Level: Prologue
Level: The Wilds
Level: The Walls

Prologue

Section   1  | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


Experience the Level

The left column features videos and descriptions of the major events for each section.


 
Development and Analysis

The right column focuses on the planning, decisions, and iterations for the section.

This side also includes analysis of the section's successes and failures.



Opening Cinematic

Caddoc has been experiencing dreams of a mysterious and ghostly woman who beckons to him.  This time, however, the dream becomes a nightmare—at the end, a menacing demon appears from a portal, causing Caddoc to awake with a start.

Caddoc's elven partner-in-mercenary-work, E'lara, gently pokes fun at his dreams.  While he sees it as a fateful omen, she dismisses the idea.

The next morning, the two fortune hunters arrive at their destination:  the location of a mystical spring whose water is known to have magical properties.


 
Development

The tutorial or introductory sequence of a game is sometimes one of the later levels to be designed.  Since a game's mechanics may change during development, these portions (which are crucial to properly teaching players the skills they need to know to succeed) often sit in limbo until the details of those mechanics are decided on.

This was the case on Hunted.  My team (which focused on the "outdoor" levels while other teams handled the "dungeon" and "city" levels) had already created, then iterated, and finalized plans for our two later levels when we were chosen to also handle the opening chapter of the game.


Decisions

One quirk of the Prologue that needed significant discussion was that Hunted (other than this tutorial level) can be played cooperatively from start to finish... but attempting to teach a player unfamiliar mechanics is easiest without another player to distract from the lessons and when another character (in this case, the second player character) can impart guidance.

For those reasons, we chose to make the Prologue a single-player experience and only unlock co-op play after its completion.  This had the added benefit of allowing us greater control over the narrative at the beginning of the game as well—the many "scripted interactions and conversations" with the second character boost the player's affection for them.

(Note, also, that one of the mechanics taught here allows players to switch characters... meaning for half of the Prologue, the player gets to know E'lara and her fighting style, then must switch to Caddoc and his abilities!)



Section   1  | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7