Downtown Development
Design Objectives
  • To create a lively, visually appealing city environment whilst maintaining an appropriate level of freedom for fluid navigation
  • To implement Environmental Hazards which players can use to their advantage to take opponents out of the game
  • A layout that provides tense game-play for matches with a minimum of 2 players, and a maximum of 4 
Experiment (Concept/Whitebox)
Taking My Chosen Design into Whitebox (2)
Play Test Results
​After conducting play-testing sessions with my piers, the main issues were:
 
1. Large Cover Assets

- The bus stop provided far too much cover, which in return slowed down the pace of the game

2. Feeling of Emptiness

 - There was a limited amount of cover in meaningful places when exchanging shots with opponents

3. Environmental Hazard Warning

- Players were unable to react quick enough to the wrecking ball due to no visual/audio warning 

4. The 90 Degree Corners

- Thrown balls would often end up in the corners of the level, causing game flow to come to a stop

Problems to Solve
(1) - Large Cover Assets

Towards the end of a match in a 1vs1 situation,  players exploited the bus stop to be used as constant cover. This asset could be used to run around indefinitely, safely using it as a shield against incoming dodgeballs.

(2) - Feeling of Emptiness

Analysing from a top-down perspective, I noticed how the placement of cover assets were in the formation of a circle around the boarder. Meaning players within the centre of the arena were left exposed to an attack.

(3) - Environmental Hazard Warning

The intent of this hazard was to catch players by surprise by producing a moment of sudden panic. This in fact backfired as players felt cheated as one of their limited/vital lives were taken away so abruptly.

Secondly, the aftermath of the hazard left a large gap within the level. Meaning from then on, any ball thrown at this area would bounce off an invisible wall, visually causing a break in immersion.

(4) - 90 Degree Corners to the Level

Due to the level of unpredictability when aiming to throw a ball, missed shots would often roll into the corners of the level. This caused games to have a sudden drop in pace as players awkwardly search for a ball to pick up.

Iteration Upon Play Tests
Solutions to the Problems Faced
1. Mixture of Assets Used for Cover

- Both low and thin cover assets reduces the aspect of safety, promoting/encouraging player movement

2. 45 Degree Corners as Opposed to 90

- Balls keep their momentum when bouncing off corners which increases the possibility for ricochet shots

3. Centralised Cover

- Cover located within the main play space promotes more tactical gameplay at the centre of the arena

4. Trigger Warnings for Environmental Hazards

- Traffic light system will flash green to warn players of an oncoming car at the bottom of the arena

Having the car enter by driving off a ramp and exit through a jet of water prevented level boundaries to be visually manipulated, keeping game immersion consistent.

Not only did Implementing these angles increase the speed of the game, they also proved to be a massively skill based mechanic by allowing players to pull off unique ricochet shots against opponents in tough spots.

Final Screenshot