Technical Level Designer

@ Massive Entertainment - A Ubisoft Studio

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Engine: Snowdrop




Description Description Description Description Description Description Description Description

Responsibilities

  • Point of contact and conduit of communication with co-dev partners on technical Level Design issues.
  • Act as a technical reference for the team in relation to Level Design and find solutions to complex issues.
  • Set, share, and enforcing best practices, production pipelines and workflows for Level Design.
  • Utilize rapid prototyping to test feasibility of features and ideas.
  • Oversee the production and implementation of technical elements of game features.
  • Work closely with Level Designers and Programmers on development and refinement of game features, engine features, and tools.
  • Monitor and review Level Design scripting and data submissions during critical moments in the production.

Early in this project I started out as a Level Designer with a focus on scripting complex boss fights in a brand new engine, that was still in development. As time progressed the need for a more technical roll became apparent as I got more and more responsibility in regards to the engines node script. So eventually a Technical Level Design team was formed that took on the more advanced and technically heavy parts of the Level Design team. Together with a few other Tech Level Designers I worked closely with the other disciplines to empower the Level Designers and help improve the pipleline.

Additional content


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Introducing new features such as "Incursions" which is highly challanging dungeon type missions that require a group of well corodinated players to beat. In addition to that, Gear Sets is also introduces as endgame rewards togeather with Gear Score, Trading, and much more.

On this DLC, I continued to work as a Tech Level Designer on fixing issues and supporting the Level Designers, both inhouse and in our co-dev studios.
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Adding an additional Incursion mission and gear sets in addition to new features for the darkzone and open world.

My role on this was mostly contained to reviewing scripts and helping the level designers on the more complex issues they encountered while creating their incursion mission.
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Underground was the first big expansion to the game that provide randomly generated dungeons to challenge the players with endless replayability. The DLC also includes a new incursion mission and several new gear sets, weapons etc.

Most of the work on the Underground feature was made by one of the Co-Dev studios, but my role was still to help out with advice and technical solutions when needed. In addition to that I also helped out inhouse Level Designers on the new incursion as well as to review the scripting.
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The Survival expansion introduced a new game-mode that changed the way to play the game in a huge way. This called for several new types of mechanics and game features.

It was made mostly by our studio, so there was a lot of technical difficulties that our team had to handle to make the work experience, for Level Designers, as smooth as possible.

Level Designer

@ Massive Entertainment - A Ubisoft Studio

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox360
Engine: Anvil







Description Description Description Description Description Description Description Description

Responsibilities

  • Develop fun and interesting gameplay with very limited features.
  • Create quick and understandable sketches and blockout of gameplay.
  • Implement a good flow of gameplay to allow narrative storytelling.
  • Preform extensive playtesting and quickly fix any issue that gets discovered.

This was the first project I worked on after joining Massive Entertainment. We where a small team that worked on the "Desmond Journey" for "Assassins Creed: Revelations". Our focus was on telling Desmonds story while he is traped in the abstract world of the Animus.

Additional content


Description Description Description Description
The Lost Archive DLC allowed the players to find out more of the backstory about Subject 16 and how he ended up in the Animus togeather with Desmond.

My workflow was the same as with the Desmond Journey with the addition of more features and expanded freedom to experiment with the gameplay.

Originally this project was only supposed to be the DLC to tell the story of Subject 16 and during the pre-poduction we spent most of our time just experimenting with different fun and interesting challenges that we saved into small collections of puzzle pieces we could use later on.

My most successful experiment during this period involved lots of motion and a sense of urgency. Where the player didn't have much time to plan and had to react to the environments movement or free fall through shafts with obstacle that had to be avoided.

Once we entered production, each level designer was assigned a couple of levels with different themes. I was assigned to a level that would introduce players to the disintegration wall which would break the platforms placed by the player and a level with focus on more difficult challenges with the red laser.

Since the disintegration was introduced before the lasers I could focus that level entirely on teaching the players how to handle it together with features introduced in previous levels.
So when the player would later play the more difficult level I was able to bring out a few of my experiments that included both the wall and the lasers.

