Fury of the Ancients


Fury of the Ancients was composed by 15 student developers over a period of 4 months - 12 hours a week. The Ice Level is a single player level for Fury of the Ancients (FoTA). It is one of the two major levels for FoTA.

The Ice Level features alternative paths that are designed to keep the player aware of where they are without them getting lost. Our game doesn't support a minimap, so alternative paths were highly susceptible to this.

Alternative Paths
Players need to know where they are in the game world. In Fury of the Ancients, we had no support of a minimap to lean on. This meant that our level design had to reflect this and prevent players from getting lost. Alternative paths can easily get the player lost if not implemented well.

My goals for paths were:
  • Players should know where they are in the game world at any point
  • Players should not have to needlessly backtrack
  • There should be alternative paths to give players cost/benefit decisions

  • Accomplishing my goals
    This alternative path diverges very slightly past the critical path; a giant U-Shape brings this alternative path right back where the critical path left off. In addition, the view here reinforces the player's location in the world as the player continually sees where they are, where they left the main path, and where the alternative path is leading towards. If these designs were not implemented, the player could easily start running in circles.
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    Taking Advantage of Height
    Creating a level full of different height variations has three advantages
  • First, it beautifies a living world down below full of running waterfalls, monsters, and the occasional boss rampaging around
  • Second, it tells the player where the playable space is; a rocky cliff upwards or downwards from an otherwise flat snowy landscape immediately informs the player where their playable space is
  • Third, seeing landscape below informs the player where they need to head towards and where they are in the game world. To reinforce point 3, I have the boss occasionally move around the level to both create a spectacle and to tell the player which direction to gradually move towards
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    Adapting design from paper to polish (6:33 m)
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