Games Level Design: University Hosts Arcade Competition

Games Level Design: University Hosts Arcade Competition

In this three part series we take a look at the final assessment for Games Level Design, a course held at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. This course uses the StarCraft II map editor as its chosen platform for student’s final examination. Groups of 3-4 work in different game design roles to create a game level that is published in the Arcade for assessment.

The teams have a limited time to design and create their game levels and we loved what they can achieve in a just a few weeks. In this blog we catch up with the team that had the best final level submission with their game level: Enslaved!  

Tell us a little about your game map creation: Enslaved

Our idea was to design a tower defense level with mini-game matches between the waves, we think it works well! Resources are collected from the mini-games, which the player can use to upgrade themselves or buy more towers to protect their base. The theme of the level is kind of like a game show where the player has been kidnapped and is forced to play for their life, and for the entertainment of the cheering crowds! Pro tip: The first wave is tough so build a lot of towers first up!

How did you come up with the title?

We came up with it by brainstorming names that portrayed the theme of the game, so players would know from the start that it wasn't just a regular tower defense map.

How long did the team have to put together the map?

We had around 5-6 weeks after finishing our design document to implementing and play testing our map.

Tell us about the roles you had in designing the level.

The roles we had in our team were; Map & Level Flow, Game-play/Innovation, Play Testing/Training and Narrative/Goals. Each role was responsible for particular objectives; however we all branched out and helped each other where necessary.

For example, Narrative and Goals had the job of implementing anything story based, such as the cutscenes and aesthetics for cut scenes, triggers, background music, conversations and voice work. However they also helped with other sections by doing data work, pathing, some balancing and error fixing.

What was your experience of using the Galaxy gaming editor/engine?

The editor was surprisingly easy to use and get the hang of especially with all the great help and guides online. Our team was basically self-taught! The favorite thing about the editor was the triggers—some of the team had only a basic knowledge of programming, but were still able to learn how to use triggers which was very satisfying. Anyone out there could use the editor to make levels if they wanted to.

What hurdles did you experience while creating your level?

Some hurdles we experienced were mostly design elements that had to be changed as we implemented and tested. For example some tower and player upgrades had to be partially redone. There were also some issues with lag from the large amount of aesthetics, but it was easily fixed by changing some camera angles/view distances. Overall there weren't too many hurdles as it was easy to get the grasp of what the editor was capable of and we worked together well as a team by following a specific plan/schedule and having good communication.

Thank you for your time and all the best in the future!

Thank you!

You can try ‘Enslaved!’ on the NA servers by clicking here.  

Tags: arcade, qut, enslaved

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