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Level Analysis - Cliff Town of Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Zijie Zhang

Game 201

02/11/2020

3D Level Analysis: Cliff Town

Before you read - 0:

This level is from Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Cliff Town

The map is drawn in 3D using SketchUp, but the overall scale seems off after I finished. I attached the project file in the zip file

The collectibles and enemies are too small to see in top-down maps

Map - 1:

A top-down map from online

Top-down map from me:

Black and White Section 1

Black and White Section 2
Black and White Section 3
Black and White All
Green and Orange Section 1
Green and Orange Section 2
Green and Orange Section 3

Green and Orange All

Scale of the level - 2

The sections 1 and 2 are About 120 - 150 Spyros, times 50- 70 Spyros, while the height is unknown. Section 3 is about 40- 60 Spyro, times 70- 80 Spyros. Overall, the scale of the level is not huge, but it utilizes the spaces really well.

Mechanics Introduced - 3

Walking

Jumping

Charging

Fire Attack

Gliding(A bigger one)

Pickups - 4

400 Gems

Enemies - 5:

Fat Ladies

Pueblos(Mama Slaves)

Vultures

Thief

Lizard(Environmental species)

Dragons - 6:

Enzo(Tell players that fire attack could not burn metal)

Halvor(Guide players to section 3, which located across the river)

Marco(Tell players to glide on the rooftop)

Level Design Analysis - 7

While I am playing:

A pinch point here, after players exit from the chamber, players could not only see different kinds of collectibles on the rooftop, which are many attraction points. They could also see the end point from here, which is a big weenie.

In the bridge, players are separated into 3 paths, most of them probably would choose go right since fat ladies’ pot are curious, and they also give gem for rewards to players

After players reach this destination before crossing the bridge, they probably would discover the hidden platform, and choose to collect gems at the top. If they jump down, they could go back to 2, and make a different decision to navigate the spaces even more.

If they jump down, they have some probability to discover the chest that they just miss, which is somewhat surprising.

See Layering mechanics part

The big big white rabbit here for players to chase and practice sprinting direction control

In 7, players are separated into different paths again, while the left and middle part are right path to the weenie. The right path enemies are more like guiding enemies, encouraging players to search the bottom part before going up. This section is layering of section 1, see Layering Mechanics for more detail.

If players reach 8, they could see many chests around them with higher platforms, they might use gilding to get the chest in the right building, but knowing there are some chests not accessible for now, and attracting them coming back later.

As players start climbing to the top, after two spiral stairs, they reach the top. However, the first thing that comes into sight is not weenie on the right(there is a wall blocking the sight in the game). It is the dragon.

After talking to the dragon, players would realize that across the river side is more than just background decoration, giving them new sections to explore. The camera pans a little toward the new area. The big building and the dragon statue could be considered as another big weenie on top of section 3.

After players landed on the new section, the first thing come in sight is the dragon statue, its color and shaders are so easy

When players reach here, which is the highest point in the Cliff Town according to the dragon. In players eyesight, all the rooftop collectibles in section 1and 2

I really like this part, there are collectibles behind the castle that are really hard to find. When players make a turn when they reach the big building, they could see the small weenie of the castle, encouraging to explore that direction as well.

If they reach the edge of the platform, they could see the glint the gem on the back of the castle, but they are still somewhat hard to notice.

In section 3, there are small statue like this helps to define the boundaries, or else section 3 looks confusingly large with the desert theme and background

When players reach this point, the level loops back to the beginning. Almost all the rooftop of buildings in section 1 and 2 becomes another challenge. Letting the players start practicing gliding, and making them explore the spaces again.

There is one special chest which Spyro could not open it by charge and fire attack. It is required by burning the fire cracker in the picture, which is a small weenies as well since the fire cracker looks so different than the background.

After I played

The level has a pale yellow color theme and palette. The interactable objects are very distinguished in terms of colors and shaders. Players knows what they could interact and where they could stand.(Is it intentionally to make the water purple black?)

Make enemies self-explanatory.

Since Fat ladies are huge, so players know charging probably would not knock them down, the pot right next to them also reminds you of fire.

Utilize the dark spaces well. The level did not intentionally hide objects. If the place is darker, players are more likely to explore it before going the main road.

The theme of the level is “jump to complete, learn glide to collect”. The level is really easy to complete, players don’t even need to explore the whole level. The whole section 3 and rooftop are challenging routes to reward players who are good at gliding.

Set up convenience points for players, to prevent labor works(running back all the way to section 3)make players lose interest in exploring.

The top of the chest and pot are slippery to prevent cheating.

Create surprises, some areas that are not accessible at the beginning become accessible with some help. Section 3 looks like a background to me until I reach the weenie. Some chests and gems also are not quite noticeable at the beginning, but if the players turn around or they reach higher point, they look very obvious with glint and open sight, which creates a feeling “Wow, how did I miss that?”

There are many areas just “barely reachable”, giving players the feeling that “I am awesome!”

Eyesights are really helpful, though the level is relatively small, but the building blocks the spaces so there are different paths for players to navigate, slicing the spaces with different area to let players to feel

The level is big in terms of depth, it utilizes the spaces really well. When players loop back to the beginning, it feels like a different level waiting for them to explore, since the main mechanics change from jumping to gliding.

When players collect gems, there is a number to indicate how much you collect

Layering Mechanics - 7:

Before entering section 2, there is 1 Pueblo on the bridge.

Then, there is one Pueblos and one fat ladies, start introduce new enemies by mixing in new type

Then there is one Fat Lady

Layering of the first bridge by adding one more Pueblo

In fact, the whole section 1 is layering of section 2. Not only in terms of enemies number and type and collectibles, but paths. If we observe carefully, Section 2’s building is way smaller, and more narrow in space. They are not only blocking the the player’s eyesight, but also creating more path to explore around the spaces

As players are going up the stairs, they meet the first Fat Lady, easy, just burn through it.

The second Fat Lady, but players need to use glide to pass, which is a bit harder, and layering of previous

Two Pueblos and one Fat Lady, layering and combination of 2 and 4!

Two Fat Ladies at the end, layering of 3.

If the players master the jumping, they could pass the level. However, if they are good at gliding, they are rewarded with different chests and gem, which encourage players to practice the gliding.

Players only meet 1 vulture at the beginning.

But more and more, so players would start practice the right radius to draw them one at a time

Level Design Methods Sprite Sheet - 8:

  1. MethodUsesBrightnessThe beginning, from dark to brightWhite RabbitYes, the thief, and I hate itColorThe collectables are much more different with environmentBreadcrumbsThe gemsPinch PointsThe bridgeWeenieYesAttraction PointsThe chests on the rooftopCollectiblesYes, and they glint from far awayEnemy AI(Chasing)If Fat Lady sends out Pueblo counts?Enemy has something you needThe pot from Fat LadyShow GoalIt is shown at the very beginningLimit ViewYes, different building limits the eyesightProvide OrientationThe dragon leads the wayCreate boundariesThe small statue creates air wallAssist AIsThe dragons, and the guide treasure direction

Doubts and Questions - 9:

Some collectables(The one in the back of the starting point) are so hard to find. Though players could see the glint of the gems from far away, and there are guide treasure features, they are still very hard to find. How to to determine difficulties of specific treasure

In section 2, there are 0 Fat Ladies before going up the stairs, why not put some on the ground?

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