With my extensive QA experience I am excellent at identifying and tracking gameplay issues. I am well practiced at defining and communicating problems clearly and concisely.
Due to my coding background I favour a problem>solution approach to iterating a level. I identify a problem and then define it. From there I create a solution, implement it, and then verify that it solves the problem. If the problem is not solved I will create new solutions until I have a viable one.
In addition to these skills I have the experience to know that sometimes you need to do nothing. Walk away from you’re work for a couple of weeks and return with fresh eyes.
Here are some examples of how I iterated and revised ‘Stoneheart Bleeds’:
Revising First Encounter – Outskirts
Some of the key changes made to encounter area 1:
- Move two Ai and triggered them as a mid-encounter reinforcement wave.
- Reduced height the overall height of the physical area as the Ai can’t aim down.
- Added religious objects for narrative decoration and to draw the player’s eye towards the exit cave.
Revising Second Encounter – Camp
Some of the key changes made to encounter area 2:
- Added a drop to the entrance that would force the player to commit to the encounter
- Placed a defended rock wall across the left side path to guide the player around the full space of the encounter and ensure every enemy was engaged.
- Placed rocks and vegetation between the rocket-man and the entrance to delay the rocket-mans impact on the intensity of the encounter and deliver the desired rhythm.
Revising Third Encounter – Headquarters
Some of the key changes made to encounter area 3:
- Blocked off the main gate to redirect the player around the to left, making full use of the physical space.
- Changed the buildings on the side-path to a multi-tiered rock and vegetation structure to create more interesting combat.
- Gave the rocket man a better view of the area by creating a raised platform. This allows the Ai to fire rockets at the player from across the area, delivering the high intensity encounter desired by the rhythm.
Having smoothed out the rough edges and ensured a fun player experience I moved on to finalising the level.