Sunday, October 19, 2008

Level Design


Level design in itself is often an art, given the limited amount of resources which are the core mechanics, it is a game / level designer's jobs to use the available mechanics to squeeze out as much interesting gameplay possibilities as possible.

Many things go into the level design process, from the level's conflict elements, e.g. enemies unique to the level, insidious puzzles to overcome etc., gameplay flow, to the story that is often the icing on the cake that ties the whole level together, a 10-minute level that goes into the hands of the player is often much lesser time spent than the sum of the development time of its individual parts.

Nonetheless it is the Level Designer's responsibility to try to make it the best 10 minutes possible for the player.

Level Maps
Troll & Armor Level Maps

Puzzle Design

Platform Puzzle Design

Enemy Design

Level Backstory

Frevendia, the region of the Great North is a region of harsh cold, snow, ice and beautiful auroras. However, as with all things in Haelum, contrast is the order of the day. Frevendia's climate hangs in the balance as it is also home to the Living Mountains, organic, living, breathing active volcanoes kept dormant by their existence in the cold climate.

Of the smaller inhabitants, there are two races, the Pengus and the Hammoths. The Pengus (Pengi) are cold climate creatures, a playful and carefree bunch and mostly live out in the cold, in a shire of snow caves built atop the surface of the icy lakes of Frevendia. The Hammoths are mainly a mining race, unaccustomed to the cold weather, and deeply religious. Making their homes, work and places of prayer inside the warm interiors of the Living Mountains, hardly venturing out into the cold unless necessary, like for reasons of trade and commerce with the outside world. But other than that, they are rather self-sustaining.

However, the long years of being cooped up indoors has made the Hammoths secretly envious of the luxury that the Pengi enjoy, of being able to live out in the great outdoors. Thus, when Marty comes along and offers the Hammoths a chance to make their wishes come true with Steampunk technology, the Hammoths more-than-readily accept Marty's help, and him as a Savior. Digging deep into an ancient Hammoth volcanic temple built into the Chief of the Living Mountains, a Great Volcano, Marty harnesses a its great volcanic activity to power a thermal generator to supply electric energy for the heaters and microwaves that the Hammoths were given to survive out in the cold.

However, little did Marty or the Hammoths know that the intense use of the heating technologies used by the Hammoths would cause an increase in the climatic temperature, disrupting the magical balance of the region, and leading to the Living Mountains erupting. The most drastic disaster occurred when the Great Volcano erupted, sending forth a gushing flow of volcanic rocks and lava, flooding the entire lake of ice beneath it, destroying the homes of the Pengi and changing the entire landscape of Frevendia.

Rusty and Troll arrive in this disaster-stricken land, and are tasked to help the troubled inhabitants and to find a way to restore the delicate balance to the land of Frevendia....

Used with permission by Emerging Entertainment
Copyright of Emerging Entertainment

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