But during the production the management really liked what we where doing and thought it would be a perfect way to tell Desmond's story, while trapped in the animus.

So we quickly put our DLC tasks on hold and got the new manuscript for what story they wanted us to tell. With this in hand we all worked together to figure out what kind of gameplay and challenges we could use to represent the different part of the story. Then together with the artists we refitted many old puzzles. Instead of working on separate level all level designers focused and built each level as a unified strike team to to get everything together in time for the short deadline. There was no longer any real ownership and everyone did something on everything in the end.

With this challenge completed, we refocused our efforts back to the DLC and we realized the difference of quality with the Desmond Journey. The DLC had way more content but felt a bit too long and filled with unnecessary segments. So we cut down the numbers of level significantly and took only the best parts of each level and put them together with the same workflow we used when working on the Desmond Journey.

Level Designer

@ Star Vault AB

Platforms: PC
Engine: Unreal Engine 3







Description Description Description Description Description Description Description Description

Responsibilities:

  • Planing and implementation of all environments, towns, and dungeons.
  • Managing the implementation of all AI and NPCs in the game.
  • Managing the world terrain.
  • Optimizations and area game-testing.

During this project I was in charge of the world development and most content that went into the game. As the only level designer I had a huge world to fill with beautiful and challenging environments for the players to explore.

When I started, the overall sculpting of the continent was already done. So my task became to start making it come alive with villages, forests and dungeons.

The Myrland continent, as it was called, had a big variety of biomes that made it a joy to work with and each biome had their own challenges I needed to overcome. But the biggest challenge that was present in most areas was the strict performance budget I had.


”A map of Myrland created by the community.”

Since I was the only level designer, I knew I would never be able to have everything to final standard of quality for when we would let players start testing our game. So what I had to do was to make a quick pass on the natural environments in each zone to have a base to work from later. Then I focused on getting the villages more polished fist since that is where most of the players would be gathered in the beginning.

My focus with the villages was to make sure the flow of the streets would feel natural and the best route to take when walking around and have some more open central area for players to gather for talks and trade. That in turn gave thief some cover by the crowds so they could find new victims to try their luck with. The result became even better than I suspected with lots of player roaming around doing their business and thief stalking their preys from rooftops or hidden in the crowded squares.

With the villages and starting areas completed I shifted my focus to get some caves and dungeons up for them to explore. Since dungeons and cave are more confined spacesm the amount of propping and artistic work I could do here increased significantly and also allowed me to use baked lighting in certain areas. The caves and some parts of the dungeons was completely dark so torches was required. But in the more lit areas the baked lighting could finally make use of the powerful features the unreal engine has to offer.

The closest and first dungeon most players would encounter was a prison underneth a tower just outside one of the starting villages. In the first floor I imagined there was still some lighting coming from vents in the roof and a few prisoners might still be barely alive and wailing from their cells. The lighting effect and sound from the prisoners caused an overall eerie feeling when exploring the abandoned halls and became very popular with the players.

At this point during the development players was starting to populate the server and roam the world for a place to build their houses. So I started to divide the world into a grid system and made up priorities on what zones players found least attractive and used that to direct my task to bring the rest of the world up to the same artistic love I gave to the starting areas. By doing this I managed to attract the players out into the world a lot more and slowly but steady the Myrland continent became filled with beautiful and interesting environments.



About Me


I was born in central Sweden and moved around a lot growing up. Currently I'm residing in Malmö, Sweden, where I work as a "Technical Level Designer" for a Ubisoft studio called "Massive Entertainment". I have always been drawn to computers and tech in general, and became hooked on video-games when the family bought our first Nintendo console.

Once we finnaly got our first computer I started to played around with level editors for any game that had one. But it wasn't until much later on I discovered I could actually make a career out of it.

When I was little I wanted to be an inventor, and it can still be recognized in my urge to always want to figure out how things tick. This has resulted in a lot of reverse-engineering and prototyping which quickly got me on a more technical approach to level design.

When I'm not working or fiddling with some experiment at home, I try to be active. It is often realized by going to the gym, playing golf, or taking a few beer with some friends at a pub.









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