Design Review: Resident Evil 5 Co-op Mission

22 Jul

Nobody?  Not one person?  Aww, c’mon.

There will be more of these sorts of exercises to come: things that don’t apply theory or technique but rather call on a more creative and expressive skill set.  Theory is excellent, but being able to apply that theory to what you’re trying to express in layman’s terms is going to help you communicate your ideas on a regular basis.

So, what do we do when there are no user comments?  We roll up our sleeves and get down to business.

It should be noted that Capcom has said Sheva will be AI controlled when not playing with another person, so while they will not need levels that can be finished by one player alone, this was still taken into consideration for the exercise.

Here’s my level description:

The players are in a shanty town; buildings are two stories max.  The streets are narrow and crowded with boxes, with lots of small, intersecting streets.  It is made clear through rubble and locked doors which way the players must advance.

The two players get an objective: make for the center of town, securing buildings on the way.  The players must storm the buildings as they progress, either splitting up or attacking one building at a time together.  Chris can use a co-op move to allow Sheva to vault to the second floor of a building while he comes in the front door.

As the players near the center of town, enemies will attack from behind on the streets as well, eventually pushing them into the center of town.  Once there, players encounter a boss (lots of HP, deadly melee) and waves of normal enemies, some with guns.  One of the players can man a gun turret near the middle of the combat area, while the other player works to keep enemies off the gunner’s back, especially the boss.

PROS: This is going to be subject to some bias, but bear with me.

First of all, notice the short sentences — when describing something like a game level to a colleague, the last thing you want to do is start rambling or going on about something unimportant.  Be terse, and be precise, especially since that will spur people to contribute to your idea with their own ideas.

All major asset considerations are mentioned as well as the basic level construction: streets are narrow and full of meshes, impassible terrain is handled with rubble and locked doors, a turret gun will have to be made, a boss will have to be made if that type doesn’t exist already, and a co-op move might need to be created.  While none of this was specifically listed, this is what professionals are going to be picking out of your speech or writing and it’s important to deliver all of that clearly and in context.

The general strategies for level completion are described, so people can visualize how they would get through the level themselves.  The building entries and boss battle can also be completed without the second player.

CONS: I can’t criticize myself.  You guys tell me what would improve this level.

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5 Responses to “Design Review: Resident Evil 5 Co-op Mission”

  1. Duncan July 22, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Sorry nick. I’m too busy designing levels for games I’m creating to invest a lot of time on another co-op level design. Next time, perhaps.

    On the subject of the the cons of your design. I’ve never been fond of locked doors blocking the player. If you have a high Calibur handgun, which seems to be standard to RE these days, it should be enough to take out the lock of any door in a run down shanty town. Obviously this is fairly nitpicky as other good methods of blocking the player in a town setting are a little limited, but it always had and will be a magic circle killer for me.

  2. nickhalme July 22, 2008 at 8:41 pm #

    But the Mythbusters proved that even Kurt Russell couldn’t shoot off a lock!

    Yeah, it’s tough thinking of obstacles…good article on it here.

  3. McElroy Flavelle July 22, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    Did Mythbusters really do a segment on that?

    If they did I NEED to see it.

  4. nickhalme July 22, 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    “Shooting Locks Off/Big Trouble in Little China: You can shoot a lock off with a gun. plausible (requires shotgun or rifle), but many safety issues”

    http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/12/special_megamovie_myths.html

    Doesn’t look like they have it on youtube or anything, but it was pretty cool — turns out shooting a lock several times with a handgun only inflicts superficial dents/holes.

    Now if you had an axe, that would be a lot easier and less dangerous!

  5. Duncan July 23, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    The article was interesting. Really solid definition of the problem and what causes it. Total lack of concrete solutions, though. It’s the sort of thing that really needs a short list of plausible alternatives to get people thinking about what they could use without going to an existing game and using that, which 9/10 is going to result in more of the same.

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