Following the betrayal by two of your close colleagues, you have tracked them down to an unknown island outside Italy's coast which is currently under enemy control.
Your mission is to locate your two ex colleagues and retrieve the stolen map, either by using brute force or by remaining stealthy and operating in the shadows.
3 Weeks Half-Time (2023)
Engine: Unreal Engine 5
Epic Marketplace Assets Used: Stylized Nature Pack, Advanced Locomotion System (IWALS - Jakub W)
ARRIVE AT THE ISLAND
REVEAL THE LIGHTHOUSE
ENTER THE BASE
LOCATE THE FIRST COLLEAGUE
GET THROUGH THE BASE
ENTER THE LIGHTHOUSE
GET OUT OF THE TUNNEL
RE ENTER THE BASE
Standing tall above everything is the Lighthouse, a prominent landmark that aids in constructing the player's mental map.
Appearing at various points throughout the level, it should come as no surprise that it serves as the primary objective.
The ruins above the base contain a window that overlooks the docks. From this window, players can see patrolling guards and get a glimpse of what lies ahead.
Its strategic placement allows players to plan their next move and provides a better sense of direction.
The level is crafted with visual cues in mind, utilizing the color red to symbolize danger.
As soon as the player enters the base, they encounter a trail of blood leading to the garage, where one of their former colleagues was tortured. The same trail of blood continues further into the base, ultimately leading to a cage.
LEADING THE PLAYER
Upon entering the base, the player comes across a lone guard on patrol obstructing the path forward. The guard's back is turned, creating a prime opportunity for a swift and silent takedown.
However, the player must proceed with caution, for a hasty elimination may alert other guards nearby, thereby making the mission more difficult.
The docks are big and open, forming a sense of no man's land where the masses have the control.
Traversing this terrain proves challenging unless the enemies are eliminated. Depending on the approach, different playstyles can be used to get past this obstacle.
The level provides opportunities for stealth-based gameplay, with various weapons and areas designed to encourage players to remain concealed.
This level can also be played with a more aggressive approach, allowing players to engage in intense combat and shoot their way through enemies.
The kitchen is unlike most areas, it's quiet where the player has a great opportunity to take down a guard with a bread knife. This is a fun side gig in the level.
The lab is located deep within the base where two scientists are busy at work. This section can easily be skipped, but the rewards inside are worth the effort.
To plan the layout of the island, I started by making a rough sketch with the different areas I wanted to include. This initial drawing gave me a rough idea of how I envisioned the island's arrangement and the various sections it would have.
I would like to revise a previous assignment that I completed under extremely tight time constraints. This time, I aim to invest more effort into creating a well-rounded combat encounter with a holistic design approach.
The project I am referring to is the LD test that I previously undertook, which had a similar setting involving smugglers on an Italian island.
This project started out as a combat assignment that I had to finish within a week. However, after completing the assignment, I further developed the level into a bigger project. The product turned out nicely, compared to my initial expectations since three weeks isn't that long. I spent a lot of time working with the blueprints and behaviors that already existed in IWALS, which wasn't a walk in the park and reduced my time working on the level.
The goal - I wasn't sure for the longest time what the goal of the level was, since it started as a combat encounter. But after drawing inspiration from my older LD test, I was able to finish a playable project.
Pre-production - I didn't work that much on planning the project. I somewhat went with it after getting my idea. This came back to bite me later in the project when I couldn't create the proper level loop that I really wanted to achieve.
At the end of the day, I'm proud of this project. Without a full plan and a short deadline, I managed to deliver a relatively good blockout that could be played from start to finish.