Game: Hyper Syntax
Role: Level Designer
Intended Experience: 5 – 10 minutes gameplay
Development Time: 4 weeks
The core design of The Grid is to create a very geometric level that is both symmetrical but has dynamic hazards. The overall shape of the level can be described as a very wide but flat box, with 3 tiers to the obstacles and environment. Because the game mode played on this level is CTF, the flag has multiple spawn points on each tier of the level, but the first spawn will always be at the center of the stage and equidistant from each player. Each tier of the level is color coded distinctly, from red on top to purple in the center and green at the bottom. Each tier accomplishes much of the same tactics, but in a different pattern. Each tier is home to dynamic objects in the form of cascading block waterfalls. These waterfalls are deadly to players but can be dodged with swift flying and skillful timing. Each tier has at least 2 walls or paths of them, which serve as natural choke points but can be broken by skilled fliers. Tying all the tiers together are two larger waterfalls which are much more difficult to traverse through and are much more defensive-oriented obstacles.
The one concept I wanted to go on in creating this level is a symmetrical environment that can be traversed completely different ways, even on one playthrough. Central to the idea are the block waterfalls. The blocks fall down from the ceiling to the floor and can be used to completely block off the path of an opposing player, but if traversed well can be gone through by players. The blocks fall at a rate that allows players to fly through them but only if they seize the right opportunity, making them purely a skill-based play. I wanted them to be the dynamic obstacle in this level because players can use them as shrouds to ward off players or can take advantage of them for offensive play to swoop in and steal from the opponent. I was pleased with how well they aesthetically looked and blended with the environment to give it a relatively digitized feel, but also they serve as stark contrast to the colored and wavy light paths of the player. This fighting of smooth and wavy paths against rigid and constant blocks makes every part of the level pop.