DEADLIGHT

Tequila Works / Microsoft Game Studios

Position: Senior Game & Level Designer

  • As level designer, I was tasked with conceptualizing and defining many sections of the game, first on paper, then doing a basic whitebox version in Unreal, and from this point on doing multiple gameplay passes and taking the level from first playable to final shipping quality. 
  • As game designer, I was responsible for the main character's navigation and combat systems, coordinating with our animation and programming teams to define, plan, implement, and iterate on these systems, adhering to the specifications set by creative direction.

Below you can find samples and a brief overview of each of the levels I worked on:

LEFT BEHIND

  • As the first level designer to come on board on the project, I did the original layout and first playable version of the starting areas of the game, and continued to work on them throughout production. These are intended as a slow paced and atmospheric introduction to the game, where each zone teaches the player a new mechanic or gameplay element.
  • This level was the first to be created for Deadlight and was constantly iterated on from day one to shipping. It was also used for multiple press demos at E3/PAX, as well as the trial version for XBLA.

WELCOME TO SEATTLE

  • This level sees the player entering downtown Seattle and transitioning from industrial outskirts to urban locations; introducing several new gameplay mechanics, more complex navigation challenges, environmental puzzles, and a higher number of enemies/combat scenarios.
  • Additionally, some areas of this level were modified to address cut features (like the inventory system) and storytelling pacing/length issues; some of these areas were cut and pasted in other levels and can be found later on in the game.

DESCENT

  • Late into production I took ownership of this level and was tasked with redesigning many areas in a very short timeframe. The layout was heavily modified and all the scripting work had to be re-done from scratch in a matter of days.

THE PIT

  • One of the most vertical zones in the game, it marks the end of the sewers section and the transition towards the surface levels that further develop the story of the Ratman. It contains many unique gameplay elements and puzzles that required a lot of scripting work and intensive polish/bugfixing.
  • Originally intended to be a platforming-heavy area with little to no enemies present, this level had a really smooth transition from the paper layout to the game, with the only cuts being a few additional areas on the top. Altogether, it didn't suffer many changes compared to most other levels in the game.

MEDICINE MAN

  • This level started life as a vertical slice and was used to pitch the project to potential publishers. I did the original layout, whiteboxing, and scripting, with several gameplay passes done at different stages of  production, many of them complete revisions of the level script.


  • In the first iterations, this level had a much more "metroidvania" non-linear  structure, with multiple routes and secondary objectives that forced the player to explore and backtrack through the environment. Although multiple changes and cuts were made to make it "fit" into the final game, the most important elements of its layout remain unchanged from the first version. 

Additional tasks across all previously mentioned levels include:

  • Placing and configuring character navigation nodes, setting up streaming, manually creating the AI navigation mesh, setting up checkpoints, creating and maintaining prefabs, integrating audio/FX, minor meshing , lightning and camera work, and general optimization/polishing/bugfixing.
  • Additionally, I prototyped and implemented multiple gameplay elements that appear on the final game; these were created without programmer support by making extensive use of Unreal's Kismet and Matinee tools. Some examples include deep waters, electric hazards, spike traps, moving platforms, destructible barriers, and many more.

Any trademarks mentioned on this website are the property of their respective owners. Several images used with permission from Pyro Studios S.L. All content including images and text on this website, except mentioned otherwise, is © 2012 Juan Fernández de Simón. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Squarespace.