Adventure on Clover Island: Shroom Lagoon
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Production Time: 3 weeks
Role: Level Design
Skylar and Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is an Adventure/Platforming game developed by Right Nice Games. During our level design course at Futuregames, Right Nice offered us their at the time current build to create our own level, separate from the single player campaign.
Overview and Design Goals
- Branching Paths
- Vertical Gameplay
Shroom Lagoon was designed to be a linear level but at the same time includes secrets and alternative paths to allow for some light exploration and drive home the concept of a larger world rather than a corridor. Being a 3D platformer, my goal was to create a level with lots of vertical movement set in a beautiful environment that players felt compelled to explore.
Level Overview & Pacing
The main path is easy to follow and will guide players through various areas and challenges. There are also secret paths that can be difficult to find but also encourage exploration and gives the impression of an open world rather than a glorified corridor.
The level is broken into 3 main zones and one secret detour area. The transition areas between these zones are designed to be visually impressive and different looking than the last area to let the player know they are making progress.
1: Level Start
2: Introduction to the first couple of platforming challenges.
3: More complex platforming combinations are introduced.
4: Transition between area 1 and area 2 as the player travels through a beautiful vista.
5: The player is attacked by a few easily defeated enemies.
6: The player is ambushed by a machine gun turret on the other end of a narrow bridge.
7: The players are given a break from combat and reintroduced to a platforming segment.
8: A brief platforming segment, ending with yet another vista as the level transitions into area 3.
9: More enemies show up and are combined with some platforming challenges.
10: Combat is ramped up with a multitude of gun turrets firing on the player as they pass by, forcing them to stay and fight or dodge the incoming fire.
11: Various platforming elements are combined to offer a final challenge before the level ends.
12: End of the level.
Area 1 consists of jumping across multiple smaller islands with lots of rocks and vegetation. It looks mostly abandoned and uninhabited.
Area 2 has a tiny village and contains more wooden structures. It also introduces the player to combat.
Area 3 starts off with platforms and bridges built on poles above the water with less emphasis on organic geometry. Combat difficulty is increased with new enemy types combined with platforming.
The tower at the end serves as a landmark for the player to follow.
Broken bridges are placed by cliff edges and point in the direction the player is supposed to jump.
Planks are placed along walls to highlight vertical paths and guide the player over tall obstacles and jumps to ensure a smooth flow.
The player is facing the direction they are meant to travel. A tall shaft of light is visible beyond the mountains, marking their final destination. A secret path is also available here should the player decide to turn around and walk the other way around the rock.
The first few jumping challenges are simple but also foreshadows what is to come.
The bouncing mushrooms are combined with the grappling hook to give the player some extra momentum and spice up the jumping puzzles further.
After jumping from the mushroom with extra momentum, the player is awarded with a short break and a beautiful vista as they soar towards the next island. The bridge helps guide the player and allows them to land early in case they timed their jump wrong somehow and lost their momentum.
The player is given a short break from the platforming and is instead introduced to the first couple of enemies.
Crossing a narrow bridge, the player is introduced to the first machine gun enemy. It is angled in a way that will allow players as much time as possible to react and jump over the bullets.
The mushrooms guide the player towards the next section of the level. Observant players might notice the secret path on their left as they jump onto the first mushroom.
After a short climb, the player is met by another two swing nodes that will take them towards the next island. Observant players may notice the secret path on the left leading to the hanging bridge across the waterfall.
A quick combat encounter is followed by some light jumping puzzles. The path ahead leads to the right, but observant players may notice the secret path below straight ahead.
After a right turn, 3 turret enemies come clear into view. The player may attack them if they so wish or simply follow the path and jump over the streams of bullets.
The final mushroom puzzle and the final swing node.
A final jump remains. The sudden change to an industrial theme signifies the transition to a new area and the end of the current level.