My first step in creating Stoneheart Bleeds was to explore the editor and determine its capabilities as I’m used to working with the creative freedom of the Unity engine. With the Far Cry editor there are deliberate limitations, which seem to be intended to prevent the end user creating an unusable level and uploading it the the Arcade.
Whilst learning the editor I created prototypes for level themes and scenarios, testing them for feasibility. I then whittled these down to some key ideas to work from.
The design goals I sought to deliver for the level were:
- A player experience that is consistent with that of Far Cry
- A level that supports the full combat spectrum of stealth to ‘gung-ho’
- A high quality aesthetic that changes as the level progresses
- An overall rhythm that rises with intensity and ends in an explosive climax.
- A distinct hook that would make the level stand out on the Arcade.
To identify the best idea for a level you need to explore several, then prototype them to assess their scope and feasibility. One idea on its own is always going to seem like the best idea. When you have a collection of ideas, and can compare the pros and cons of each, then the diamonds will outshine the cubic zirconia around them. Here are some examples of the prototypes I created before settling on the concept for Stoneheart Bleeds.
Understanding the nuance of a games gameplay can only be done by prototyping encounters and then tweaking the factors that effect it to find where the fun is. I explored several basic scenarios so that I could better understand how to create gameplay for a Far Cry level.
Final Concept Pitch
A bloody civil war is coming to an end. The remnants of General Stoneheart’s rebel army are camped in an impregnable fortress, high in the alpine region of northern Gorkovia.
No army can reach these high climbs and end the war. But perhaps one lone soldier could be bold enough to infiltrate this base, assassinate the leaders, and bring the bloodshed to an end.