I have always had an interest in video games, especially the design work that goes into making them. I completed a QQI Level 5 course in Game Design & Development in BFEI in 2017, before going on to study Creative Computing in IADT from 2017 - 2022. More recently, I have become interested in exploring virtual reality games and applications.
The test level developed for this project focuses on aspects of level design created specifically for quadruped characters. Quadrupeds possess their own unique abilities and limitations compared to humanoid characters. For example, quadruped characters cannot pick up items or use handheld tools, as they do not have arms. Because of this limitation, many are also unable to use ladders and other similar means of accessing high areas. One way to solve this is to allow the quadruped to pick up and hold items using their mouth, as well as using moving platforms or wind tunnels to access higher areas. Both of these solutions allow quadruped characters to perform the same actions as humanoids, but using methods better suited to their abilities and limitations. These limitations also require objects like switches to be at an accessible level to quadrupeds, usually ground level. Such objects include pressure pads, usually used for unlocking new areas when the quadruped steps on them, or jump pads, which can be used as an alternative to wind tunnels or ladders.
This project focused on level design for 3D platformer games, specifically those in which the player controls a quadruped such as an animal or other non-humanoid creature. Existing games were analysed, a survey was carried out, and a simple test level was created. From this research, it was found that certain design and gameplay aspects are important when creating levels specifically for quadruped characters. By creating and playing the test level, elements essential to level design for quadrupeds were established and presented in a tangible manner.
Wolf, coin, pad and wind assets © Malbers Animations, Unity Asset Store
Other assets used are from various other creators on the Unity Asset Store.