View Full Version : 9/16/2013 - Level Design: DMC overhaul and world conversion

09-16-2013, 11:12 AM
Level Design

Level design has a different definition depending on the company you work for. Ultimately though, it has to do with the design and creation of spaces in which players will interact. In the case of ♥♥♥, this task extends to the creation of all environment art as well. To me this is one of the more fun aspects of working on the game, as itís a purely creative endeavor, rather than a logical one. This does not mean however that no logic must go into the design of worlds, as itís also important to understand how your players will interact in it and whether or not it will be fun.

The Editor


This is our level editor. Through this program, we are able to develop the world that you play in every day. It allows us to create the world geometry, import models, add objects, and create the lighting. Any world must pass through this editor before being put into the game, using the compiler which will bake and format all of the lighting and various pieces of information that the level contains.

DeMorgan's Castle


The primary subject of todayís update however is the world of DeMorganís Castle. This prison colony has been the stable of Dominion power over the years, serving as the only place of imprisonment within the game world. With Fall of the Dominion however, this role has been lost to time in a sense.

Our plans for the colony involve changing the layout and adding some decay, helping to reflect the broken nature of the world, and lawlessness that now exists where there was previously much order. From a design standpoint, the colony has always been built as a fortress. The long hallways provide a great opportunity to completely annihilate any attacking force, and in Fall of the Dominion this will be reduced, but still primary to the design of the prison territory.

This is part of a dynamic that will exist between DeMorganís and Necars, in that one is a fortress and the other is a wasteland protected by aliens. This creates an interest experience when arrested, as whichever territory the faction owns will be your final destination. This update will not discuss the prison system in detail, as that is the subject of a future update.

The last element of DMC that we will discuss with you today is the concept of prison entrance. In the past, users were able to break into the prison to let people out, but conversely, they were also able to break in and repeatedly kill the prisoners until they logged off. When the prison was owned by a purely roleplay LED, this meant that they would always be protecting the prison and the prisoners, both from escape and from murder. With the ability for anyone to own the prison however, this responsibility turns into a weapon, and all logical reason for allowing it flies out the window. For this reason, it will be impossible for ANYONE who is not a prison to enter the prisoner area. Escape will still be possible, but a ledge will be in place to prevent anyone from entering from the outside, or trade with prisoners to introduce weapons inside.

World Conversions


To use one of the old worlds in Fall of the Dominion, a large amount of care must be taken to convert them to support many of the new features the game has. For the oldest of worlds, this means converting many of the in-game objects to support things like name areas (the titles that pop up as you move around the world), teleporters, barriers, and optimizations. For those that existed in the previous version of the game, this means adding support for territories and some small aesthetic changes to reflect the storyline.

Fortunately for us, we have the help of one of Face of Mankindís old level designers, which really decreases the amount of time that other staff has to spend on it. So everybody make sure to thank [DPS] Barkey!



Level Design and Programming are just two important aspects of creating a game. While most of our updates will be about game design, we did want to give some insight into the other elements of FoTDís creation. As another level design treat for all of you, I will be documenting the creation of the prison territory on Necars Field (when I do it), and releasing screenshots and concepts for it as a future update!