Level Concept- Arios Orion IV

Level Concept- Arios Orion IV

1) Story

The near destruction of the universe at the hands of the two galactic superpowers, the Unified Space Alliance (USA) and the Union of Star System Republics (USSR) has lead to the absolute destruction of all governments, prompting the rise of paramilitary groups to fill the void of power. The distant planet of Arios Orion IV, a calm planet once safe from the perils of the universe, has been reduced to barren wastelands by the nuclear fires of the war. Now, the planet is nothing but a host for violence and murder. Motorized gangs drive through the desert looting all they can find, slavers capture innocents and sell them to warlords to build their armies, and USSR Cyber-Spetsnaz Commandos awaken from their automated sleep to wage the final bloody contingency plan of their now-defunct government.

The year is 199X. The pleas of the diminishing colonist population of Arios Orion IV have finally reached the ears of Grandmaster Telum of the Star Templars, an organization of cyborg warrior-monks born out of the fires of war-torn Earth. Telum, in response, has dispatched Knight Arnulf to the planet. Arnulf now leads his own crusade to save the planet from absolute ruin.

2) Approach


The setting of the level is in the chemical deserts of Arios Orion IV. The player wanders through the desert, through caves and scales cliffs in search of the remaining hostiles. The player takes on the role of a cyborg-super soldier capable of laying waste to entire armies and takes the appearance of a medieval knight. Most of the enemies will be leather-wearing raiders. Mountains will be visible in the background but will be unreachable. Likewise, the sky will be lit up by stars and planets. The desert has several alien pyramids in it, and features a massive metallic arch.

Art Style

My level will be largely influenced by 1970s and 1980s science fiction novels, films and fiction. Movies such as Mad Max, Robocop, The Terminator, Dune, Judge Dredd, Tron and Predator. I plan on using an overabundance of chrome colors as well as a lot of cyan, pink and yellow. A lot of the art will be clean, clear and highly saturated. The desert will be bright yellow, the sky will have a large Tron-like grid, and armor and structures will be overdesigned and flamboyant.


Gameplay will be relatively simple and clear. The perspective will most likely be first person, although there is a possibility it could also be third-person. The player will be given two weapons- a rapid-firing automatic pistol (modeled after the Skorpion submachine gun) and melee weapon (either a spear or a broadsword). Enemies will most likely be bikers with armed with bats, nunchucks and improvised brawling weaponry. If there is enough time, there is also the possibility a second enemy type will be created. The second type of enemy could be either a robot of some type of cyborg soldier armed with a rifle.


Sound will not be a main concern. The music, however, is fairly important and I will aim to find something that fits the theme of the game. Soundtracks from Hotline Miami, Farcry 3 Blood Dragon and music from the composer Com Truise are all good examples of music that would fit with the setting.

Concept Art

Arios Orion IV

Arios Orion IV


Knight Arnulf


Artistic Game Development – Artist’s Remorse [Opus]

Level Design [Word Doc]

The numbers coorelate with the list of items in the word file linked in the article we were assigned to read on worldofleveldesign.com.

Artistic Game Development I – Level Concept and Story

Artist’s Remorse Artist's-Remorse Game Type:

  1. Single Player
  2. Survival, Puzzle
  3. ADG I Level Design


  1. An artist performs his own coup de grace after a run in with depression. The real world had pressured him from every direction, leaving him to lock himself in his studio. In his last month, he created his final work, a projection of his internal struggles. Branching from his easel, the studio’s walls are stained with dark images, suggesting a more maniacal outlook on the world surrounding him.

Detective Clark enters the room to begin investigating the suicide of Mr. Opus. Curiously, a gust of wind closes the door behind him. A quick check of the door confirms the detective’s suspicion. Locked. With an attempt to force the door open, the abrasive sound of a violin’s twang cuts the silence.

  1. Turning around, Clark flicks his flashlight on, as he reaches for the light switch. A flash of light and the bulb blows just as quickly. Stepping slowly into the room, the player is soon introduced control of Clark. And it becomes the player’s goal to experience the haunting of Mr. Opus while discovering what led him to slice his own throat. Hidden in his drawings are the answers. Meanwhile, Mr. Opus continues to play the violin for the detective.
  2. The drawings stretched across the room direct the player’s investigation and Mr. Opus has somehow set up some dead ends. His mind even became a puzzle to himself, so unlocking the truth of his death becomes ever more confusing as the player tries to put the pieces together. Only when solving the puzzle does Mr. Opus’s music stop and the door opens.


