Level Design – RPG demo

Game incipit

The player lost his memory, a “friend” tries to help. After a series of ordeals, fights and puzzles. The player faces the truth, and the so-called friend betrays him.

Principal Game Challenges

The player has the liberty to accomplish his goals without engaging in a fight, this choice is going to shape the world around him. The PC has the ability to melee, and use ranged weapons

Overall Player Experiences

  • The player should experience confusion and a desire to find answers.
  • Experience mental illness and mystery. The internal voice should give a sense of uncertainty.

Summary of Experiences

Overall Game Feel / Player Experiences
Manipulated / Moral Confliction Mysteriously/ waking Doubtfully/fighting Victoriously/ending
Gameplay Drama Environmental Visual Interface Aural
Fight relentlessly to survive Waterdeep:

Melee combat, long range and puzzle solving. 

Internal dialogue between self and questioning reality Crooked and abandoned buildings, hopeless and dreadful Diesel -Punk, colour palette (earth tones), moody

Close follow camera, (God of War )

Skyrim/modern RPG UI

Classic WASD controls (plus overwatch)


Diesel-punk City Noises,

Broken jezzy (Bioshock infinite) and/or modern/retro synth


Putting pieces together

Overall Game Structure

  L Good Samaritan
1 Call to adventure- the PC wakes up, its lost all his memory and has a voice in his head. Learns about the city, learns skills and basic mechanics

Refusal-Not sure if it wants the memories back, the voice tells him not to.  Sees people being jailed for futile reasons, the player should question itself.

Meeting with mentor-Someone from its past, its best friend, tells who he/she is and why he/she should remember. They were part of the same crew on the Dragon emerald. A ship sunk few days prior with valuables artefacts in it.

The Emerald Dragon
4 Test, allies, enemies- Friend convinces to go to the ship’s wreckage, the area is off limits, you have to go with the aid of the night, a voice in the head says no, to not trust a friend

Ordeal- curfew, guards everywhere, the player can choose to reach the objective unnoticed or fight. Voice says to fight. Player gets into the ship were after few challenges unveil the McGuffin

Reward-answers and new questions

7 The road back-aftermath, leaving the ship

Resurrection-the past catch up with, you were the cause of the ship’s crash, you knew all along the voice is your old self telling you to be better

Return with elixir-better knowledge of themselves, personal growth



Main Characters

Character Game Role Traits
name, race, class, job Significance to player progression


What is demonstrated to the Player by their appearance and actions.
Winfrey, human PC Blank canvas
Abraham Interior voice/narrator Mystery
Linus, human, sailor friend Sailor, shady, messy


Overall Game Experience and Gameplay Theoretical Research

Source: Title, Date & Author (chapter / pages) The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes, chapter 4
Source’s Concept / Theory & Key Relevant points

·        The modern advancement of the human society is due to the human species realising that their internal voice is their own thoughts and not a divine entity talking to them

·        The realisation of the character of what the internal voice means.

Application to your Design

·        It helped designing drama and story bites.

·         “During the eras of the bicameral mind, we may suppose that the stress threshold for hallucinations was much, much lower than in either normal people or schizophrenics today. The only stress necessary was that which occurs when a change in behaviour is necessary because of some novelty in a situation. Anything that could not be dealt with on the basis of habit, any conflict between work and fatigue, between attack and flight, any choice between whom to obey or what to do, anything that required any decision at all was sufficient to cause an auditory hallucination. It has now been clearly established that decision-making (and I would like to remove every trace of conscious connotation from the word ‘decision’) is precisely what stress is.” Amnesia, stress, distress and self-doubt are all emotions that the game is going to aim for.

Source: Title, Date & Author (chapter / pages) Analysis: Would You Kindly? BioShock And Free Will , August 18, 2009, By Andrew Vanden Bossche
Source’s Concept / Theory & Key Relevant points

·        The source is saying that a game can be linear and include choices at the same time

·        Some choices seem natural, but they are not real, the player still believes that he made one.

Application to your Design

This article helped writing a more compelling story bites


“Players like to feel in control, but this sensation doesn’t necessarily come from having the ability to choose. Having control is as simple as doing what you want to do. It’s possible for players to feel in control even if they don’t actually have the ability to choose, as long as what the game asks and what the player wants aligns. A good narrative should foster this.”

The player has to make choices in a linear game, so the choices do not really matter, but the player does have an impression of free will

This level was designed to be part of a bigger game, it contains 10 minutes of gameplay were the player can explore the city of Waterdeep and engage in the mission.