Role: Lead Level Designer & Producer
Description: Rise & Fall is a 4 person couch co-op sports game.
Two teams battle to score the ball into the other team's net, while using their unique abilities to shrink and grow.
All players can shrink and grow in size at any time.
The smallest size has the fastest speed, but can't hit the ball very hard.
The largest size has a large hitbox and can hit the ball really hard, but is the slowest of the 3 sizes.
The medium size is a mix of good speed and strength.
Knowing when to use your powers is the key to scoring.
The first team to score 10 times wins.
The time limit is 5 minutes.
If no team has scored in 60 seconds, the ball explodes and both teams are awarded a point.
For our third Game Jam in class, we were given the theme of 'Fall'.
We decided we wanted to make a game built around the ability to 'grow and fall' in size as the main mechanic.
Originally we imagined it as a fighting game. When we placed a soccer ball in the arena, it became too much fun to not make it a sports game.
I built out a small whitebox with two nets, two goalies, and bounce pads on various areas of the level.
We playtested for hours and hours, tweaking the player speed, ball friction, Bounce Pad velocity, until we found a flow that felt really good to play.
This level has Bounce Pads, marked in yellow, which bounce the ball in different directions.
We took a lot of time tuning the Bounce Pads' velocity and the angles to create fun flow between the ball and the player.
For example, there are two Bounce Pads that face towards the player's nets. That means that in some cases, the ball slowly trickles towards the nets, giving players a chance to make a quick save.
The Middle Table forces players to use the outsides of the arena. Players need to hop up to hit the ball initially on it spawning, but guard rails we call the "Anti-Cheese" are in place. This prevents players from getting a free shot at an unprotected net.
Because players whack the ball with a club, often we heard feedback that it wasn't obvious enough where the ball was going to go if players hit it.
So we implemented a trajectory line that spans the size of the arena, so players know exactly where a shot will go before hitting.
To add a small element of timing to the shooting, we adding moving goalies to both nets. They move at a relatively slow and predictable pattern.
We tuned the size and speed just enough so that you need to be conscious of them in timing your shots, but they don't completely negate offense.
The Goalies also create fun moments where the goalie will bail you out when you're caught out of position.
We have pages and pages of ideas to flesh out the game in further levels.
In the end, our goal was to make a single, focused level that showed off the main pillars of the game. We wanted it to 'feel great' to play, be easy to immediately pick up and understand, and be something you enjoy wasting a few minutes playing with friends.
We had so much fun playing this game, and we hope you enjoy it too!