SCRAPS is the ASCore project for Full Sail's Game Design program. During this three-month project, you take on the role of the level designer and must create a fully-featured level from start to finish. You must do this while following all game design documentation such as; the creative vision, available level mechanics, and design principles to ensure you create a level that will fit within the game and merge with other student's levels as well.
In the final month of this project, you work with a team of students to create a full game by merging all of the levels you created. During this phase, you are challenged with re-designing your level so that it fits with all of your teammate's levels and to ensure a cohesive feel. During this time you take all of your mechanics and collectibles and make them all common throughout the game to help create immersion.
By the end of the project, you and your team have created a fully functional game that can be played from start to finish.
In this version of SCRAPS we have four main level mechanics; explosive devices/objects, pressure plates, switches, and object snapping with the gravnull gun. Each of these mechanics are used to guide the player through the level and provide a challenge. We also developed a few more systems and features that were designed, implemented, and iterated on by our team to deliver a game that is fun to play. Those would be destructible wall assets, a voice-over system, cut scenes, and a system to highlight objects that can be interacted with by the item that is currently within the gravnull gun control.
The base game systems the game uses are an inventory system, objective and checkpoint system, Character and camera controller, and a gravnull gun. The gravnull gun is the main mechanic of the game and is used to interact and collect objects in the game world. It is the one tool given to the main character instead of a weapon. The gravnull gun can pick up and throw objects regardless of weight. These systems were all set and not able to be modified by us as level designers. We had to take the time to build our level mechanics and levels using these tools provided to us.
As one of the level designers, I had to come up with a theme and design for a level and two-level mechanics to use throughout the level. I will list out each feature of my level and give a brief breakdown.
Theme/concept: The player is tasked with finding a way into a shutdown power plant. Once the player is inside they are tasked with finding a way to turn the power plant back on. The player figures out that they have to use the gravnull gun to repair and activate certain equipment in the plant. The whole reason for this is the Bast's, which are the rich and powerful, need more power for their safe hold and they have tasked you with providing this power.
Explosive devices: The player finds components to build explosive devices. They then use these devices to clear debris, knock down walls, and various other things that where an explosion might be useful.
Object snapping: The player uses the gravnull gun to pick up objects and snap them back in place. For my level, this includes picking up plant equipment like pumps or live electrical lines and putting them back where they go.
Systems: I had the opportunity to implement a couple of systems that the other designers could use in their levels to extend functionality and to improve playability.
Voice Over System: This was a simple system that could take a video clip and either play it from a trigger volume or an in-game event. The system also accepted a string that contained the transcript of the voice-over and then displayed this using the in-game message system that displayed on the UI.
Cut Scenes: Following the GDD guidelines I implemented numerous cut scenes for our game to improve flow and player feedback.
Gravnull Object Highlight: This system allows the level designer to designate which items can be interacted with by the object that is currently being held with the gravnull gun. Each object that is listening for a gravnull event will check and see if the current gravnull object is the object type it is watching for. If it is then the object will be highlighted in the game world. This is to help improve player feedback and guide them as to what they can do with the object they just picked up.