Level: Prologue
Level: The Wilds
Level: The Walls

Chapter 3: The Wilds of Govad

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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.



Summary of events leading up to this level

Caddoc and E'lara reached the city of Dyfed as instructed by Seraphine.  They found it to be under siege by a race of humanoid underdwellers called Wargar.  They were able to locate and rescue the mayor of the town, bunkered inside the town hall vaults.  He's very grateful for their assistance in pushing back the Wargar army... until they reveal that their motivation is coin, not heroism.

The mayor explains that the Wargar were seen ferrying casks of a silvery liquid which apparently enhances strength but had addictive qualities when one of his men captured some and drank it.  He begs the two mercenaries find and recover his daughter (who Seraphine had claimed to be) in exchange for a large quantity of gold.  He fears the Wargar have taken her into the dungeons beneath the city.

Along the way, they use the Death Stone to reveal a vision of the silvery liquid the Mayor spoke of, which apparently mutates Wargar into new, stronger forms.  Seraphine appears and implies that the liquid may be a lifesaver in dire circumstances, but E'lara is uncharacteristically cautious about it.

They enter and escape the dungeons—slaying a gigantic spider boss in the process—and emerge, still on the trail of the Mayor's daughter.


 
 

 



Opening Cinematic

The pair of heroes emerge into bright daylight.  Ahead, they see a series of rope bridges spanning an immense waterfall chasm.  Dozens of human prisoners are being escorted by the Wargar towards a massive ruined temple in the distance.


 
Intent

My team—colloquially, the "outdoor levels" team—decided immediately that what players would appreciate most after a nighttime city battle and a trek through dark dungeon corridors would be a vast, open space dappled with the sunlight of a warm afternoon.

To that end, we agreed it would be worth the "expense" to start the level with a wide-open area with only a little gameplay in it.  These rope bridges allow the expansive nature of the environment to envelop players on all sides, and are useful narratively because they focus the player's attention on groups of Wargar leading prisoners (a repeated element in the level, but one that can only happen off the immediate play-space for technical reasons).

These prisoner "trains" can be interacted with by shooting the Wargar guards leading and following them.  However, when they detect being attacked, they rush forward toward safety, making it difficult to truly "rescue" the prisoners.

So that the player gets the experience of rescuing a few prisoners and feeling "rewarded" for it, the level soon starts to sprinkle single "chained up" prisoners who Caddoc and E'lara can save.



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