Roles: Level Designer, Gameplay designer
Time: 8 weeks
Team Size: 10
Tools: Unity, perforce, github
Date: May - June 2020
Fragment is a third-person Puzzle-platformer, set in the subconscious mind. An emotional journey, to uncover forgotten memories. Experience surreal worlds and environments together with a guiding companion. Remember what has been forgotten!
Point beam light to the correct receiver
Receiver is lit
Get access to next area
Overview & Pacing
We wanted three levels with various level design with increasing pacing:
The tutorial level introduces mechanics and story for the player. It involves easy puzzles and increasing platforming.
The second level has heavier platforming and semi-difficult puzzles.
The third level differs from the previous linear pacing. This one includes heavier puzzle with a lot more backtracking.
Level Design goals
I wanted to reward the player with a vista to make it easy to navigate the path. It also generates the feeling of being very small in a big surreal big world.
Falling pillar encourage climb
The falling pillar triggers from the second jump. This teach the player to use to climbing mechanic.
Light Beam placement
The receiver is placed in front of the beam statue to make it impossible for the player to miss it.
Process of Tutorial level
player start area without ditch
It did not feel like the player “earned” this view from the start. The level is revealed too early.
player start area with ditch
I moved the start area down in a ditch with higher walls. The player needs to get up from it to be rewarded with the view.
A big goal I had with this level was for it to be twisted but always allow the player to see the previous and next path.
The start is placed higher up to make it easy for the player to get a clear picture of the map.
The tree guides the player to look to the left. The entrance of the cylinder is shown through the contrast in color and shape. The vista outside the tunnel shows the previous path and the next path.
The player can choose a route to reach both light beams.
Process of second level
At this point, I tried out distances for the platforming vs safe zone. I also wanted to find a good balance for platforming and puzzles.
At this stage the level is still very “thin”, empty and flat. All platforms felt unsolid and not safe with no variation.
I added rocks under and around the bigger platforms. This made those platforms more solid and felt like a safe zone. It gave the level more variation in terms of safe vs unsafe platforms.
This level was inspired by Zelda dungeon. The bigger challenge of the level design was to fit the puzzle design that made all floors, walls and doors rotating. This level does not include much platforming as before, since the puzzle is a lot harder. This allows the player to be more immersed of its surroundings which is needed for the puzzle.
This level got a cake shape with spinning floors. Each spin will affect/discard access to another floor.
Process of Third level
At first, we had walls around the top floor. This made it really hard for the player to navigate while being on top. Each time a spin was made the entire level felt completely new.
Instead, we made it coherent with open spaces on each floor. This made it easy for the player to have a constant view of how the floors were moving.