Adding Detail to Rebirth Facility

Introduction

In this blog, I will be breaking down the process I underwent to partially build details for Rebirth Facility.

To view the process for Level Design Documentation, Design Context and planning with 2D top-down maps, click here!

To see the Foundation Level Design work which translates the 2D Maps to a 3D Blockout, click here!

Before I dive in, I’d like to give a shout out to Max Pears, who’s mentorship has really supported me with this project so far, and to Tonic U, a programme set up by Mediatonic to help up and coming game developers to network, collaborate and show off their work, for sharing my videos of this project on their Flex Fridays via Twitter.

Early Level Beats

Updated Walls

Corridors

Corridor Sample from Rebirth Facility

Europa Interior Corridor in Destiny 2

I started creating the room walls by creating the corridors in the first part of the level. I took an approach similar to the screenshot from Destiny 2 to replicate the architecture while giving it my own flavour. This allowed for a more rounded appearance while staying accurate to the BrayTech themes portrayed in Destiny 2: Beyond Light.

Elevator Room

For the Elevator room, the roundedness of walls was applied in a similar fashion. This was done to avoid the room looking to harsh and square-shaped, maintaining the BrayTech architecture of the level and contributing to the drama of going down to the lower part of the level.

Populated Reception Room

In the Reception, the player are greeted with enemies, including one that requires a buff to kill. To leave the room, they have to kill the special enemy and pick up a key. This is the first challenge of the level as it provides a small, easy to navigate space where the player can safely learn the central mechanics that are repeated throughout level.

The video below shows the player completing the room.

Full Early Level Beats

The video below shows a gameplay sample of the beginning of the level, from the Ice Mound to the Elevator. This first section acts as an introductory area for the player to learn the main mechanics of the level and build up the level’s drama.

Decaying Environments

Context

For these rooms coming up, the context behind them were intended to be former hospital wards that have been ripped and torn up over centuries of not being used.

Approach to Blockout

The video below shows some experimentation with non-uniform shapes and rotations to create the illusion of rooms torn in two by natural means, forcing the player to jump the gaps. At this stage, the goal was to work out how to simulate natural destruction and make it possible for the player to navigate through such environments.

Following the experimentation, it was time to start creating a room that really showed the element of destruction that the player would be navigating through.

The images below shows earlier and later iterations of the room nicknamed “Med Bay B”. In this room, the player has to cross a large gap in any way they wish.

Med Bay B prior to adding spiky-looking platforms and natural decay

More detailed Blockout of Med Bay B. The lines show possible player routes to cross the gap.

Adding Natural Textures

Ice textures was added to add to the environmental storytelling of Med Bay B. In the video below, the player explores Med Bay B by jumping across the large gap of what was once a hospital ward.

How can this be Improved further?

Level Scoping

The level has a large scope. This would lead to creating unnecessary elements that can ruin the player experience. Furthermore, this will lead to wasting time for areas that the player won’t explore. To resolve this, I will need to look into doing the following:

  • Removing very large rooms
  • Reducing the size of corridors, possibly redoing existing corridors to reduce the level’s overall size

Adding Cover Elements

At the moment, the level lacks cover, putting the player at a disadvantage. To resolve this, the following actions will be taken:

  • Adding elements such as pillars, large props and debris for the player to use as cover
  • Adding protruding wall elements to corridors

Additional Exploration Opportunities and Environmental Storytelling

The level is currently very linear. The level also lacks environmental storytelling in earlier sections. To resolve this, the following actions will be taken:

  • Adding new areas for the player to explore in the beginning Ice section such as caves
  • Small rooms that the player can access and loot chests
  • Additional props to give an abandoned feel
  • Building a unique building exterior
    • Drawing inspiration from Future-Modern Architecture and the Deep Stone Crypt raid from Destiny 2
  • Creating small areas that gives the player a sneak peak into the later parts of the level
    • Viewing destroyed rooms through windows
    • Destroyed doors as the player goes down the elevator
    • Floors blocked off by debris
    • Ceilings with ice poking through