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Under - Goldberg Canyon

Level Design Project for Uni

Top-down map of a level plan

This was a level design I made for a uni assignment. The brief was to come up with a game idea and construct a rough, non-functional map of it within Unity. I came up with the idea of a horror western game called Under, which saw a sheriff investigating a notorious gang only to come under attack by nightmarish creatures bursting from deep under the earth. My original plan was to make a level set in a labyrinth of tunnels within a mine, like the tunnels in Gaptooth Breach in Red Dead Redemption. However, my low level of experience with Unity at that point in my degree made constructing tunnels like that difficult.

Instead I made a level that took you through a spiralling canyon, with a slow build-up to a chaotic climax where monsters interrupt a shoot-out between you and some enemies in a western town, attacking you all relentlessly. The map may seem overly linear with few enemy encounters, but I was aiming to make this a very atmospheric game with big amounts of downtime between encounters. And when the encounters do happen, even one enemy can be a big threat. This was inspired by games like ZombiU. That being said, the level was a bit more linear than I was planning it to be in the canyon trails between set-pieces, which I put down to inexperience and not knowing how to make a space claustophobic while still providing enough room for agency.

Click the button below to download my design doc for this level. The Unity files are from such an old version of Unity that they don't load properly anymore so I haven't included those.

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