SKYLAR AND PLUX: ADVENTURE ON CLOVER ISLAND

LEVEL DESIGN AND LEVEL ART

Go on an action-packed adventure, collect gadgets helping you explore a beautiful paradise and save it from destruction. It’s up to Skylar Lynxe, our nimble and courageous heroine, and Plux Owlsley, the trusty sidekick, to prevent the villainous CRT from conquering their newfound home and turning it into a wasteland.

Skylar and Plux: Adventure on Clover Island was developed by Right Nice Games, and as part of the level design course at Futuregames we got to make our own level for the game. We were to think of the assignment as part of a possible DLC and aim the level to more experienced players.

Genre: Third Person Platformer/Adventure

Platform: PC

Engine/Tools: Unreal Engine 4

Production Time: Three Weeks

Role: Level Design

DESIGN OBJECTIVES

This level was created as part of a level design course at Futuregames where the assets for Skylar and Plux was made available for the students. The objective was to make a level for a potential/possible DLC, so it was catered to more experienced players. Other objectives/must haves the level had to have was:

  • One thematic mechanic
  • One thematic visual setting

LEVEL DESIGN

I wanted to create a fast paced level, where the player only had a few places to catch their breath. For most of the level I wanted the player to keep moving, always pushing forward, with a few areas where they could explore a bit a calm themselves down before the next fast paced/frantic segment.

My intent was to have the player rushing through most of the level in a relative high pace, being stressed most of the time. There are small areas for the player to explore to give a short break from the stressful platforming. The difficulty ramps up throughout the level; from starting in a safe zone, to encountering the first enemy and risking to fall down into the water, to a higher pace with harder platforming, reacting to new patterns on the fly to being confronted by a new twist to the established platforming puzzles and being further challenged by long ranged enemies.el.

LEVEL MAP

Area 1

The player starts at a safe location where they will encounter the three main mechanics of the level; Swing Nodes, Falling Platforms, and Disappearing Platforms. The first part of this Area is relatively safe with no immediate threats for the player to watch out for, but that soon changes as the first enemy is encountered while doing dangerous platforming. The Area ends with a change of pace and some exploration to solve a puzzle necessary to progress.

Area 2

The next area features Falling Platforms coupled with more long ranged enemies, forcing the player to always keep moving, ramping up the stress level. This is also where the only alternative path exists in the level, to give the player some agency. The two paths converge at the Disappearing Platforms, which have a new pattern that the player have to adapt to on the fly. Next is another change of pace with exploration, so that the player can wind down a bit.

Area 3

The last area contains three sections, which all centers around Disappearing Platforms and requires timing to be beaten. Indicating that this is the final part of the level is the new aesthetic; it’s a darker area, with oil instead of water and a poisonous fog below the platforms. The first two sections takes on a new twist to the Disappearing Platforms, by integrating Falling Platforms in their midst.

AREA 1

The player is facing the direction they are going to travel, seeing their goal looming over the mountains with a giant beak of light shooting up from it, to signal to the player that this is where they are meant to go.

The first platform segments are quite easy and out of danger, to get the player familiar with the main mechanics of the level.

The second platforming segment not only introduces actual danger in the form of instant death in the waters below, but also the first enemy. The enemy has a ranged attack and is turned slightly away from the player as they approaches, and the player can choose to face it head on or leave it be. Its purpose here is to introduce the player to enemies but also to act as a stressful moment.

The player touches solid ground and the pacing is slowed down somewhat, giving the player a chance to catch their breath. To further progress they have to turn off the lasers by following the yellow cable on the ground, leading them upwards.

AREA 2

The player is faced with two branching paths, both with platforming segments and enemies shooting rockets.

Both paths converge on a twist on the Disappearing Platform puzzle.

The player have another chance to catch their breath as they explore their surroundings to solve the next laser puzzle.

The player have to time the lasers just right to get beyond them. This signals that some changes are coming up as far as established mechanics are concerned and also let’s the player know in a subtle way that timing will be critical in the upcoming section.

AREA 3

The player have entered the final stage of the level, indicated by the change in environment and the more complex platform puzzle in front of them, combing Disappearing Platforms and Falling Platforms. The player need to time the platform puzzle just right while avoiding enemy fire.

Yet another difficult combination of the Disappearing Platform and Falling Platform puzzle with firing enemies.

The player can now see the end of the level, but not before facing a faster paced Disappearing Platform puzzle just like the one in the beginning of the game, but this time it’s moving a lot faster and is surrounded by long range enemies.