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ARACHNOTRON

FEAR THE ARACHNOTRON!

Arachnotron is a third-person shooter game in which you play as a robotic spider tank fighting off an evil organization of robot bugs known as the S.W.A.R.M. (Sinister Weaponized Automatic Robot Menace). Arachnotron distinguishes itself from tradition shooter games with its unique movement mechanics. Being a spider tank, the player is able to climb across any surface in the level, which includes all of the walls, ceilings, and any other large objects. 

MY CONTRIBUTIONS

I was brought on to Arachnotron as one of two level designers, but was the only designer on the team that solely focused on level design. This was a task that was particularly more challenging than most games, due to every surface being interactable, and required a lot of considerations when properly constructing a level.

 

During our level design process, the design team came up with a unique concept for planning out our levels; creating 3D sketches in VR. Creating 2D sketches for the levels felt very challenging due to the nature of the gameplay, and if we were to make designs in a 3D modeling tool, we felt it would be less time consuming to just build the levels at that point. Therefore, we used the VR application Quill to create simple design sketches that we could iterate on easily, and use to plan our levels out effectively.

FACTS -

Role: Level Designer

Development Period: Mid January 2019 – Late April 2019

Engine: Unity

Platform: PC

Team Size: 12

  • 3 Designers

  • 4 Artists

  • 3 Programmers

  • 2 Producer

Other Members:

  • Chris Brennen

    • AI Programmer

Refinery Sketch.gif

The level design sketch of our first level.

Once the designs were ready, I would start the level blockouts in Unity ProBuilder. From there, the levels went through multiple QA sessions, systems and art implementation, and modifications before being considered complete.

My Blockouts

EXTERNAL LINKS -

- Project Blog -

  • Logo

- Twitter -

  • Twitter Social Icon

- Get The Game -

  • Itch.io

POST MORTEM

Arachnotron is going to stand as one of the hardest games I think I've ever had to design levels for, but also one of the most fun:

  • DON'T STRIVE FOR PERFECTION

Using ProBuilder again showed me that I need to work on making my work a bit more basic for time constraints. While I was doing my blockouts, I think I took too much time trying to make everything look good, and lost sight of the fact that most of what I made would be replaced with real art. In the future, I wanna remember this, and make my design process more efficient.

  • BETTER PROBUILDER SKILLS

Seeing as we're on the topic of ProBuilder, I really think my skills with the tool increased heavily with this game. Back when I used ProBuilder with Rolling Thunder, the designs were so basic that it didn't really force me to use more advanced features of the tool. With Arachnotron being as complex as it is, it of course needed me to get better with the tool​, and I think that'll help me a lot in future development.

  • WORKING ON A BIG TEAM

Arachnotron was, at the time, the biggest team that I had worked on, and it showed me how much communication is really needed to make sure everyone is on the same page. I know this won't be the last time I work on a team this big, so I want to remember this experience & what it taught me about big team communication.