NOT A PLANT
Gameplay, Level Designer
2019 (4 weeks)
Not A Plant is a third-person platform where you take control of a small creature adventuring through the ruined world in search of Papa.
Importance of Level Design
Early stages of this project we had the goal to allow the player to play the way they wanted. We wanted to create tools for the player and give agency to how they wanted to play with the set tools we provided.
This proved to be problematic to do in 4 weeks and we had a hard time getting gameplay moments and mechanics to click with our main mechanic; Swinging freely. During these 4 weeks, we didn't have anyone who wanted to do level design and we ended up with a rushed version that wasn't good. This project is what put me on the path to dwelling deeper into level design.
I decided to go back to the game after the initial 4 weeks that we had to learn, redo and improve the level design within 1 week.
One of the issues with the first design of the level was that it was too noisy. We showed the player everything all at once making it very hard for the player to navigate where they needed to go. I wanted to decrease the noise and make each part of the level have a story that made them memorable, even if the player was there only for a brief moment before swinging away.
A Whole New World ♫♪♪
After the project ended I couldn't let go of the feeling that the level design could have been better. I asked the team if they were okay with me going back to the project and reworking the level design in the game. With their approval, I set out to revamp the level within a week's time limit.
I started by looking over the feedback that we had gotten on what was good about the level design and what was less good.
I discussed with the team what they wished was different with the level design and noted it down.
With the notes, I started planning out the flow of the level, created 2D sketches, and planned the various challenges that would appear in the level. When I had a plan that I felt was going to work I proceeded to do a blockout of the level, had people test it and give feedback, and continued to iterate on it until I had something enjoyable for the player. During this time I also sought mentorship from a level designer in the industry which also helped me tremendously in growing as a level designer.
Finally, I finished it up by doing an art pass on the level with what art we had.
With a revamped level we showcased it during one of our school events and it was well received by people.
I feel that we as a team really tried to figure out how to approach this game with, art, gameplay, and level design but we struggled, and while we didn't end up with what we had imagined, we all learned a lot from it.
I'm super proud of what we did manage to make and thankful to the team for trusting in me when it came to doing a revamp of the level.
With the revamped level finsihed, we showcased it during one of our school events and it was well received by people.