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Ricochet

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The Project - Ricochet
  • My Roles: Level Designer, Gameplay Designer

  • Time: 6 week

  • Team size: 8

  • Tools: Unreal

  • Date: 2021

About:

Ricochet is a fast-paced parkour shooter where the player must use their acrobatics to take out enemies in spectacular ways to earn a higher score.

Gameplay:
The player spawns in and must survive for 5 minutes while getting as many points as possible. You get these by performing cool manouvers by combining different parkour skills together.
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Sadly the game does not actually have a 80s 3d filter on it. (Looks real rad though)

Level Design

Ricochet is a fast-paced game set in an arena, both movement and combat needs to be tight and clean. Moving through it also needed to be smooth to encourage the fast movement. The player should have opportunities to perform cool tricks while always having a viable path to follow.

Level rules

Designed to offer multiple routes and encourage fast paced combat where the player can experiment with their moves.

With this I created 3 pillars to build the inner section of the level around.

  • Options

  • Readability

  • Verticality

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Working with these pillars I worked to create a level that built on multiple levels to encourage parkour. Has multiple paths to stop players from getting stuck and is easy to read and understand.

Process

I designed and dressed the internal section of Ricochets arena. The section started out as being several smaller rooms that I then combined to create an open floorplan.

The first itteration of this open floorplan in the "Trench room" did not encourage the player to move around as I had wanted. Players would rather stay back and take cover then move around.

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  • The freedom I aimed for led to the player being overwhelmed with options.

  • It rewarded more passive play as the player could easily snipe enemies.

  • The parkour routes didn't feel natural, it felt unclear on what was intended and not. 

  • No clear direction, there was no place the player wanted to go more then any other.

After a few itterations I added a wall that blocked sightlines, I added a window to stop the area from feeling cramped. Instead of being able to exit the area anywhere there were now clear goals to head towards. This also made it easier for the player to outplay the AI as they could quickly break line of sight to get out of harms way.

The divider wall presented new parkour opportunities and made combat more intense as it made each individual combat zone more focused.

I added a second room called the storage room while enlarging the trench room. This was done to to reduce the amount of things the player needed to keep track of while adding allowing me to create different gameplay without making one area feel unfocused.

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Verticality

The area is built with three layers to add additional options and routes. Splitting the areas in two with the trench made it feel more complex while also adding more excitement to the parkour as players jumped over large drops and gaps.

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By having the height differences clearly seen at all times I wanted to create the feeling of multiple areas in one. This to help the player Identify advantageous positions.

I kept the entrences to the outdoor area elevated and visually distinct so players could rapidly tell where they had been and how to leave the area. 

General Layout

The final version of the indoor section is two larger rooms offering different kinds of combat experiences.

  • The Trench room is designed to focus on fast parkour and longer unbroken lines.

  • The Storage room with it's crowded floor space and many obstacles is intended to offer close-quarters combat and opportunities for short explosive points combos.

The trench room is designed to be hectic and have plenty off cool spots to maneuver around and function regardless of what direction you enter from. With longer straight lines split by the trench the area offers a few routes that can be mixed to create new options and possibilities to combat the enemy.

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The storage room focuses on more technical skills and close-quarters combat. Offering plenty off cover and places to ricochet pullets.

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With the cluttered nature of the room there is several options to take cover or quickly gain a hight advantage by climbing up the containers.

Creating ways to quickly get up to utilise the areas verticality led to a flexible map that allowed the combat and movement to blend well. This in combination with areas that encouraged different playstyles created an area that challenged and allows the player to adapt and control the battle through the environment.

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