Emil Andersson

Level Designer

Zephyr Shoot em Up 

My contributions to this project:


  • Made most levels for the game
  • Balanced  the player and enemy
  • Bugg testing
  • Adjusted missions and objectives
  • Made parts of the bosses destructible

About


Zephyr is a 2D shoot em Up developed for 8 weeks half time. You play as an airship that is trying to defeat invaders from destroying the world with  fog and smoke  from their five mother ships. Every level completed unlocks a new part for the ship that the player can equip. 


Features

12 unlockable plane parts, 3 diverse acts, 10 challenging levels, Multiple enemy types, 4 imposing boss battles, Explosions, Destructible environments, And more!


Final thoughts


Zephyr was fun to make but it got pretty stressful at times and the bosses had several iterations and we finally went with the bosses having a glowing core to drag the players attention. Giving each sky box a different color gave the player an sense of progression and made it overall easier for the team to talk and point out problems with the maps witch we patch regularly during the development.   


Ten levels was made for the game and at times I got pretty stressful but we managed to deliver the game in time.

The only thing that I felt was of with the game was the music I was so used to the rock music that we had in the dev builds.

There was so many awesome moments that suddenly did not feel the same with the oriental music theme, it fits the artstyle better but I still kind of miss it.       

   


Zephyr was very well received and is still talked about today as a great game that was made on a very short time.   

Designing the Game


 The team started out with drawing ideas on a board and we then discussed  what would be fun for the player.


I started to make concept layouts for levels and showed them for the rest of the team and changed them after the feedback.. When the XML tools were ready we started to make the levels, I started to place objects around the level with X/Y coordinates and objects that was destructible was imported to Tield where I chose what part that would be destructible with a custom script.

Acting on feedback


I placed spawn areas for enemies and how many they should be and tried to link this with how strong they were and what part of the game the player was in.

We added missions throw XML and made sure that the missions was fun and felt original for every level.

While doing this we regularly changed and adjusted the different parts of the ship to make the ships  felt good for the player to use.


Feedback was very important to us, we wanted the game to be fast paced but several time we mistakenly made the ship to fast and  playtesters got confused and even dissy playing the game. To fix this we change the zoom on the player camera and slowed down the speed on some engines and made the camera shake "less shaky" after many hours we finally found a combination that we used for the final release.

Zephyr by Six Shooter Studios

Screenshot of the act 2 boss in Tiled where the destruction was placed

First draft of the second level wich later became the last boss of act two

Last boss of act two where the player has to destroy the two cores of the ship

Final level where hell is unleashed upon the player

First boss that the player encounters

Player is surrounded by tank ships

Specifications:


  • Made in  8 weeks half time
  • Team of 9 (2 Level Designers,

4 programmers, 3 Graphic artist)

  • Running HGE engine for rendering

Screenshots


All parts unlocked for the player during the last missions and the player could mix and match however they wanted

Backgrounds consists of a huge tield image

If the player flew to high the ship could not operate and would fall down into the map

Player flying by enemy ships in act two