Level Design: Xing-Over

Idea/Design

For this LVL design project, I wanted to create an interesting universe inspired by multiple interpretations of the afterlife and the transient state in between. I also happen to be a huge fan of ghosts and the intrigue surrounding their existence and the art inspired by them too. In this game, the player is a ghost that has to make their way through a labyrinth of cavernous passageways and collect parts of their soul to cross over into the afterlife. I wanted my map to feel like a never-ending tunnel that the Player must keep going down to complete the game. The player will need to navigate the cave avoid corrupted soul parts and dodge evil spirits who want to recruit you into the Haunt Squad. If you gain enough soul parts, you will cross over into a blissful afterlife (hopefully)! If you are caught too many times by the Haunt Squad or your score reaches negative, Game Over :(. 

Layout (before the first play-through)

Playthroughs:

When beginning this design, it was clear how I wanted my ghosts to look, but it took me a while to figure out the proper layout for my game. In my first playthrough, the camera was not in sync with the gameplay and lagged awkwardly, as well as the player’s speed being too fast in correspondence with the player’s movements.

I put in some code to have the camera follow the Player, slowed down the ghost’s speed, and fixed the colliders on my map. I also made background music using Garageband and the keyboard provided and sound effects for my beneficial and harmful collectibles. I wanted to make the background music creepy and foreboding and the sound effects for my collectibles fit theme while still indicating if they have a positive or negative effect and the player.

The ‘Game Over’ screen.

My next playthrough went much smoother. While the camera and the background music seemed to mesh with the design of the game, the collectible sound effects seemed off. I went back and remade my sound effects while also beginning to animate my barriers and player. I also decided to include decorative animations to add dimension to my labyrinth.

Map extended and with new cave animations

I had some issues with these decorative animations and the order of layers, but I’m making progress fixing them here and there. I’m currently working on lighting. I have a long way to go, but I feel pretty happy with how far this project has come!

Addition of animated cave walls