Development Time: 7 weeks
Team Size: 10
ALTIIA & THE TRIAL ISLANDS
Be ready to embark on a journey filled with exploration and challenge! In this game, you play as Altiia, a feisty creature equipped with a very special staff. Explore the islands to find hidden spots and treasures, and if you’re the type of player who enjoys a bit of competition, set up timed challenges for you and your friends!
My roles on this project was level designer and game designer. I researched and put together a mood board for the level. Collaborated with level designer Spiros Kessaris on the level map and the plan for the flow through the level.
I was involved in all decisions regarding gameplay, objectives and main features.
I designed and blocked out the tutorial part and the smaller temple islands.
Adapted and placed assets and implemented scripted objects in Unity.
SANDBOX The player could create their own challenges wherever they wanted and traverse around the level in whatever order they liked.
CUSTOMISATION Pick ups in the shape of hats and different material for the characters clothes could be found throughout the level. The colour of the staff's laser beam changed to match the clothing, something that was useful as you could adapt the staff colour to contrast against the colour of your surrounding.
AUDIENCE AWARENESS Our target audience was young players, and people enjoying light hearted platform games. Therefore the game didn’t feature any conflicts or violence, and the piranha attacks weren’t very graphic.
OBJECTIVES & CHALLENGES
As the game is very centered around our movement mechanic, the level had to be designed to give the player the chance to really put it to the test. We wanted the level to feel like a big playground that allowed the player to roam freely and discover at their own pace.
There was a lot of discussion about the hang glider; whether it should have a timer or stamina. We were worried that people would fly to the end of the world and started out using a 5 sek limitation. After receiving feedback from people who felt frustrated by this, we decided to use only gravity as a limitation, which meant you would eventually hit the ground, but it felt much more natural.
PIRANHAS: We used these instead of blocking volumes. This also meant you wouldn't immediately die if you fell in the water, but have a chance to get up if you're fast enough. It was also a way of increasing pacing without having any enemy combat.
CHECKPOINTS: To avoid the player having to backtrack long distances, we added several checkpoints.
The beginning of the game is linear with the staff placed in view as you start the game. To reach it you need to use both a jump and a double jump. After picking it up and seeing a prompt telling you what button to use you need to jump up a high ledge. The only way to get up is using the staff.
Next you enter a room with several podiums/broken floor. Here the player can try out the staff in a safe environment. The jump depends on how long you hold the button.
The next room has been flooded with water and piranhas are swimming around. There are again different boxes, but this time you will fall in the water if you miscalculate your jump. The first pick up is in a small cave. You need to do a staff jump followed by a jump to reach it. (?). There is a checkpoint just before the water so if you die here, you will respawn very close.
Jump up the stairs and out in the open! I wanted a big contrast between the rooms and the outside world so that it feels vast.
You can choose a route to the left and to the right. We wanted the player to find the hangglider early in the game as it really improves the gaming experience. Therefore we placed a challenge sign on the route to the right so that the player would be drawn that way.
Cross water challenge. This was initially the first challenge the player would see and I wanted it to be replayable depending on if you had the hang glider or not.The air puff flipper and the temporary loss of control proved popular in playtesting, and we reused this in a different form a few times.From the top rock pillar you can hang glide to the goal and get a better time than when you only used the staff.