Forkdrift

Team Project Spring 2020 - Summer 2020

Overview

Forkdrift is a project I was onboarded to where the whole team worked virtually due to the outbreak in March 2020. I was the lead level designer in charge of creating a multiplayer level that promoted teamwork while offering high replayability. 

As the lead Level Designer I worked a lot with the programming team to understand the physics of our game and the art team to produce a believable harbor environment with the limited resources we had. This aided me in understanding what would be acceptable to incorporate in our game and what pushes the limits as a whole. I took the knowledge and applied it to create a fun and interactive level that includes players using the forks on their Forklift to open garage doors, bridges that open and close, and optional routes that presents choices to players giving them more freedom.

link to steam page - https://store.steampowered.com/app/1318940/Forkdrift/

Contributions

The team wanted a harbor themed level in which players could ideally play capture the flag or other game modes on for a universal level with high replayability. I designed with the intent for other game modes to seamlessly integrated into the level. With the layout of the level it would be easy to incorporate other team modes along with having a free for all or even a time trial mode. Obstacles such as the time looped draw bridges would provide a risk reward scenario focused on timing and skill from the player.

Shipard_Overview.png
Shipyard_Bridges.png

Environment intractability was another focus I designed for as having the power of a forklift, you can do many things that other games don't allow the player to do. I intended on giving the level more replayability by having numerous paths to take, objects to pick up, strategies to pick from, and creating a sense of 'no one strategy is the meta' to the main gametype for this level, with the mindset of having more game types be used in the level.

The Process

As the lead Level Designer I worked a lot with the programming team to understand the physics of our game. I also collaborated with the art team to produce a believable harbor environment. I obtained reference images from an actual harbor environment near my college to reference them in my level documentation.

 

With my intense amount of research and working with both teams, I grasped an understanding what would be acceptable to incorporate in our game and what pushes the limits as a whole. I applied what I had learned from both teams to create a fun and interactive level. Within the level players using the forks on their Forklift can open garage doors, bridges open and close in a timed cycle, and optional routes are presented as strategic choices to players giving them more freedom on how to engage the enemy.

Original Layout

The original layout was based on taking place inside a warehouse with garage doors that both open automatically or with player's activation. The overall design was not a suitable option for the fast paced gameplay we wanted. The overall level did incorporate the drift mechanic, however, it lacked the necessary room required for the forklift to gain enough speed to start drifting.

ShipyardLevelSketch.png

1st Iteration

The first iteration was made to take into account of both the drifting ability and the speed required to use the drift mechanic. The new layout focused on a "Figure Eight" layout that works for both the speed and drifting abilities of the in game forklift. The ships were intended to move in between the drawbridges where the bridges would automatically raise and lower when the ships arrived in the trenches.

ShipyardLevel_VersionA.png

Final Iteration

The final iteration was done due to technical difficulties with the ships and time crunch with getting the drawbridges programmed to automatically raise and lower. Over time, the starting areas changed from a crate area into warehouse where the garage doors would be incorporated only with the exception of the players having to manually raise the doors with the forks on their forklifts.

ShipyardLevel_VersionB.png