This is a break down of the design of the level and its key features.
This is an early level and the Player likely hasn’t mastered the flight controls. They an initial safe zone to allow them to take off unmolested. From there the main path is simple and leads directly to the two objectives. Additional features are then ‘off path’, giving the player a reason to explore. These are the Ai spawners and the bonus resource crate.
The following challenges are placed along the main path:
- Ai ‘pods’ are spawned ‘off path’ and move to a position to defend the path.
- Cannon turrets are placed along the sides of the path.
- A mini-puzzle uses doors to block the path to one of the fuel tanks
There are three types of challenge in Captain Kaon, combat, manoeuvring, and puzzles. This first level implements all of them.
The combat challenges:
- Fixed position ‘Cannon Turrets’ are placed on the surfaces at the sides of the path.
- ‘Ai Defend Zones’ are placed along the main path so that spawned ‘Pods’ will move here and engage the player.
- ‘Pod spawners’ are placed ‘off path’ to encourage the player to explore
The manoeuvring challenges:
- There are areas where the tunnels contract and become restrictive.
- The main objective ‘Fuel Tanks’ must be carried back to base without getting damaged and destroyed
- There are ‘Piston Crusher’ environmental hazards.
The single puzzle challenge:
- There is a set of closed double doors, the player must follow a connected wire to a switch and toggle the switch.
Doors to first fuel tank
I placed the first of the fuel tank objectives behind a set of double doors as a simple mini-puzzle. To retrieve the fuel tank the player would have to figure out how to open the doors.
An attentive player will notice that there are wires that connect both of the doors to a nearby switch. As this is one of the first levels the wires are clear and the distance is short.
The switch itself is a physics object that the player can push with their ship to toggle on and off. However the switch object does not connect to anything directly, it collides with two ‘contact trigger’ objects. When activated, these object send an ‘on’ or ‘off’ signal to any objects in their target list.
There is a bonus resource crate at the bottom of the level, behind an environment hazard. This rewards explorative players with the opportunity to gain extra resources for their campaign.
The hazard consists of two piston crushers with a gap in between. These pistons alternate and test the players ability at fine controlling their flight to avoid damage. Once they are clear of the hazard there is a power generator controlling it, which the player can destroy to make the return easier.
The hazard is controlled by a ‘tick-tock’ scripting object. This object sends an ‘on’ signal to the objects in its target list at a regular interval. It has two targets, the first piston and a ‘signal inverter’ scripting object. The inverter changes the ‘on’ signal to an ‘off’ signal and sends it to the second piston. This setup create the two crushing pistons which are out of step.