Snow Cave Development
Design Objectives
  • To create an environment set on-top of a cold snowy mountain, and a layout that can accommodate for different play-styles

  • To involve 2 new environmental hazards, to keep things fresh and ensuring players are being tested in different ways

  • Design the level so there is not too much cover, possibility for ricochet shots, an interesting scenery and no sudden hazards

Experiment (Concept/Whitebox)
Taking My Chosen Design into Whitebox (1)
Play Test Results
​After conducting play-testing sessions with my piers, the main issues were:
 
1. Destructible Assets

- Players felt the level felt empty once an icicle had been destroyed by a powerful throw 

2. Hole in the Ground

- Due to the size of the hole, players avoided the centre arena and dodgeballs would often fall down

3. Over-powered Cave Hazard

- Player to player combat would be side lined as activating the hazard proved to be more of a threat

4. Predictable Gameplay

- Stationary aspects to the level caused players to feel safe as there was a lack of chaotic moments

Problems to solve
(1) - Destructible Assets

This idea was implemented to remove a certain degree of safety to the player. Although visually appealing at first, at later stages of each match the level was left feeling empty with little to no cover to use.

(2) - Hole in the Ground

Due to the unpredictability of a dodgeball shot, balls would often fall down into the hole. A slight break in game flow was experienced at these moments as players would be unaware of the spawn location of the next ball.

(3) - Over-powered Cave Hazard

Players came to the conclusion that activating this hazard was a more viable method of taking out opponents efficiently. This directed focus away from player to player combat far too often during each match.

(4) - Predictable Gameplay

As the icicles and hole in the ground remain in their place from the very beginning, players are made aware of which areas to avoid or be at, leading to most gameplay scenarios to be played 'safe' or 'rehearsed'.

Predictable Zones
Iteration Upon Play Tests
Solutions to the Problems Faced
1. Indestructible Assets

- This change has been reverted back as players need to always be aware of what cover is available

2. Retaining All Dodgeballs Inside the Playing Field

- Ensuring that all dodgeballs stay within the arena keep the flow of action at a constant pace

3. Balanced Environmental Hazards

- The cave hazard now projects a snowy mist that affects everyone's visibility, making aiming even harder 

4. Less-predictable gameplay

- A combination of static and movable features constantly requires players to think about their next move

This design now combines both hazard and cover together. Players are unaware of when an icicle may fall which gives the hazard unpredictability, then once fallen, provides a safe cover system for players to use.

Switching the cave hazard from player-activated to auto-activated redirected the focus between players. Not giving players the ability to predict these types of hazards reinforced the chaotic moments I set out to achieve.

Final Screenshot