Journey to Foundation
Team: Archiact Interactive // Role: Mission / Level Designer // Release: October 26 2023
Journey to Foundation is a VR narrative adventure game. My role on the game was to refine existing missions, create a stable enjoyable moment to moment experience, and to enhance all combat encounters.
I became the level owner on two of the existing missions, working with multiple other disciplines to create a stable and exciting gameplay experience. I had also assisted other Level Designers with their own missions.
Some of what I did was:
Work with the Art and VFX teams to alter level layout and prop placement to facilitate player exploration
Refine puzzles, interactions and combat to streamline each experience
Alter/create Unreal Animation Sequencers in unique situations
Work within Unreal Blueprints to fix and/or enhance game logic to create a polished experience.
A large milestone during development was enhancing the combat experience in which I had a considerable role. I had worked closely with the combat team to balance the player weapons, enemy weapons, health and abilities.
Meanwhile, I had also went through every combat experience in the game, altering them (and cut/added some) to create a meaningful and coherent difficulty curve from start to finish. This included iterating enemy spawn points, wave composition, encounter progression and enemy/player covers.
Combat Encounter Example
Around Mission 4 is when I was really able to use the most of what the Zor faction had to offer
My goal with this encounter was to create a series of manageable waves that blend together seamlessly while never overwhelming the player.
I tried to create interesting enemy combinations of both close-up mixed with far-away enemies, and strong plus weak enemies that require the player to swap out the current weapon they are using. This is also a great encounter to use the mentallic drain ability to do some crowd control.
This encounter begins after a short break from another combat encounter earlier and so I wanted this to start off strong. The player first sees a single rooftop rifleman but is quickly met with a shielded foe pushing towards them and a minigunner that hangs back. After killing any of these enemies another two rooftop rifleman will spawn further away.
Further down the path is another rifleman, a minigunner that also hangs back and a engineer that spawns ground drones that home in and explode.
There are only up to 4 enemies spawned in at any time and the player must progress to start the later waves. Enemies also have specific zones they are allowed to exist in as to make sure the player can fall back to regain health.
I achieve wave blending by tracking the amount of enemies killed and how far the player has progressed in the level. Therefore aggressive players will always be met with the max amount of enemies while passive players can break up the two main sections of combat.
Most enemies spawn just around the corner from where the player can see while the final few spawn in the from behind the door the player will later use.
This encounter in particular has fewer cover nodes for AI to promote movement, though further away riflemen are locked in the cover location so the player can handle them more easily.