Dying Light

 Johannes Olsson                                   Telephone: +46 722 431 026   JohannesO92@gmail.com   www.linkedin.com/in/johanneserikolsson/ 

Dying light is a first-person action RPG-survival horror game developed by Techland. It’s an open world environment with a dynamic day and night cycle. The game is known for its free roaming parkour-based gameplay, which is central to the experience.

DESIGN OBJECTIVES/PLAYER EXPERIENCE

  • To create a small interior space which could be place anywhere within the Dying Light universe and its open world environment.
  • To create a mission for the player which would raise the stakes of the gameplay and offer a more meaningful experience.
  • To make sure that the experience was pleasant to combat focused players, as well as explorers. The space has a story to tell.
  • Answer the question where the toilets at.

PREPARATION

One of the challenges which lay before me were to create a realistic interior space. I started to look for reference pictures across the internet, both real spaces and spaces from the game. The latter was very important as I strived to create a space which could be placed within the existing world. 

 

Another challenge was diving straight into thousands of assets created by a AAA studio. To speed up my workflow, I decided to create an asset zoo. Most of the house is created using these assets, with variations on their skins. 

Player Guidance

A few example of how i guide the player through the environment. Using traditional techniques such as framing/guiding lines and lightning, while also using assets such as blood to guide the player and tell a story within the environment at the same time. 

ENVIRONMENTAL STORYTELLING

Wherever i could, i took the opportunity to tell the story of Dr. Eibrach and his family within the environment. I did so by placing personal objects and suggesting what the characters might have been doing before the player arrived. In this case, as stated in the mission, they were supposed to meet up at the outpost. 

MISSION DESIGN

I wanted to design a mission which would provide varied and exciting gameplay, while at the same time offer depth to those that might be interested. The mission is about finding a doctor who oversaw of the home care service in southern Harran. Without him, there is no way of knowing the locations of distressed elderly people. Other people now depend on the player to succeed. A compassionate type of player may find this interesting

Click to get the bigger picture!

LEVEL DESIGN

Below is a walkthrough of the experience. Each number from the picture above is discussed with the relevant picture/Gif. If you want to see more, I recommend you look at the gameplay video at the top of this page.

(1) As we arrive at the mansion, we’re presented with the main entrance directly in front of us. However,  we will notice that it is locked. (2) the player will have to climb onto the boxes to the left, onto the balcony and go through a window.

(3) As we get in, a burglar alarm activates. It is placed at the entrance previously seen downstairs. The entrance area has been given a unique floor texture to stand out and mark the space even further. The next area (yellow) is seen to the left. Zombie approach following orange arrow.

(4) With the alarm shut off, we’ve been tasked to find the doctor or a clue of where me might have gone. Unfortunately, we were too late this time. However, hope still exists could we only get our hands on the patient list we’re after. The character is placed to make sense. Equipped with a (lootable) gun, he still fell. Around him, there are zombies which lay dead. 

(5) Once we arrive at the office door for the first time, it is locked, and we are prompted to find the key, which is the next step of the mission. I use blood on the floor, coming out of the office door to foreshadow the mini-boss which is located inside.

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(6) The key is located upstairs, in one of the children’s room. To get to it, we first must fight an impactful (Screaming child) but rather easy enemy. The player is guided to the room by sound (the child is crying). The enemy was chosen to fit the narrative of the level, and the room in particular.

As they leave the room with the key, we’ve framed one of the exits as it will be relevant to them later when they are forced to escape the mansion.

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(7) We open the door and a deadly enemy is facing us. It is not the last threat though. We grab the documents located on the desk and are then forced to escape the mansion before the zombie’s swarm us!

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(8) The horde has arrived. With our documents we must fight our way through the mansion and make the grand escape though one of its exits. Once we’ve left the mansion, the level ends. Should it be placed in a world, we would have returned to Tess Nowakowska.

 Johannes Olsson                                   Telephone: +46 722 431 026   JohannesO92@gmail.com   www.linkedin.com/in/johanneserikolsson/