Dungeons and Dragons Tiered Map 2 Version 2

For my CAGD 270 Level Design class, we were to create and design Dungeons and Dragons maps. However, this time we had to get into groups of 3 and coordinate with two other people in order to create 3 maps, 1 each either a beginning, intermediate, and advanced level.

A surprising amount of things went right for me during this assignment. I was able to coordinate with my group mates really well in order to create a cohesive story between all 3 maps. I was in charge of creating the intermediate level in my group.

The play test went reasonably well. The play testers thought my map was pretty good overall. The play testers said the path of my map was pretty obvious, but the added rooms and mini pathways helped to add variety and made my map look more eye catching. The play testers also thought my level did a great job of transitioning seamlessly from my map to the advanced map through the story.

With that though, the play testers recommended that I add more back paths and short cuts because the main path in my Dungeons and Dragons Map was a bit too linear. The play testers also recommended that in the future I make my map bigger. The play testers thought the layout itself was fine, but the play testers recommended that I next time use larger paper to print or draw my map out on.

I ran into some issues with my play test when it came to enemy non player characters. My enemies were a bit too spread out and not buffed enough in conjunction with the player’s skill level. So I have to work on that a bit more.

My items weren’t very “eye catching” to the players, but the play testers were still able to find them and adequately use them. The play testers were able to adequately learn how to use the items I presented in my map regardless.

Next time I’ll improve my map by drawing it out on a much larger piece of paper. I will also carefully balance enemies in my level so that it is equal to the player’s skill level in order to create a more adequate challenge. I’ll also make the items a bit more eye catching.

It was interesting working on a Level Design Team. I think I definitely prefer working alone, but I liked the people I was in a group with. Being in a group for this class was not like being in a group for CAGD 170 Video Game design. I was still able to make my own map. The only things I really had to coordinate on with my group was items and enemies, which I preferred because it allowed me to have the freedom to design my own map.

In summation, the positives that occurred in my play tests were: the main path throughout my map was fairly obvious, my map tied in with the other maps in the group really well, there were elements of flow in my map, my play testers liked my items and were able to learn how to use items adequately through gameplay, and the play testers liked the aesthetic of my map.

The negatives that occurred in my play test were: there were not elements of flow and circulation presented in my map, the enemies were not properly balanced in conjunction with the play testers skill level and were in need of buffing, the items were not eye catching and blended in with the scenery, and the map size as a whole was to small.

I am excited to learn from this assignment and apply what I have learned to the next assignment.

Dungeons and Dragons Map 2 Version 1

For my level design class, we were assigned another Dungeons and Dragons map making assignment. For this assignment, some very stark differences from our previous assignments were implemented. These rule changes in all made the assignment more challenging, but ultimately more fun. In the two previous assignments, I have had difficulty when it comes to balancing […]

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.