Multiplayer

Level Designer

Zanshin-Created in UE4

Description: Zanshin is a fast-paced 6 player online multiplayer FPS where players compete against each other with bows and arrows in a futuristic setting. The game features bows and arrow combat rather than magazine loaded weapons to give gameplay an interesting twist.

Teaser clip

 

   

 

 

The Level

 

Goal: To have players second to second engagements flow together in small sections of the map, combining with other small sections, increasing player intensity as the battle unfolds through each area of the map.  

 

Tasks: 

  • Planning and white boxing initial layout.

  • Constant testing & iteration to better the game flow and pacing.

  • Create test plans and formats for playtesters to follow.

  • Balance level ingredients/layout to even team-based play. 

  • Use lighting and environment layout to direct players.

  • Work directly with the programming and art team to implement features and level ingredients.

  • Polishing level with final gameplay balance tweaks and art props.    

 

Zanshin_logo
HighresScreenshot00000
HighresScreenshot00026
HighresScreenshot00007
HighresScreenshot00009
HighresScreenshot00033

Team Spawns

 

Each base is designed symmetrically to offer balanced gameplay. To prevent spawn killing I designed a three-tiered base spawn that each respective team can exit from. Each of the exit points leads players out from opposing sides, with the top giving a height advantage and with complete lines of sight behind their own castle walls. If a team starts to dominate and swarms the opposing teams base there are a total of 5 exit points. Each of these points leaves the spawn in different directions at different heights to give a negative feedback loop, where the defending player can possibly flank the opponents on their side.    

 

 

 

HighresScreenshot00024
HighresScreenshot00017
HighresScreenshot00016
HighresScreenshot00026
HighresScreenshot00012
HighresScreenshot00027

The Good: 

  • The Shiro Compound started out completely different, after receiving playtest feedback I had to redesign the map to keep players in action without having them wandering around searching for players.

  • The map features sections that suit all playstyles such as, close quarter tunnels for short range/melee combat, high up vantage points for sniper style play, and medium ranged encounters with bursts of cover options.   

  • The level utilizes its environment, lighting, and structure design to direct players around the map.  

The Tough:

  • Having a small team of six resulted in us picking up additional roles, doing this took away from our main focus on the project. I personally wanted to have more maps and had to cut one due to lack of time.  

  • Animating bow and arrow combat proved to be quite difficult because of lack of experience with UE4's pipeline, resulting in more loss of time with implementing animations rather than creating additional art content. 

The Awesome:

  • Students from other classes enjoyed the game so much that they asked for a personal copy to keep and play with their friends! The win for Zanshin weooo!

  • As production continued we found ourselves communicating more and more effectively by having more scrums and meetings. Many problems, bugs, and other issues were either avoided or minimized by planning out a strategy before acting on one than losing time. 

LINE OF SIGHT & player path Advantages

 

 

LOSOne of FPS multiplayer maps most important features is having lines of sight that offer close to long range engagements. While designing this map I had to take into account how many players were playing at one time and what weapons were available in each area. Below are a few of the LOS encounters I planned for: 

 

  • Sniping locations above the map overlooking the opposing teams base. (Top Left)

  • Dual towers at each base opposing each other having the LOS restricted to opposing corners, but completely open to the center of the map. (Bottom Right) 

  • Underground pathway LOS across to two opposing towers and center control point. (Top Right)

  • Player spawns with complete lines of sight behind own base walls. (Shown in team spawns)

 

Player Paths: Another important feature I implemented was to have interesting and engaging player paths. On FPS multiplayer maps hidden flanking routes and side paths with limited cover create a recipe for ever changing gameplay. Below is a list of player paths I planned for:

  • Fast access paths into base towers. 

  • Flanking routes to top control points. 

  • Underground side paths leading under each base coming up near the center control point. 

  • A straightaway from player spawns directly to the center of the map. (Bottom Middle)

  • Circling paths leading up and around each base. 

 

 

 

 

 

Control Points & Arrow Spawns

 

Control Points: One of FPS multiplayer maps most important features is having lines of sight that offer close to long range engagements. While designing this map I had to take into account how many players were playing at one time and what weapons were available in each area. Below are a few of the LOS encounters I planned for: 

 

  • Sniping locations above the map overlooking the opposing teams base. (Top Left)

  • Dual towers at each base opposing each other having the LOS restricted to opposing corners, but completely open to the center of the map. (Bottom Right) 

  • Underground pathway LOS across to two opposing towers and center control point. (Top Right)

  • Player spawns with complete lines of sight behind own base walls. (Shown in team spawns)

 

Arrow Spawns: Another important feature I implemented was to have interesting and engaging player paths. On FPS multiplayer maps hidden flanking routes and side paths with limited cover create a recipe for ever-changing gameplay. Below are a list of player paths I planned for:

  • Circling paths leading up and around each base. 

  • A straightaway from player spawns directly to the center of the map. (Bottom Middle)

  • Underground side paths leading under each base coming up near the center control point. 

  • Flanking routes to top control points. 

  • Fast access paths into base towers. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Documentation: 

  • The GDD for Zanshin helped us maintain the vision through thick and thin. Parts of it evolved as the game did. It provided a solid point of reference as we implemented our core features, and helped us prevent feature creep from sneaking its way into the game. 

The Team 

 

Shane 

Level Designer

Environment Artist

Prop Artist 

 

Felipe

Project Manager

 UI Design

Gameplay Programmer

 

Juan

Network Programmer

 

Ulises 

Technical Artist

           

Sergio

Gameplay & Systems Programmer

 

Matt

Character Artist

Animator

Prop Artist

 

 

 

HighresScreenshot00009