Combat Sim is a 3rd person stealth shooter for PC, where the player has to infiltrate a security area to hack the main servers: everything without being noticed.
Robots patrol each area armed with deadly weapons, cameras are constantly looking for any suspicious movement to trigger the alarm, and lasers detect any intruder that crosses them!
The player has to first unlock the main gate to gain access to the tunnel. Here he has to avoid the laser beams and enter the office area where robots protect the servers. If the player is found at any point, the alarm triggers and reinforcements arrive.
Unreal Engine 4.23.1
Solo Project @ VFS
For Combat Sim we were given the main mechanics and we were tasked to create a stealth level where the player had to travel across 3 rooms without being noticed.
The stealth component was immediately a challenge: I had to first research the enemy's FoV, and which object they were able to see through, then I made a 2D layout of what the rooms would look like.
We were not supposed to change or add any mechanic to the game, so I focused entirely on the level beats and the set dressing.
Once again we were given specific measurements for each of the 3 rooms to add an additional challenge to the assignment. At first I struggled to realize an environment that gave the player a chance to use the stealth mechanic with the small space. The main issue was to show the player where the enemies were, so that they could study their movements and plan accordingly. In the end, I solved this issue using windows and short obstacles that the camera could’ve seen through.
I also decided to give the player multiple ways to solve each room by giving them more paths within the boundaries of the size limit that we had. This proved to be a good idea since everyone sees and solves problems differently.
LEVEL DESIGN FACTORS
Within this assignment I focused mainly on the use of Pacing and Line of Sight.
The level itself had a slow steady pace due to the need of analyzing each room to find the correct way and time to not get detected, until the player triggers an alarm and the rhythm gets way higher.
Line of sight was something that I had to first research within the already existing mechanics: studying how the alarm would trigger due to proximity or vision range. I then choose which objects to use to give players some cover and ways to avoid the traps.
At the end, I spent some time polishing the level with the use of lights, reflection spheres
(due to the presence of many metallic surfaces), smoke and environmental objects to deliver a fine level.