No Pressure (2019)
Level design, Game design and Co-lead on a team of 14 artists.
No Pressure is a 1st person traversal adventure game that immerses you in the culture and experience of graffiti artists
Design objectives and pillars:
- Create an experience as close as possible to the actual one of the Taggers.
- Have a simple game loop and mechanics because all features and game mechanics will be made in Unreal blueprints (as there is no programmers on the team).
- Conceptualize a multi-branching level design to give the player some freedom in his decision-making during the "Execution" portion of the experience.
- To introduce the graffiti sub-culture and the Taggers' code of honour through gameplay and storytelling.
- Learn and experience is a key component.
- Put in perspective the risk element of graffiti art.
Level Design objectives:
- Make the current objective understandable and within the narrative.
- Showcase a multi-branching level design but keeping a golden path for more casual players
- Reuse parts of the world design to familiarize the player to his playground.
- Showcase the illegality of the actions with a police presence and by escaping
First Graffiti route
Long alleyway gives a nice opportunity for narrative elements (Text messages/Voice over)
2nd graffiti vaulting puzzle & Fence Vista
Player is attracted by the fence and vista of the next playable section & Introduction to Vaulting mechanic
View from the Fence Vista & Introduction to risk/damage element.
Player can see the next 3 tags and also a hint of the stacked containers for an upcoming exit route.
After executing the 2nd tag, player will either jump off and get some damage warning or go back on his path. Both solutions results in the understanding of the risk aspect.
Vaulting puzzle to get to the floor above
(after learning about risk/damage)
Overview from 2nd floor.
Last traversal puzzle & exit path.
(Exit path is hinted by planks)
Development challenges, changes & acquired knowledge
- Don't be too attached to original design choices, ideas or gameplay loops. The original loop was way different than the current gameplay loop. (e.g. picture below) Even if the risk aspect of graffiti culture was not a design pillar, because of how the project went, it became very interesting to bring it up.
- Use more efficiently products for added production value and optimality of development time. (By reusing geometry, LA and LD, you can add to the gameplay experience) e.g. Return to the van after completing all te objectives.
- Be prepared to change some (or a lot) of designed systems and mechanics depending on development progress and deadlines. (Reusing a "Level' to create multiple missions, as Level Art was longer to do than Level design).
Original gameplay loop
Exhaustive explanation of the player's experience in relation to the 3 different phases in order.