Level Design: Cube Dodge

A personal project - my first game! I wanted to understand the game development pipeline, and what better way to learn than to actually do it?

This was my first exposure to Unity and C#, which was a huge struggle as someone with zero programming background. Nevertheless, that made it fun and I learnt tons about Unity's UI.

I focused on creating levels which required both skill and creativity to complete. Players are expected to die, get frustrated but not give up. Needless to say, it went terribly wrong!

Engine: Unity, C#

Contribution: Solo project, following Brackeys' coding tutorial

Download to play: https://haiyoooo.itch.io/cube-dodge

Why It Went So Wrong?

The actual and the intended difficulties were light years away! Biggest reason? My own reaction time was terrible and I myself play tested at half the actual speed. At actual speed, Level 4 was nearly impossible to complete without cheating.

What Worked?

The only thing which worked as intended? Each time players died, they wanted to go again.

"I can do this!"

Playtest results

Level 1 - Warm Up

- Predictable, standard obstacles

- Slower speed

Expected: Players become comfortable enough with the controls to tackle the levels.

Actual: Players cleared level 1 easily, but were stuck at the beginning of level 2.

Players needed more time to master the core loop mechanics. Jump in difficulty was too high. Ultimately added a new level in between.

Level 3 - Choice

- Large view-blocking obstacle

- Two routes

Expected: Increased adrenaline due to inability to see ahead.

Actual: Some players became so tense, they never noticed the other route (left).

Placement at the far edges falls out of player's attention, good for hidden treasure etc.

Level 4 - Doors of Doom

- Three unique parts: forest, zig zag, alley

Expected: Players master small precise movements, preparing them for higher levels

Actual: Most difficult level. Players died at nearly every point.

Thankfully, since each level was deliberately short, players knew the next checkpoint would be close, still making it worthwhile even if the entire level was ridiculously difficult.

Level 5 - The Sky is Falling

- Cinematic falling blocks

- Blocks seem to obstruct the whole area

Expected: Players to be stunned, die 3-4 times then realize it isn't impossible.

Actual: Emotional response as expected. However, level was easier than expected.

This is my favorite level, their faces are priceless. The camera was positioned deliberately so that the blocks seemed to block the entire path.

"This is impossi- oh!"

© 2023 by Sasha Blake. Proudly created with Wix.com

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