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In 2010 I started at Crystal Dynamics to work on the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. Within my first two weeks, I was entered into a “Thunderdome” exercise in which I had two days to revamp a traversal level, competing against a senior level designer who had worked on Assassin’s Creed 2. A winner would be chosen after the time expired and that level used in the game.Prior, I had never designed a level for a game using more than a simple jump mechanic where the player could only land on their feet. You can probably guess that I lost, but what started was my education into the intricacies of laying
Hallways are a necessary evil in video games and more specifically level design. Not only are they a natural part of architecture but hallways may be necessary for technical, pacing and narrative reasons. Hallways are a great place for streaming to occur and they are a natural place to slow down the pacing of the level and let the player take a breather. However lame hallways might sound to gamers, if done correctly, they can go from being a bland part of your level to one of the highlights. All level designers have been faced with the problem of dealing with a boring hallway se
Pacing and sequencing are neither art nor science, but a combination of both. If they were an exact science, making ninety quality combat encounters would be as easy as following a formula. It is not purely art either, for there is science to base our decisions upon. Rather, pacing and sequencing is an art, based on science. The following explores how artistic decisions based on scientific process pave the way to making awesome combat encounters. The Combat PlanIn order to understand the science of pacing and sequencing, we must first understand a games combat plan. A combat plan is all the ac