Level: Airship
Level: Blackwall Yard
Level: Embankment
Level: Catacombs

Chapter 9: An Uneasy Alliance

Section  1 | 2 | 3 |  4  | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Timeline of the level
  • Galahad and Lakshmi arrive via tunnel

  • They use scaffolding to reach street level

  • Lakshmi climbs over a gate; they get separated

  • Galahad takes out the sniper threatening Lakshmi

  • Galahad protects and reunites with Lakshmi

  • They cross through a ship under construction

  • They finally reach the shipping warehouse

  • Lakshmi reveals the vampires in UIC crates

  • They set fire to the warehouse

  • The warehouse burns; they battle UIC and Lycans

When a fight is over & where to go next

The end of the balcony shootout described on the previous page presents an interesting case.  Enemies are often used to let the player know where to go next—as the player is dealing with them, he's unlikely to notice that his attention is being focused onthe path ahead (such as a doorway that the enemies may have left open when they arrived).

It was expected to be a challenge to help the player understand that, once the fight on the balcony was over, they had to turn around to continue with the level.  (Players prefer to go forward.)

How, then, to entice the player in the right direction?

It was decided that an enemy should appear at the end of the fight—conveniently also opening a door gating the player from moving ahead until the enemies below were dealt with.

This solves two problems at once, but has some issues of its own.  For instance, the character needs to make himself known right away.  If the player doesn't realize the guard is there, Galahad may end up getting shot in the back.  (Even then, there's the chance that a player will be distracted and not hear him speak or the door opening, so we have Lakshmi yell "Behind you!")

Because we didn't want the player to feel unfairly "jumped" by this guard, I was also asked to give him an unusual behavior:  upon seeing the player, rather than immediately engaging in combat, the enemy "acts cowardly," running back to a piece of cover and bunkering in there to ensure the player can use the doorframe as cover to defeat him.

In the end, we made one other, more "elegant" change to the space that also helped navigation.  Originally, the player got onto the balcony through a door on one end and left through a door on the other.  We changed one to a window to force the player to take different actions coming and going—having to "jump cover" before the fight makes it easier for the player to think "didn't I jump that before?" if they start to backtrack.

Section  1 | 2 | 3 |  4  | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11