Divergence is a 3rd person shooter team project made using Unreal. The game centers around the player's use of time powers to fight giant mechs. I primarily worked on combat design and enemy design.
Academic Team Project
Singleplayer Co-op Combat
Designed core loop centered around player movement and ability usage
Prototyped enemies for testing and iteration
Conceptualized abilities according to different player playstyles and engagement types
Designed enemy attacks and interactions
Iterated on divergence mechanic and its use in combat
Analyzing Level 1
I started my research on encounter design by looking at Doom's first level. down its elements. With the hope being to reconstructing the designer's intentions. So, I began by roughly blocking out the level and elements
While the level design is not my focus, nothing exists without context. And only within the context of the level could I get the best understanding of an encounter. Once the whole thing was mapped out, I looked at some core elements. Specifically, the weapons available to the player and the enemies for the level.
Looking at the enemy and weapon choices for the players gives me an idea of their goals for this level. The shotgun forces players to play aggressively and get close. At the same time, the enemies use projectiles that rarely hit a moving player and are weak at close range. This pushes the player to aggressively approach enemies and easily defeat them once in close range. This reads as teaching the player this.
"Break through and decimate your enemies"
And this lesson makes sense for the first lesson Doom instills in its players. This is a pretty core element of Doom as a game. And by teaching it first and foremost, it sticks to players for the rest of the game.
After looking at the general level, goals, and tools, I began looking at the encounters. The core thing I wanted to do was ask questions. Analyze the encounter, notice interesting things, and figure out the designer's reasoning.