Introducing the player to the world
I will be discussing each section of the fist level, going through my thought process and talking about the decisions I made and why.
Level Goals and Objectives
Level Type: Campaign
Level Name : Welcome to Freeze-E Frosty's
- Single Mission/Tutorial
- World Famous Freeze-E Frosty's Ice Cream Factory
- Interior Factory and work stations
-Ice, Snow and mechanical factory equipment
- Stylized cartoon elements
- Lots of blues and cold colors
- Contrast between factory and snow/ice
This level will act as an introduction to the game's world and gameplay mechanics. The first few minutes of the level will steadily give the player information on the world and as the player progresses it will also give the player their in game abilities and show the player how to use them.
The overall difficulty of the level is very easy. By the end of this level the player should have a very firm understanding of how to play the game.
Frosty is the newest employee to the world famous Freeze-E Frosty's Ice Cream Factory.
On his first day on the job he must learn how to use his freeze gloves and dash boots while making it to his work station.
Once he Arrives at his station, things go horribly wrong and the factory begins to meltdown. Frosty must then escape whilst utilizing some of the abilities he learned along the way.
- Player is introduced to "The Boss"
- Player learns how to use the "Freeze Gloves" ability
- Player learns how to "Jump"
-Player learns how to "Interact" with items/objects
- Player is introduced to the T-Rex enemy
- Player learns how to use the "Dash" ability
- Factory explodes, causing the events of the game to unfold
- There are no enemy units present in this level
- There are hazards in the level that may injure or kill the player
Level 1 - Side view of first level
This is where were introduce a few of the game's characters, we do some foreshadowing and we establish the world and atmosphere of Freeze-E Frosty's. It was very important for us a team to quickly establish the world and get the player in the game as quickly as possible.
Level 1 - Factory Entrance
Once Frosty (the player) enters the factory, he stands in front of a large sign in the background. That sign in the background is a billboard that tells the player how to walk left and right in the world (A key to to move left and the D key is to move right).
As the player begins to walk into the waiting room, a monitor drops from the ceiling. This is where we introduce the character simply known as "Frosty's boss" or just "The Boss". He is the character in charge of the factory and he will be giving the player their missions. I wanted to introduce the player to the story as soon as they enter the factory without having to have a long cinematic that will take the player from the experience. This also meant that a lot of the story elements can be seen in the background of the levels.
Level 1 - Factory Walkway
Once the player freezes the box in front of them they are rewarded with an audio cue of "Good job kid, just like that!" from the foreman. To enforce the freezing mechanic with have another freezable wooden crate in front of the player being held by two NPCs. The player must freeze the crate they are carrying to continue moving forward.
The next obstacle that the player comes across is a forklift that is moving its forks up and down. At this part we have a sign on the wall informing the player to use "W" to jump. The player will then know how to jump, this means that they can now jump onto the forks of the fork lift. The forks on the fork lift only lift the player high enough to know that they can get onto the ceiling of the walkway. In order to continue forward they must once again use W to jump onto the walkway.
Once the player gets down from the top of the bridge there will be two NPCs talking amongst themselves in the background. As the player progresses further they will see a fellow worker use their freeze gloves to extinguish an NPC who is on fire. If they player chooses to they can either freeze the worker to get through or simply jump over them, either way we further reaffirm the skills they just learned.
Level 1 - Elevator and Drawbridge
If the player reaches the end of this area they will see a large ice cream sandwich drawbridge. This drawbridge leads directly into the heart of the factory. The player can not continue to the factory at this point and is taunted by a lone NPC worker. The player's only option now is to take the elevator up toward the second floor.
The player can avoid all of this and just take the elevator to the second floor. It is at this elevator that we teach the player to use "E" to activate switches/buttons/levers/interact.
Level 1 - T-Rex Laboratory
If the player heads into the lab it will suddenly lose power and the frozen T-Rex will begin to awake from his icy slumber. After the power is restored the door on the right opens and the player can continue to the next area of the factory.
After the factory meltdown there is an event with the T-Rex. He breaks free from his frozen slumber, eats an NPC and storms off into the bowels of the factory. His escape and rampage are foreshadowed by the loss of power in the earlier sequence.
After Meltdown: The elevator button has an event tied to it, at the moment the elevator will not go anywhere until the factory begins to meltdown. Once the factory has gone into meltdown mode the elevator will take the player to the second level and level 1 is completed.
Level 1 - Dash Tutorial and The Malfunctioning Bridge
After Meltdown: The player back tracks through this area heading back toward the elevator. The first dangerous thing they encounter is the malfunctioning bridge, which has now collapsed, revealing a large pit of spikes. The player can once again dash over the gap or with some skill, clear it with a well timed jump.
We introduce the pit of spikes here so we can teach the player the consequences of death. If they player were to fall into the pit they would die, but be respawned nearby via a checkpoint.
After the player clears the gap they will then have to dodge some falling rocks. The rocks do moderate damage to the player and can easily be avoiding by a well timed dash. Once again, this is here to teach the player that they will face dangers in the environment.
Level 1 - The Workstation and Meltdown