  1. The objective of the level is to discover the reason(s) for Mr. Opus’s suicide.
  2. From above, much of the information will be lost, as the drawings are cast along the walls, along with the answers to guide the detective out of the artist’s studio. It is for that reason that most concept art will be shown from the player’s first person perspective.
  3. The entirety of the level is one puzzle. Actually departing from the room may become second to the player’s priorities as he/she is lost in Mr. Opus’s story.
  4. Because this is a study of artistic design, much of the gameplay elements will be lost without the slightest bit of programming. That being said, the level will be staged up until the player believes to have solved the puzzle of the suicide. In the end, it is the interaction with the artistic surroundings that becomes the core gameplay.
  5. I want to give the player the chance to examine the room and Mr. Opus’s drawings for around a half hour. With the inclusion of red herrings, the player could be lost for longer.
  6. The level is not big, but will include a vast amount of information, including Mr. Opus’s life before the depression set in, along with what led him to his last month of cruel living.
  7. My audience is the crowd that is prepared for less of a game and more of an interactive story.
  8. Mr. Opus’s studio will be remembered as an unsettling invasion of another man’s life. The player will instantly feel as if he/she has imposed upon the darkest trenches of depression and death.


16/17. I am mostly inspired by the serial killer’s home in the show True Detective. The room’s unsettling displays of death, bloodlust, and depression will feel claustrophobic, as the player is constantly looking to each wall for answers. Everything begins to close in on itself.

19. At first, with the introduction of Mr. Opus’s ghost in the room, a suspenseful atmosphere is cast on the studio. As time passes though, the player will realize that the ghost is not a threat, but trapped in his own pit of despair, walls crawling with images of confusion and a lost mind.

20. Exploration will reward the player with more information about Mr. Opus’s story.

21. Though the drawings will feel so disconnected from each other, the player will discover that there is harmony in a number of them. All of the images will have something to say about Mr. Opus before and after the depression/suicide, as well.

22. I want to concentrate on artistic storytelling by creating a fulfilling atmosphere.

Level Concept: Sour Sewer


When their toilet is mysteriously clogged out of nowhere, the protagonist(s) drop down into the sewer to investigate (instead of taking a more obvious action, like using a plunger or calling a plumber). After mucking about in the dark depths of the public town sewer system, they find the toilet was deliberately clogged with junk. They eventually trace it back to its source, and find…

…the protagonist’s old goldfish he flushed as a kid when it died. Unfortunately though, his goldfish wasn’t actually dead, he was just sleeping. After being misflushed, Mr. Sneeples (name subject to change) was subject to highly toxic water. Over many years, it mutated him instead of killing him. Combined with various metal bits that were flushed over time, he was able to construct a metal housing to keep himself alive far beyond his natural expiration date. He now seeks revenge for his untimely flush.

Faced with the threat of imminent death, the protagonist has no choice but to end Mr. Sneeple’s life once and for all, and ensure no other innocent toilets suffer his clog-ridden wrath.



I’d like to structure the level similarly to those in Paper Mario: that is, have 3D rendered environments that can be freely traversed, but lock the camera to a fixed rotation. This would allow the level to be built like a stage, with an open wall at the front for the camera to look through.

Stylistically, I’m going for a geometrical-yet-quirky look. For lack of a better explanation, think of the stylization used in the later Ratchet & Clank games: sleek, but still cartoony. This involves painterly textures instead of photorealistic ones, lots of color (though not oversaturated), and varied lighting.

Overall though, I’d like to focus on the audio (surprise, I’m not an art student!) Optimally, I’d like to integrate the Wwise audio engine with Unity so I could set up a more detailed and dynamic soundscape. A sewer setting provides the opportunity for a lot of interesting sounds and ambiances.


Concept Art

Varied sewer areas

Level Ideas

Mr. Sneeples (mutated-mecha-goldfish boss)

Boss Ideas