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Level designer

Game Engine

Gameplay type
Narrative experience

Context & Constraints

Provide a level design experience with an emphasis on navigation and storytelling

The experience has to support a narrative experience with at least two story levels : 


○ one easily understood and one requiring more observation

○ Understanding of a past event through the environment

○ Raise two contrasting emotions through the environment and/or space

Deadline : Three weeks


  • Show the player a level and a story about war

  • How it can impact a person psychologically

  • Show how hard it can be to go back home and live a normal life

For the map :

  • I wanted the physical layout of the map to reflect the mental state of that person 

  • Clearly see two contrasting environments clash with each other as the character of the story struggles to stay in the present.

Architecture & Navigation

  • Divided the map in two sections both leading to the same train track blocked by derailed wagons.

  • I wanted the story to begin and end on that track but to make the player go around it to fully comprehend the character’s struggle.


The first section is all about war

  • Give the player a claustrophobic feeling by making them go through tight and dark corridors

  • Enter underground bunkers and get a glimpse of what the character went through


Guidance in the first section :

  • Framing the objective
    was something that I kept in mind throughout the level


  • Used lights and props such as debris on the floor or sandbags to guide the player


The second section is in the character’s house

  • I wanted the space to open up

  • Make the player feel like they can breathe a little bit more

  • Make bigger rooms in the house and create a brighter and more steady environment.

The second section continues outside the house:

  • The player jumps down and loops back to both the dining room and the train track

  • I wanted to give the player a vantage point where they could see the area they first started in

Story Through Environement

In the first section, the player immediately spots war-related props such as sandbags, barricades, and crates.

Debris & Barricades
Crates & War props

The lighting is also poor and flickering.

I used dark and dirty
placeholder materials on the walls and floors to better communicate my first level of storytelling.

Barricades & Sandbags
Flickering lights
  • Used three words that represent the character’s thoughts and feelings

  • Show his inner conflict


  • I wanted a bright emissive text to make the words clash and stand out in their environment.

The garden
The toys

The second level of storytelling is about the character’s children.

  • Used children’s toys and flowers to create a cute and calm feeling
    for the player


  • Create a drastic difference in the placeholder materials to better communicate the time-lapse in the story

The materials

Lastly, I wanted the two sections to clash with each other to reflect that the character might be physically in an environment but mentally he’s somewhere else.

To fulfill my intentions I used multiple props like:

  • the tank in the dining room as a way to force the player around

  • the sandbags in the staircase 

  • the toys in the bunker 


If I had to start over:

  • I would give the player more choices

  • Make a bigger bunker underground that could’ve led the player to the graveyard or create another path to the house

  • Expand the house by building a basement or a backyard, giving it more life while reducing the linearity of this section.

    That would have reinforced the dark, claustrophobic feeling that I wanted while giving the player more freedom in his navigation.


  • Maya

  • Quixel Bridge

  • Unreal Asset Store

  • Free low-poly FBX models(The car, the tank, the bed)

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