Stoneheart Bleeds

Stoneheart Bleeds is a personal project, created for the Far Cry Arcade.

It consists of a series of escalating encounters connected in a linear flow and ending with an intense, explosive, finale. Each combat encounter tests the players skills at both long range and in close quarters and is set in an open area where the player is free to traverse the space and engage the enemy soldiers as they choose. These areas are then connected by dark caves that contrast the open areas with tight reactive combat. The level ends with an intense fire fight at the doors of a sacred temple with bullets flying in from all sides and a helicopter overhead.

The level is constructed in the Far Cry editor primarily using assets from Far Cry 3.

It has a user rating of 92%, you can find it on the Far Cry Arcade site here (Ubisoft login required) or through Far Cry 5 Arcade Mode.

Player Start Area with rock walled path to Area 1

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Level Rhythm

The opening combat encounters are simple and there are gaps between them to provide the player with a break to explore and scavenge.

As the player advances the gaps between combat areas are reduced and then begin to overlap. Here the player must earn their rest.

In the finale of the level the player has no place to hide. They must fight uphill along a more restricted path, against a superior force, as a helicopter buzzes overhead.

Cover and Movement Flow

Player encounters the enemy in covered position

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‘Stoneheart Bleeds’ has been designed to take full advantage of Far Cry’s cover system. To achieve this I created combat areas that provided a framework for the player to ‘fire and manoeuvre’.

Arcs of Fire, Danger Zones, and Safe Zones

Riflemen - First battle line

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To give the player an engaging ‘fire-fight’ experience I used cover and undulations in the terrain to create areas where the player was safe and areas where they were at risk. To advance and engage their enemy the player must correctly judge when to take cover and when to risk moving through the open.

Leading Lines, Breadcrumbs, and other things…

Religious imagery used as a breadcrumb

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The overall path of the level is linear, but each encounter area is open and has a variety of options for navigation. To ensure the player maintains the correct course I used several techniques to guide them.

  • A mud path that connects the players spawn with the final destination.
  • Torches and fires that provide yellow lights along the main route.
  • Religions objects at exit points to lead the player to the final destination.
  • Human detritus along the main route contrasting the natural environment at the fringes.