SLASH / SLASH
First person, Hack'n'Slash, Arena
Level Design, Game Design, UI
Unreal Engine 4, Perforce, Hack'n'Plan
Slash / Slash is a fast-past, first person, hack'n'slash arena game where the player's goal is to get as high of a high-score as possible. Unlock power ups and multiply your score by traversing trough the level, killing enemies.
The main goal was to create an arena-like, first person, hack'n'slash, with fast flowing movement, in a synthwave art-style. A fun, fast learning, gaming experience with a contest twist.
This was achieved thanks to feedback, prototyping and iteration of the state of the game as I progressed.
Concept art by Alan Yarakhmedov
From paper to blockout to finnished level
Prototyping in blueprints
Scripted multiple gameplay mechanics in blueprints
I started off with making a flow diagram, I could visualize the player movement through the level to get an overview of how the basic levels layout could be. I opted for a sort of circular structure as this would enhance and promote the fast-paced movement in our game. This also corresponds with one of the core design pillars of the game. We wanted verticality through the level so I kept this in mind designing the flow diagram so, I sketched out a few different ones and chose the one that seemed to fit the arena-themed design the most.
Blue arrows indicate the "lower" way the player could take.
Green arrows indicate the "upper" way for the player.
Red area indicates a larger spawn zone for enemies.
Orange area indicates a smaller spawn zone for enemies.
The level flow follows the shape of a "double-zero", to keep the player constantly moving towards the outer areas where the main spawn zones for the enemies are and the biggest chances for the player to build up a big combo.
With the basic flow over the level, I started creating a rough sketch of the level. We wanted verticality and multiple ways through the level so I kept that in mind and decided to go for 3 different "floors / elevations".
The first one I made didn't feel right after block-out and playtesting, so I went back and changed it up a bit. In the iteration I also removed all the "indoor" areas due to the fact we saw players got stuck in them and it slowed down the movement and flow through the level.
= Ranged Enemy = Melee enemy
FIRST BLOCKOUT DRAFT
The first blockout of the level had a lot of indoor areas the player had to traverse through to get around in order to build up their combo-level. After playtesting and feedback these indoor areas got removed due to players getting stuck, and the areas "slowed down" the freedom feel and fast movement paste.
Something I had in mind when blocking out the level was that the "next" area had to be visible from the platform the player was on. With this in mind I created "frames" and "lines" to guide the player right.
FINAL LEVEL LAYOUT
The final level has a more open feel to it and you get the feeling of being on top of rooftops more, (the art direction and feel we wanted from the game). These changes also made the level feel bigger and it made the fast flowing movement feel a lot better.
The level is very minimalistic and boxy. I used this style to fit with the art direction we wanted and to match up with the assets we got and had to use, (the surrounding buildings).