In this project I wanted to create a more linear experience set in a somewhat near future. The player needs to go through the missions given to them in order to complete the experience.
The level is set in a universe inspired by Cowboy Bebop, Akira and Cyberpunk 2077. The experience contains a narrative story, gunplay and exploration.
Developed over 6 week
Engine: Unreal engine 4
3D Meshes made with Blender
A CowBop City
I wanted to as concise as I can explain the flow of the level and how the main mission plays out.
The player starts outside the gang garage as is told that they need to get a gun as they have heard that they might get ambushed during the funeral they are going to later
The player takes the tunnel under the road to get to the gun store. When they exit the tunnel they are met with a view of the corporation tower which is meant to foreshadow the final confrontation.
The player goes through Little Tokyo to the funeral which as suspected gets ambushed where they find out they were in fact attacked by Tanaka Corporation in order to drive them of their part of the city
The survivors head back to "Aunt" Mai's restaurant to come up with a plan for revenge
They plan of storming the tower and grab the land contract. In order to do so they need gear. The player heads to a specialist gun store for armor and weapons. Getting a view of the richer part of the city.
They also decided to break into the vault. The player heads to the harbor by going through the underground to pick up som special equipment, a drill drone. More corporation soldiers show up to try and stop the player
Finally the player and their allies attack the tower and take down the boss.
How I started
This project started with me revisiting Cowboy bebop which reminded me of how good the world building is in that show and thought it would be cool to create an experience set in that universe.
I started by looking up some referential Images online to get a feel for the different locations that are found in the show
I started with some rough shapes just to get a feel for what might work
I knew I wanted to contrast the rich against the poor and Rio de Janeiro and several Asian cities came to mind so I started looking for refence images for those cities.
I wanted the player to feel that the city felt connected through paths yet disconnected through culture.
After this I started blocking out on area at a time not to get overwhelmed by the size of it. I started with the areas I had the best ideas for in order to work quickly and efficiently.
I Then started the process over with the next area by taking and overview screenshot and starting planning the area out by drawing on top of it.
Finally I would go back and make the earlier areas fit in better with the new areas.
When I had sufficiently blocked out enough I asked for feedback from different sources and got some good ideas of changes I could make to enhance the experience.
I started added more upwards vertically to enhance the feeling of oppression by the upper class as well as adding more ways to get from one area to the other.
And sometimes I would revisit an area and realize I didn't like a certain part and change it or remove it based on feedback and/or my own personal taste.
Finally I went around and implemented some more feedback that I had gotten as well as fleshing out some of the areas that felt a bit empty and lacked gameplay.
I added some blueprints to enhance the experience. I created an elevator script that opens two doors closes them and then moves the elevator up to the gameplay area so the player won't have to walk up each floor to the objective which might cause gameplay fatigue.
I also added some simpler scripts to create the right atmosphere and create the right feeling. This Blueprint is added to several objects most importantly the top of the final objective to further highlight it.
The Districts - A closer look
The slums acts as a starting area for the player. A small area that that allows the player to take their time and get used to the game.
Contains a market where the player can buy various items such as ammo and consumables
Acts as a hub that the player can return to and pick up new quests and buy items.
Nooks and crannies that the player can explore safely and stress free
The Shrine was a place I wanted to feel like it was undisturbed by progress making it all the more sacrilegious when a rival gang attacks during a funeral. The gang turns out to be corporation private soldiers in disguise.
Combat scenario containing different elevations and maze like cover options.
Slow game pace initially going into fast game pace as the gang attacks
The harbor exists as a mission area where the player goes to pick up gear needed to attack the corporation building. The deal goes wrong and the player has to fight their way out with the gear.
Smaller combat scenario
Harbor masters office becomes a place for the player to pick up quests
The tourist/rich area is much cleaner and has more open spaces to sell the idea of two different cities inhabiting the same space.
Allows the player to buy items
Hidden away alley that sells more high end weapons and ammo
Corporation Tower - Final Showdown
The player is finally taing the fight to the enemy. Having gathered up all the firepower needed the gang finally attacks the corporation.
I wanted this area to feel modern and soulless. I added large rooms with glass walls to further accentuate the feeling of grandiosity while keeping the décor to a minimum.
The player enters the office building. They take down the guard and gets his office key card.
The key card only goes to a certain floor from where the player has to traverse through the last floors on foot.
Beat 2 - Offices proper
As the player exits the elevator the guards are already alerted and are moving to attack the player.
The player is able to see the reinforcement coming through the glass wall
Beat 1 - Lobby
Beat 3 - Top Floor
The player finally gets to the top floor but finds the boss' office door closed.
They find an open window and traverses around the outside of the building into and find themselves in a board room from which they can enter the office.
This project was something which turned out to be much larger than I expected. It started as a Cowboy Bebop referential piece and then turned into something more akin to Akira or Cyberpunk 2077. What I learned from this project is that I should have had a more of a clear idea of what the gameplay was before I started the project in order to tie the level design more closely to the game. But after much deliberation and iteration I think the level turned out pretty cool.
It has the tone that I wanted it to have when I started out. Poor areas that exists within the metropolis that those in power tired to hide away by simply builing on top of them. Giant structures that loom over the poorer areas and create an oppressive feeling. In the end there are things I think I could do better If I knew then what I know now but It was a good learning experience that thought me valuable lessons in level design.
Thank you for taking time to look at this project.
Wish you all the best,
The Slums contract they are looking for is missing but they hear a ship taking off from the roof top.
As they get to the roof the boss is about to take off but the player is able to take them down and get the contract