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I researched Events, Level Affordance, and video game Landmarks to create my initial sketches. As well as gather reference material.

The Office acts as the tutorial level where the player is first introduced to our game mechanics and events system.

The Frankfurter Experiments is the last level of Unemployed and being so meant I needed to make sure this is where the player felt the most challenged, whether it be through parkour, or problem-solving.


 

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The Office

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RUNDOWN

The Office serves as the first level in Unemployed: Tales of an Interview. As a level designer for the project, I was in charge of this level and The Frankfurter Experiments

A mundane yet chaotic office space. You'll meet many personalities. A manager yelling for toilet paper is the least you'll encounter in these cubicles.


 

DETAILS

Unreal Engine 4
15 Weeks
Team of 4
Polygons Pack From Epic Games Marketplace
Level Design

  • Pre-Development

  • Blockout

  • Interactibility Scripting

  • Playtests & Iterations

  • Optimization


Environmental Art


 

PRE-PRODUCTION

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RESEARCH

I researched Tutorials, Level Affordance, and Pace to create my initial sketches. As well as gather reference material.

The Office acts as the tutorial level where the player is first introduced to our game mechanics and events system.


 

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STAYING ON TRACK

During the pre-prod phase, we created an Asana board, where we wrote down each task that needed to be done in order to realize the goals we set for ourselves. This also helped me keep track of my progress and made it easier to cut content when needed.

 

BEFORE & AFTER

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Iterating

During the blockout phase, I constantly iterate on my design since this is when it's the easiest to make changes. It's crucial to get the gameplay beats and flow down to the tea, as well as getting this prototype version feel fun and natural.

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Set Dressing

I wanted a cluttered and lived-in feel to a tiresome corporate office.

To do so meant that I had to add lots of clutter all over every piece of furniture.  I developed a method of creating an "x" number of pre-made groups of assets that I could copy-paste onto other furniture and minimally change them so they wouldn't look repeated and still give me that clutteredness I wanted.

GAMEPLAY

This level is focused on teaching players how to approach exploration in Unemployed: Tales of an Interview.

You'll learn there are multiple possibilities to each event

Level Flowchart

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Conveying Information

It was crucial for me that players were able to intuitively find their objective and secret paths and feel clever about it.

Through crafty set dressing and light placement, I was able to offer
great level affordance and level readability

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Rewarding Those Exra Steps

Throughout the game, there are "Synko Boxes" that are hidden. If the player finds them all in a level they are granted a "Synko Toy" that serves as currency to purchase cosmetic suits.

The boxes get progressively harder to collect as you advance in the level.

These boxes serve as a great motivator to explore unconventional paths you might have skipped otherwise.

DESIGN METHODS

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Initiation to problem-solving

Being the tutorial level of the game, I had to keep the difficulty curve to a minimum while teaching our different ways of hiding events and our Synko boxes.

Teaching players to find
alternate paths upon seeing a Synko box through a window for example.

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Being my first experience on a small tutorial level was challenging but fruitful. Compared to the Frankfurter level the challenge came from restraining the difficulty and having the constant challenge of balancing difficulty and teaching, in the end, it was a great learning experience. On top of that, this level was a great way of mastering and optimizing the workflow of iteration from playtest sessions.

A huge congratulation to my team.

 

Thank you for reading!

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