Much of the level was built from the ground up, quite literally. The play-zone had to be furnished first before the surroundings so the player wasn't locked in.

The one idea that focused the scope was that breaking things lead to discoveries. Whether it was shattering windows in a firefight, breaking boxes for surprise items, or breaking a button to a secret area, it had to involve a rampage. Of course, not everything is breakable, so it was tricky to show the player if something was or not with responsive feedback.

Break Everything

With the era set during WWII, every building had to at least play the part of that time Germany. It also needed the intractability of being destroyed during firefights.

Much of the level was built from the ground up, quite literally. The play-zone had to be furnished first before the surroundings so the player wasn't locked in.

In an FPS, HUD changing is important, especially if guns come with special functionality like zooming. This was not automatic in the RotT engine, though it gave an example on how it is done via the base weapons. Using the HUD, I was able to display weapon quotes, secret zones, and scope when aiming through a weapon that has such.

HUD Changes

Built in Rise of the Triad's LDK engine, Inconspicuous is all about fast pace old-style run and gun shooters. The player own a bar that Nazis have taken over and they need to kill them all. The rather simplistic and sarcastic plot-line allows the player to focus on the game-play without anything getting in the way. The player ends up fighting grunts, officers, bruisers, robotic turrets, sentries, and commanders just to get their property back.

Game Summary
  • All sitemaps were followed exactly, all materials in the GDD were held accountable, and scope creep never played a part.

  • All animations and code was built from the ground up using existing resources. 

  • The level flow had plenty of approaches the player could take, but inevitably embodied the trial and error style gaming the old shooters embraced.

  • Everything was finished on time with no crunch time to catch up on development

  • Learning the engine was simple and self-explanatory

What Went Right
  • Terrain was an immense challenge, as the animations of the enemies forced me to use flat playing areas and not a whole lot of versatility.

  • Building an outdoor scene is extremely difficult when the player has 100% viewpoint in all directions.

  • Encounter balance was difficult. The last two bosses may still be too powerful, even if 3/4ths of the testers successfully beat the game.

  • My original goal, not paper-mapped, was to build the Nazi base under the bar.

  • Lighting was a big problem for inside the cavern and the last base zone

What Went Wrong

Full level video recorded by a play-tester

Papermap examples for Inconspicuous

Game GDD

Asset List

  • The placement, design, mapping, and orientation of all assets for the map.

  • Development and (using the physical code) programming of enemy and friendly AI

  • Editing and customizing enemy Nazi and weapons, as well as healing/power-ups

  • Dialogue written and triggered for secret areas

  • Destruction properties

  • All paper-maps, GDD, testing, and balance

Developer Role

© 2018 by Johnathan Weiner.
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