God of War: Helheim Tower

Aesthetic: Action Adventure, Third-Person

Platform: PC

Game Engine: Unity

Development Time: 2 Days (ongoing)

Team Size: 1

Role: Level Designer

Tasks + Responsibilities:

  • Researching and analyzing the design patterns and conventions in the original franchise.
  • Designing and mapping out the Level Flow based on the “Serpentine” level design pattern.
  • Designing and sketching out top-down floor plans of the level.

Overview

I’ve recently been doing a series of design analysis on this year’s Game-Of-The-Year, God of War. I thought I would try designing a mock level utilizing its design patterns and the core gameplay loop. I decided to design a stand-alone, interconnected level based in Helheim, incorporating both puzzle and combat gameplay.

Inspiration

Although not directly related to Norse mythology, given the setting of hell, I was inspired by the Tower of Babel and its architecture.

 

Research

Based on the existing gameplay mechanics, I decided to focus on using the Hel’s Wind for puzzle elements and the default enemies from the realm, with varying degrees of difficulty.

For the overall level flow and map layout, I was inspired by the Hel’s Wind transportation puzzle found in the Witch’s Cave, and how it required the Player to think about the positions of the Receptacles and the map layout 3-dimensionally in order to solve the puzzle.

In terms of the environment art style, I figured I’d reuse much of the aesthetics and assets already found in the game, as the sculptural tectonic will give the Tower a heavy, monolithic look from the outside, and the intricate, decorative look in the inside.

 

 

Level Flow

I wanted to design the level with a cyclical flow, similar to those commonly found in the original game. Hence, I wanted the Player to first go down the Tower through one path, and come back up through another.

 

Map Layout – Sketch

Here is the first pass of the map layout, noting the important game elements and the Player’s path through the Tower’s different levels. In total, there are three major levels: 1) the Upper Level where the Player enters in the beginning, 2) the Middle Level where the Upper and the Lower levels connect, and 3) the Lower Level where the missing Hel’s Wind lies, and where the Player have to fight against challenging enemies. The general flow is this: Upper – Middle – Lower – Middle – Upper.

 

 

Blockmesh – First Pass

More coming soon!