Mirrors Edge Catalyst: Level Sequence

About

This project is based on the game "Mirror's Edge Catalyst" and is supposed to replicate a chase sequence from that game, where the player gets chased down by helicopters throughout the level. The main focus of this project is to stick with the game's existing design philosophy of multipath level design, the focus on flow, and an open world layout reusability.

Details

Made with Unreal Engine 4.26

Based upon the game "Mirrors Edge Catalyst"

• Made with assets from

Advanced Locomotion System


My Work

Level Design

Event Scripting

Terminology

Sequence - a binding group of actions and events


Flow - A state of mind where players are constantly engaged in a game loop


Game loop - A loop of actions & events that keep the player entertained throughout the experience


Game Philosophy - a way to describe the game's core design elements and the reasoning behind them

Philosophy

"Mirror's Edge Catalyst's" design philosophy is based on encouraging player movement and letting the player know their next objective or goal by keeping it in the player's field of view and letting the player keep the flow.


My level design philosophy of this project is to use the same design philosophy, to keep the player moving and not hide the objective which reinforces my game loop. The game loop shows the focus of keeping the player moving even if the player is searching for the goal and exploring the world.

General Game Loop

Level Action Map

Preproduction/ Planning


My approach to pre-production was to analyze the game's design approach and philosophy before I started the project plan to get a clear picture of how I should work before I started.



Level Design

Workflow

My workflow was split up into two stages, before mechanics implementation, and after mechanics implementation. Before I implemented the mechanics, my workflow was based around making the level interesting and working on the level from the references and material I gathered.

After I implemented the mechanics I worked more from the player perspective, adding and iterating on sections to make them more enjoyable to play through. After implementing the mechanics I could focus on the flow of the sequences and leading the player through the level more than I could before.


Iterations

I started by working out a general layout to base the level of something. After the general layout, I worked on the obstacles and the environment to build flow into the empty level, I did this to get an idea of what environment the different areas should be in.

My later changes were iterating and improving the level by reworking the open-world aspect of the level.

Layout

The mission aspect

The mission design is based on the action map I did in the planning stage. My focus of the mission was to guide the player through an open environment without blocking paths.

I executed this focus by keeping the objective in or around the players field of view, and by making other paths less intriguing for the player to take when on the mission.


The open-world aspect

The levels open world is based on the mission because of the games open-world environment, I needed to do the same.

I approached the open world aspect of this level by adding additional ways of entering the space that was outside of this level bounds. To improve the open-world aspect I mainly played the level from different entry points and tweaked the level according to the result.

I did this to make the level feel less cut off from the rest of the game and also to improve the open-world part of this layout.


Detailed view of player pathing

Expected player path

Optional player path

Player path overview

Expected player path

Optional player path



Open-world traversal

Level Events

Level events overview

1. The first area introduces the player to the enemy that will chase the player for the duration of the level.


2. Gives the player a close encounter with the chasing actor in the formula of my intensity mapping.


3. This is one of the more high-intensity sections of the chase sequence when the player gets chased down a crane and falls to the roof below.


4. Shortly after the last one to keep the high-intensity momentum and get the player encouraged to keep moving.


5. The last section of the chase sequence is where the player gets another close interaction with the chasing actor when the actor gets destroyed.


End: The last chasing actor follows the player and keeps the sequence high intensity until the player reaches the end.

Example of a chase event

This is a video of the third and the fourth chase sequence where the player is supposed to feel the most stressed.

This is done by letting the player know the danger is close and the player is defenseless on the crane and can only move forward.

2022-04-12 16-58-53_Trim.mp4

Final Thoughts


This project's main goal was to improve my understanding of flow in multi-path level design and I feel I accomplished that goal. I think I accomplished the goal because I worked on iterating the level a lot until everything from the chase sequence to the open world was at my desired level for this kind of project.

One downside I found in the project was that I did not follow the environment concept from the beginning. Instead, I remade parts of the level later on when improving the level and also make it better fit the concept. This is a thing I could do better by planning out the areas intended environment more from the beginning and adapting the gameplay from that.