Francis Edwards: Level Design & 3D Modelling

This portfolio shows the highlights of my UCLan Games Design final course projects. They can be viewed in further depth on my Twitter and Blog. For my Honours Project, I created an action-adventure game, ‘Svetlana‘. The game follows a young girl with a big destiny – to save the world from evil. Svetlana must overcome eight dungeon challenges (to obtain the abilities known as Planet Power) and defeat the darkness, . This game is inspired by action-adventure classics such as The Legend of Zelda and Golden Sun; and was created in Unreal Engine 4 using Blueprints.

My Games Proposal Project involved a series of short design tasks to create a variety of small levels, a challenge or scenario based around either an existing concept or a modern game. For instance, I had to create an Escape Room Scenario in UE4, improve on an existing mechanic in God of War and add a level to a recent Star Wars game that involved an already used mechanic.

Year 3 Highlights

A short video showing the highlights of my Year 3 Projects

Planet Power

Svetlana must overcome eight dungeons to obtain the abilities needed to defeat an evil presence looming over the land. Each dungeon is based on a planet and guards a special orb holding a ‘Planet Power’. In this case, it is Mars. This power allows Svetlana to cast fireballs and burn through obstructions, like webs and doors. To receive these abilities, she must meet the Dungeon Guardian, who requires Dungeon Loot. Once obtained, the Guardian will allow her to collect the ability. 

There are lots of different mechanics in the levels, such as hover, dash and climb abilities, that can be bought from NPCs. The player cannot buy weapons or armour but can equip an ornamental sword if they wish. There are checkpoints throughout each dungeon, and the character returns to this if they die. 

Planet Power Image

Escape Room Scenario

I was tasked with designing an Escape Room Scenario. Participants are stranded on the lower deck of a shipwreck and must find a way to escape. It is a race against time however, as water is slowly seeping in through a damaged drain system. There are numerous puzzles for the participants to overcome to obtain the tools needed to fix the drainage system; all of which are based on water or a ship interior. This scenario is all about puzzle solving and the player’s intellect. Some of the puzzles are physical, such as swimming, which I believe make the scenario exciting. 

As in the example below, participants need to follow the clues and choose which position the switches should go. Once all the tools have been collected, the participants can then use them to fix the damaged drain system.

Escape Room Scenario Image

Black Hole: Legion

Black Hole: Legion is another response to a design task from my Games Proposal Project and takes place aboard a ruined research ship in the year 2988. You play as a space assassin, specially trained as part of a new defence system created by Earth. 

The Dark Legion was an army with the power to materialise Black Holes wherever and whenever they see fit. During a war that cost many lives, the Dark Legion was eradicated by the United Space Organisation (USO). The only Legion survivor was quarantined on a research ship with no power. However, this survivor has somehow managed to restore the ship’s controls and is heading for the Earth’s Moon. He plans to use his terrible power to create an enormous Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy. The USO’s last resort is to send you, a skilled fighter, to prevent a potential extinction. 

The game is combat heavy but coupled with small puzzles to keep the levels fresh and exciting. 

Black Hole: Legion Image

Star Wars: The Fallen Order

For this Proposal task, I had to design a level within a game I was familiar with and implement a mechanic that was already in use. I had just completed Star Wars: The Fallen Order and thought it best to use this game for the task. The level is built around the tether mechanic – the ability to tether to cables – which is now used continuously throughout the level, rather than at random points within the entire game.

Star Wars: The Fallen Order Image

Haunted Castle

For this Games Proposal design task, I had freedom with what I could create. I decided to create a level within a haunted castle. You are the Captain of the King’s Guard who has been trapped in between the Light and Dark Realms. Unfortunately, one of your own kin has become corrupted by the darkness. It is now up to you to travel between the Light and Dark Realms in search of the corruption before you succumb to the darkness.

To test my skills, I tried to implement different mechanics and UI, such as the compass at the bottom of the player’s screen. The freedom I had with this task allowed me to try out a few different scenarios and choose one which I believe shows off my level design abilities.

Haunted Castle Image

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Francis Edwards

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  • Degree show 2020
    • BA (Hons) Games Design