Wildfire: The Final Flame is an RTS that was developed by Galactic Eagle during a 10 week period at The Game Assembly by 10 ambitious students.
Our goal with this project was to successfully create a action packed strategy game where the player would have to hold out for an amount of time while protecting her base as well as taking down a few golems and metal bees at the same time.
For the Level Designers, our task was to create a huge terrain where the player could experience and explore his/her surroundings. This was one of the greatest challenges I had gone through during my time at The Game Assembly.
When the project started we all pitched in our ideas and eventually came to the conclusion that making a game based on a board game would be the best idea since all the features that the board game had sounded cool to experience in a real-time strategy game. Sadly though this began to show later on during development that it was not such a smart idea to go through with and was one of the mistake we did while working on the title. But not all was at a loss since we maintained a good workflow and kept the progress going.
The greatest challenge I encountered while working on this project was the level itself. Since the board game only featured one big map then we level designers took it upon ourselves to deliver a really large map. This was a very big challenge since we were only two level designers on the team and the map needed to be equivalent to 4 individual smaller maps with missions.
When we had one week left on the project we had successfully created a "good enough" quality map and I will admit I wouldn't say it was a good idea looking back at it. To correct this mistake for future projects and with the given deadline I would have focused on more compact maps with different scenarios which would then give the player different experiences each time.
Time grew short and during the last few days we did not truly achieve our initial vision of the game. But we strived on at least giving the player as best of a fun experience as we could deliver.
As a level designer I wish I could make more interesting areas on the map as I thought I could from the start. I had too large of a vision and with the timeframe the best idea would have been to think small then build from there which is a workflow I now commit to for my current and future projects.
It was a hard project but once again with all the hard work as a team we provided. I personally felt that I had learnt a lot more about the difficulties and challenges that a real-time strategy introduces and how to work around them.
The achievement that I and my collegue Esteban Soto felt proudest of towards the end was that we were able to create a huge map in a short amount of time and even though it was not the greatest of maps it was still really fun encountering all the problems together and finding out ways of solving them.
Patrick Enz © 2016 | Level Designer