy, they could loot their bodies for health potions and keys.

Since this level was supposed to act like a tutorial level, I decided to do a very linear difficulty progression. In the very first room I had 1 enemy rat, in the second room I had 1 enemy rat and 1 enemy goblin, in the third room I had 2 enemy goblins and 1 enemy goblin mage, and the final room held the boss of the map, an enemy Goblin King.

I was a bit nervous when the date for playtesting came along. Since I didn’t know much about Dungeons and Dragons, I based my map a bit more on games like Dragon Age and The Elder Scrolls series. I playtested with Max and Sorin. It was pretty fun.

I got great and helpful feedback on my map. My playtesters liked the linear layout for the purposes of a tutorial level. They liked the way I implemented items in the map. They did say that my enemies were very easy to kill. They gave me two great suggestions: either buff all of the enemies on my map a degree or add a greater mass of enemies but keep them weak. They also told me that the map did not accommodate magic whatsoever, which was a very true point. I also had next to no environmental obstacles in my map.

For my next map, I’m going to make sure that I accommodate magic more. I’ll add elements like fog and great gaps in floors that will allow mages to use spells like light and float. I’ll add much more environmental obstacles in order to make my map more fun to play. I have not decided what to do for my enemies yet. Many of my enemies in this map were able to be killed in one or two shots. I still have to decide whether to buff my enemies or add more enemies to my next map.