Tex-Mechs

Development Info

  • Genre​​: Action, Adventure

  • Development Time: 5 months

  • Engine: Unreal Engine 4

  • Role: Level Designer

Responsibilities 

  • Guiding the player by combat

  • Creating waves of enemies

  • Implementing weapon audio

  • Decorate gameplay spaces

Steam Link

Game_icon_256.png

Summary

​Tex-Mechs is a first-person, single-player, action-adventure mech shooter where you are fighting off deadly insects that have claimed New Texas. Repurposing your rancher mech for combat, you are prepared to battle the hoards of insects as you are determined to save your state as well as your fellow settlers.

Design Process

Design Goals

  • Guiding player with combat

  • Swarming player with enemies

Guiding player with combat

I wanted to guide the player along the critical path with combat to direct the player out of each level. To achieve this, I divided the level into 3 sections and designed 3 different data tables to encourage the player to move throughout the level.  

Riverbed Overview

Section A

In section A, I wanted to teach the player that destroying a mound will cause enemies to spawn. In the data table for the 1st destructible mound, I used soldier enemies for wave number 0 to spawn first. Since soldier enemies can only attack the player by melee, the player is more likely to engage them in close combat. For wave number 1, I used grunt enemies to teach the player about not fighting with their back towards the enemy. I used soldiers and grunts for wave numbers 2 and 3 to create a combination kill by shooting a grunt near a soldier enemy to kill them both.

Section A

Gif of Section A

Video of Section A

Table of Section A

Table of Section A

Section B

In Section B, I continued to show the different enemy types to encourage the player to move forward. I use Wave Number 0 to spawn soldiers to encourage the player to fight off the enemies that are blocking his path. While the player is fighting with the soldiers from Wave Number 4, Wave Number 1 spawns mutated enemies. After the player kills the enemies from Wave Number 1 & 4, the player will move towards enemies from Wave Number 2 & 3. As I did before in Section A, grunts are spawned with mutated enemies to let the player achieve a combination kill. Lastly, Wave Number 5 and 6 are spawned opposite sides of each other to encourage the player to move within the circular space of the Riverbed.

Overview of Section B

Section B

Gif of Section B

Video of Section B

Table of Section B

Table of Section B

Section C

For section C, I wanted to focus the combat around the circular space. While Wave number 0,1,2,3,5 spawn all three enemy types, I used Wave Number 4 to spawn mutated enemies. Since mutated enemies attack the player by projectable, the player could use two different attacks to kill the enemies that are close and farther away from them.

Overview of Section C

Section C

Gif of Section C

Video of Section C

Table of Section C

Table of Section C

Swarming player with enemies

In our finale level, my goal was to swarm but not overwhelm the player with enemies. To achieve this, I aimed toward placing the enemies spawners around the tower to encourage movement from the player.

Finale Overview

Finale Overview

Breakdown of Tables

Breakdown of Tables

Gif of combat in finale

Finale of Combat

Since the player will need to activate all three generators before starting the finale, I decided to create 3 data tables that fire consecutively.

Table 1

Table 1

The first table would fire immediately after the player starts all the generators. The combat will last for 15 sec and then there would be a 5 second for the player to rest.

Table 2

Table 2

After 5 seconds are over, Table 2 spawn enemies and combat last for another 20 seconds.

Table 3

Table 3

After 20 seconds has passed, Table 3 would spawn enemies again and combat will last until the finale is over.

Post Mortem

What went right?

  • Each department was able to iterate quickly even with changing the vision of the game during production. 

  • The design team was able to collaborate with different departments for feature implementation. 

Challenges

  • Our team did not prototype certain gameplay features early into development.

  • Our pipeline did not include a process for a peer review process for implementing new features.

What did I learn?

  • It is important to create a pipeline for peer review because it notifies the team about new features being implemented. 

  • Rapid prototyping can help determine what features aids the core loop before implementing those features into the build.