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About:

This was the first gameproject we worked on at The Game Assembly. The goal was to make an "Obstacle Runner" similiar to games like Temple Runner and Race The Sun. We wanted to make a more slowpaced alternative to those games.

For this game, me and my two Leveldesign partners did the layouts for each level, as well as populated the environments with props. The brunt of my work was on the fifth and final level, the second half of Level 4 and the original Level 3, which we ended up cutting due to flow and time-constraints.

Specifics:

  • Development time: 7 weeks part time

  • Engine: Unity

  • Genre: Obstacle Course Runner

Story:

Help the little mushroom-creature in their splashing journey Downstream! Avoid all kinds of hazards like logs, rocks, falling trees and hungry fishes.

Credits:

Programming: Jonas Krantz - Jonathan Michaeli - Anton Johansson - Alex Möller - Ricky Chau

Graphic Design: Tim Persson - Ellen Johnson - Albin Canbäck

Graphic Design/Antimation: Tova Nyström - Veronika Mossum

Level Design: Niklas Olsson - Marcus Tegerhult - William Fredriksson

Process

For this project we couldn't really do sketches in the traditional sense. Instead, paperdesign consisted of creating a general shape for the level and the views you wanted to present, and then breaking it down into a flowchart, where we planned for what types of challenges we wanted dotted throughout the level.

To emulate the feeling of acctually going down a river, with all the twists and turns that implies, we used a spline that ran through the entire level that the player followed. When we started working in Unity we first created a long "slide" out of simple shapes, which we then used as a mold for laying the spline along. As this was a fairly long process with little room for changing things up once the spline had been set, we often made the first itteration very long, as it was easier to remove splinepoints starting from the end, than the beginning or the middle.

Obstacles simply had to be placed along the spline. Once obstacles was placed it was all about playtesting and figuring out what felt good to play, what the beats of each level were, how the challenges chained into eachother and making sure the player had ample breathing room inbetween different segments. Once the level felt fun to play we started decorating using a large amount of meshes, like trees and rocks.

To make decorating easier, we created short "river segments," using the Unity prefab system, and then built with those. When the artists started handing us decorative props, we'd decorate each prefab with these. That way, we quickly filled each scene with props. This sped up what otherwise would've been a massive undertaking and made it possible for us to prop large stretches of land quickly that we later could go back to and touch up in order to get more unique areas.

Screenshots

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