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PuzzleLevel Final run reduced size.gif

Download Here (PC only)

Production Time: 2 weeks

Project Year: 2021

Software: Unreal 4

Role: Level Designer

Team: Solo

Lava Mars is a level block out of a small puzzle level inspired primarily by The Martian made as an assignment. The primary task was to create a puzzle that significantly changed the level. 

I designed the level around a central enviroment piece, a sensor tower, that dominates the level. The player must bring it down to cross over the lava that now divides the Mars base. To add some time pressure, the player is also constantly in need of oxygen refills. 

Work: Video Player

Level Shortcut to avoid backtracking

Jumping Challenge

Cables to bring down the tower

My goals with this task was to create a compact, yet interesting player path, while fulfilling the assignment's primary focus, the puzzle. Looking at references, I found inspiration for this environment within The Martian which gives a good context for a compact environment.

Exploring this further I looked at Mars habitats that are under consideration by NASA, where I found the torus shape I used for this level. By splitting it in half, the level now has a hazard it feels natural to want to cross, while also always keeping it a focal point of the level. 

For the player path itself (numerical order on the top down map) I focused on creating a path that always varies a bit. The player will traverse the same space several times, but each time the path will take them to different part of it. 

While I drew the top down map with that in mind, I also added a shortcut in the Sensor Operations room as I found the backtracking here to be especially tedious. By making it one way it also adds variety without invalidating the previous part of the player path. 

Initial Level Concept

top down map.png

Design Documents

Reference Board

Reference Board

Puzzle Diagram

Puzzle Diagram

Level Map

Level Map

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