Land Under Rot
Full Game Made in Unity | 2020
I designed the tutorial to be linear in a mostly non-linear game so the player could utilize and practice the tools they are given. "Fenways" which are creatures with tips on how to play the game are placed in the proximity of puzzles to help if needed. Not wanting to make the player continuously break objects to progress, I split up sequences with artistic vistas and platforming to break up monotony. The player is also introduced to GazeGrowths, which are core to the puzzle design of the game.
Immediately after the tutorial, Stinkjorn Stop expands on principles already learned. Adding the Red GazeGrowth, which adds a timer to the attached cordyceps (barrier) they need to pass through to progress. I also designed the level to open up and allow the player to explore, adding collectible acorns in areas not attached to the objective.
Off the beaten path - collectible acorn
Storytelling moment "You broke into my house!"
Introduction to the Red GazeGrowth
Fenway next to the GazeGrowth to explain the difference between Red and standard Blue Gaze Growths
Goal of the level is clearly defined with it's silhouette and brighter color
The Understump is a sister level to Fruitful Forest, another level which the player can choose to play through before or after Understump. Due to this choice, the levels needed to be balanced together. So I worked closely with other level designers to make sure the level felt distinct and introduced it's own mechanics while remaining at the same difficulty. I also introduced Yellow GazeGrowths which light up certain areas of the map, revealing previously unseen puzzles.
Cyan crystals are only found by the Willow Tree, marking at as an important area
Understump mining town is set up only around the Willow Tree, marking it the safest place in the mines
Introduction to the Yellow GazeGrowth
Multiple paths hidden in darkness, one path holds a puzzle, while the other leads to an acorn
I made sure that mine shafts were distinct by placing a set of different colored crystals in each one. Red and purple is shown here, green and blue elsewhere, etc.