Level design. Fort – a single level for Crysis

Short description

A gamer decided to create his own single player campaign level for the 2007 game Crysis. The level, called “Fort,” took two months to create and offers dynamic gameplay with three cut-scenes. The level is structured with research at the beginning without many opponents, sandbox locations with a large selection of their passage, and a final battle with a gut-like structure. The creator used the environment and physics in the level to offer interesting moments and diversified the sandbox location by offering verticality to eliminate enemies. While the editor is a great place to design levels, its downside is the errors that may occur while working with it.

Level design. Fort – a single level for Crysis

Decided to mess around with the Crysis 2007 editor and make my own single player campaign level for that game. Personally, as a player, I didn’t like the original game very much, finding it poorly put together and boring due to the large number of very large sketchy open locations. While studying the editor, I came up with the idea of ​​making a level where the player can use all his abilities to the maximum. It took 2 months to create a level called “Fort”. As a result, it was possible to make a dynamic gameplay with three cut-scenes for 7-10 minutes.

I decided to choose a location that was not used in the original single player campaign of the game. The eye fell on the fort. The level only used resources from the original game.

You can see the passage of the level here:

You can download the level at the following link:

Level structure

The level structure is:

  1. Research at the beginning of the passage without a large number of opponents.

  2. Sandbox locations with a large selection of their passage and elimination of enemies.

  3. The final battle with a gut-like structure.

The first location turned out to be ordinary and simple. Here, the player can use the “Invisibility” ability to silently eliminate the opponent. The location is very linear and leads to the main battle of the entire level.

I diversified the sandbox location as much as possible. Verticality is almost everywhere (Fig. 1.1 – 1.2), which helps to eliminate enemies where they do not expect to meet the player. This also helped to use the main character’s abilities wisely, namely “Strength”, which helps to climb large ledges. The abilities “Speed” and “Invisibility” help to hide from the helicopter.

It was also necessary to use the environment in the level. Players like to use things like this because it leads to interesting moments in the level that the designer doesn’t expect to see. The level also uses physics, which can be used to eliminate enemies. This was facilitated by explosive entities, which during the explosion throw away large objects that eliminate enemies (Fig. 2.1 – 2.2).

The final battle was done in the best traditions of any action game. The gut-like structure of the location made it possible to make a good fight in the gameplay at the end. This was helped by the structure of almost every Call of Duty battle, where enemies enter the battlefield to give battle to the player. In such battles, the front line is always used, so that the player can easily destroy enemies who should always be in front of him (Fig. 3.1-3.2). Here, the player mostly has to use the “Armor” ability in order not to die from enemy fire.

Ran into an AI getting into a helicopter problem. Enemies constantly decided on their own which direction was best for them to move in order to eliminate the player, which is why the AI ​​always flew into areas where invisible walls or built-up locations are used. All this forced the helicopter to get stuck and prevent it from taking off from any area. To solve this problem, I decided to use a separate intended path for the AI, which will subsequently constantly change its position to interfere with the player (Fig. 4.1). The AI ​​must first get behind the helicopter, later, ignoring everything that happens in the level, climb to a certain point to start moving around the location with certain position points (Fig. 4.2, Flow graph with the scripting of the main part of the AI ​​with the helicopter).

Cutscenes in a level help to explain to the player exactly what happened before/after the mission or to show how and where the next path opened for the user. Track View turned out to be a cool and simple toolkit for creating very cool and staged scenes.

Correction of mistakes

The weirdest mistake for me was not knowing how many Solids can be used in a level. Due to a similar error, I started leaking data on the level and banal deletion of all solid layers that I was doing. The solution was simple and unique – to remove all layers that the player does not see when passing. This helped get rid of the leak and keep the level the same for the player, without any changes to their eye.

Another mistake was the visual noise in the location, which forced the player to run around the corners of the first location, hoping to find a way. The main accent color is yellow. There are also yellow road signs scattered throughout the level, which lead the player to the final location point. But the reading of these objects was hindered by certain generators, namely: bright white and orange light with effects that attract more attention (Fig. 5.1-5.2). The effects themselves were decided to be completely removed to make the light softer. It was decided to remove the orange light completely from the location so that there would be no conflict with the accent yellow light, the white light remained, but stopped drawing attention to itself. Similarly, the yellow accent color stood out and the generator, which was also decided to be completely removed from the location, so that there would be no conflict. As a result, a clear picture was obtained, where the player can immediately understand where the main path lies, and where the alternative one (Fig. 5.4).

Result

In conclusion, it’s safe to say that Sandbox Editor 2 for Crysis 2007 is a great place to design your own levels. Here you can use the different nature of the gameplay to create loot locations and make them so that the player can use all his abilities. Working with Flow Graph was also pleasant and convenient. The only downside of the editor are the errors that can fly out while working with it. The same Flow Graph can stop responding a minute after working with it, so a tip: if you’re going to make a level in any Sandbox, it’s better to save every 5 minutes, so it doesn’t hurt to redo the cool moments you’ve done so far.

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