Level DesigN



Starting Village

Project: Lingering Legacy

(See the prototyping section below for the blocked-out version of this level!)

This level acts as the first area of Lingering Legacy. It is the players home, a peaceful village tucked into a valley between mountains and a dense forest. Your fellow villagers walk amongst the flowers and trees, greeting you as you pass. A statue built to commemorate the Goddess of Knowledge stands resolute at the far end of the village and a chasm separates half the level into two sides connected by wooden bridges.

This level was extremely fun for me to build, especially taking it from concept to completion. While the original level was good, as I mention in the prototyping section below, it was too flat and overall not dynamic enough once the game evolved. I wanted to focus on adding verticality that both guided the player and was interesting to explore and look at. By starting the player at the top of the level, they must proceed down two levels of height before reaching the ground where their objective lies at the other end of the level. It naturally makes the player need to walk through nearly the whole level, giving them the opportunity to see the other places they can explore without making it feel forced or manufactured.

One such area is the watering cave (see the 6th photo). Originally, this didn't exist. While I was in the midst of replacing the ProBuilder block assets with the actual terrain, the idea of adding a small alcove set into the hillside popped into my head. I ran with it and an later, I had created this new section. I loved it and the team loved it, so it stayed. In fact, we hid a secret achievement in there! To round out its purpose, I added buckets and barrels to the stream's bank and soft god rays and floating particles to give it a peaceful, beautiful aura.

Ethereal Library

Project: Lingering Legacy

(See the prototyping section below for the blocked-out version of this level!)

The player awakes in a fog-filled, massive room after being killed by the Fallen Guardian. The Goddess of Knowledge revives them, telling them that this is her home and they must venture forward to regain the power of their ancestors. As the player progresses through the level, they come across books that hold the powers of Guardians past, having to complete scenarios using their new found abilities in order to master each one. Finally, they come upon the Goddess's throne room, where she resurrects the player and sends them back to the real world.

This level serves as the tutorial level for Lingering Legacy. I wanted to create an immensely atmospheric area while retaining maximum playability in order to give the player a thorough tutorial and an interesting space to experience it. I had always envisioned a massive library for our tutorial level, seeing as it is where you meet the Goddess of Knowledge. Our Lead Artist Sacha Gaffney did an incredible job making my ideas come to the life and I couldn't be happier with the result.

I designed the tutorial to be entirely modular, meaning that each room was a contained experience and could be swapped out and moved around as necessary. This allowed us to easily edit the layout if we needed to add or subtract any mechanics from the tutorial. Each room serves as a separate tutorial, where the player gains the ability at the entrance and must use it to get to the next.

Destroyed Starting Village

Project: Lingering Legacy

After completing the tutorial level and gaining the power of their ancestors, the player then gets transported back to their village, though it isn't as they left it. The enemies that had flooded the area had wrecked havoc. Those you once knew are now dead, lying amongst the grass and flowers, their homes destroyed and burning. The player must exact their revenge to move forward.

This level's design was fairly straight forward. I needed to take the original level and give it an entirely new atmosphere. To do this, I reduced the level's light, added dark fog, and smoke rolling through the air. Along with this, I added fire to the houses, enemies strewn about in strategic encounters, and made small structural edits to further increase the environmental storytelling. The main example of this can be seen in images 5 and 6 where the hut that was built onto an overhanging slab of rock has now crumbled to the ground, lying beneath rubble with a fire diminishing it into ash.

Buried Ancient Temple

Project: Lingering Legacy