For my 270 CAGD Level Design class, we were assigned to create a second iteration of our 3D level assignment. For this assignment, we were give much more assets to work with. We were given more assets that would effect the gameplay in our levels, and added new mechanics.
For example, we were given by our professor robot assets. If the player touches the robot, they immedietly die. The robots add a level of conflict to our game that we did not have and could not achieve before. Our levels finally have enemies. Another new asset addition given to us by our professor was sneak zones. These sneak zones automatically make the player character crouch when walking through them, causing the player to start to sneak. More assets given to us were reeds, rocks, trees, and new materials.
I wanted to put a lot of effort into this assignment. The feedback I recieved from my professor suggested that I should implement multiple paths in to my level and not keep the level so linear. The prompt for this assignment was to create a Hard Difficulty level with the length of ideally ten to twenty minutes of gameplay. The scenerio was our players are in an alien jungle/forest. I wanted to give my level a certain amount of character.
I wanted to make my level look alien. I changed the materials on the trees I placed into the level to make them have purple foliage. I also made the “jungle floor” darker in color to make it seem more unknown.
I recieved a lot of create and beneficial feedback from my peers on this assignment. I was able to get a decent amount of people to play my level during the play test. I recieved my responses from my peers through a feedback doc I created.
I asked many questions in my feedback form. One question I asked was “Was my level too long or too short? 50% of my play testers reported that they felt my level was much too short. Playing through my level after the play test with all the critiques in mind, I have to agree. My level did not even make it to the 10 minute mark. I should have made my paths much, much longer.
The diverging paths I created in my level were made to took distinct from one another. One path was a rock cavern, and the other path was a grassier area with a pond and waterfall. I made the two paths with the intention of them being different play styles as well, with the rock cavern more tight and sneak focused, and with my pond path more open but filled with many more enemies.
When asking my play testers how they found the diverging paths, the play testers all said the diverging paths were interesting. However, I should have made the paths more different play style wise. Play testers told me that the rock cavern was much too tight, and the tall sneak zone grass made it hard to see the enemies. Likewise, play testers said that my pond path was not very challenging and needed to have more impactful enemies. One of my play testers said that they did not even notice the enemies placed in the pond path because they were too spread out.
The majority of my play testers felt that the flow of my level was adequate. However, they all stated that my level was much too easy. The level was not long enough, and many of the play testers were able to walk past my enemies without even having to go out of their way to avoid being hit by them.
When I asked my play testers if there was any aspect in my level I should fix or expand on, they all stated that I needed to make the game much harder. One play tester stated they were able to beat my level in a few minutes, and another play tester said my placement of my enemies needs to be more challenging for the player.
When I asked my play tester’s what went right in my level, they had different things to say. One play tester stated that they liked how full my level seemed and how many assets were placed into the level. Another play tester said that the flow of the level was nice and the critical path was obvious enough. A third play tester stated that they thought I made good use of the assets in the level and liked the variety of assets used in the level.
This play test was very beneficial for me. I was able to recieve an abundance of useful feedback that I will be able to use in my 3D Version 2 level. I will definetly place a high focus on the placement of my enemies and how the overall scene is composed. I think for this level, I got a bit too carried away with my use of assets. I was trying to make a pretty scene before making a well thought out level. I will make sure in my next level assignment to focus on making the vanilla level (vanilla as in before adding in any extra details and assets) as well composed as possible before introducing decorative assets. I will also be sure to make multiple paths in my level since it seemed the play testers liked that. I will also focus on utilizing the sneak zones and robots and try to make them challenging for the player.