Level Design Breakdown in Office Mayhem
The design for each of the levels in Office Mayhem started out with picking the day of the week that the level will appear in game. The reason for starting with figuring out when the player will see the level, allowed me to tailor the level "difficulty" and experience the player needs to make the best use of the level to score the most points.
After picking day in the rotation for the level, I would create a 2D layout in Adobe Illustrator to get a rough idea of the level should look like. I would also use this time to start planning out he amount of each resource I want the level to have. The amount of resources that the level has created the difficulty in each level. For example, the levels that appear during the beginning of the week having two or more sources for each task and with later levels having a single source. My goal with the pacing of these resources was to encourage the players to explore the level for other ways to complete the tasks, like using the bathroom as an alternative source of water to the water fountain or to fill a trash can and use the copier to make an endless amount of filled trash cans.
After creating the 2D layout for the level, I would create the 2D layout in Unity within the game. Once the draft of the level was in the game, I would start testing the layout with one player and just see how it felt to move around the space and complete the different tasks. During this testing I would also be looking out for any resources that could be exploited, allowing for tasks to be completed too easily, such as the water fountain being located next to the plant that uses water. At this point in the design process I will also start tuning the amount and frequency of the resources that get spawned into the level.
After testing the level with a single player, I would take the level to the QA lab at Champlain College. Here we would spend about an hour of the session testing the latest level with four players. The other hour of the session we would groups of four players play through a whole week of game play. During these sessions I would be present to watch the players and take notes. I also would have a few questions in our player survey. These questions would ask about what the player thought about the difficult of the level and any other thoughts they had about the level.
After running the level through several rounds of QA, I would then review the notes that I took and the data from the players surveys. I would then make any changes to the level that I felt were needed by the play testing, such as adjusting the amount of paper or computers that are in the level.