El Paso, Elsewhere

Level Designer

Project Intro

I was brought on as a level designer for El Paso, Elsewhere, I was responsible for 10 levels. Two of those levels were major "landmark" levels which were expected to be the most spectacular and memorable levels out of the game. I also handled a lighting pass on a lot of the early game to help polish up work from other LDs late in development, as well as some other minor editor scripting for level design tasks.

El Paso, Elsewhere uses modular kits for level construction, which were all completed well before my arrival on the project, (they were produced for the prequel) so the basic units of our world were a constraint for the level design team.

Level - Piece of Mind

Piece of Mind is a mid-game level where the design objectives were to:

This level is built out of three arena combats, connected with short interstitial spaces that serve to resupply the player and assist pacing.

The changes in floor height serve the purpose of extending sight lines, and giving the first two arenas a shooting gallery feeling to help acquaint the player with the rifle, and contain many destructible objects to showcase the rifle's overpenetration.

There are many walls that slide and drop into the floor throughout Arenas 2 and 3, creating longer range engagements where the rifle really excels, while simultaneously reinforcing the spooky old mansion vibe of this modular kit.

The moving walls and spawning waves of enemies make this a more scripting heavy level in El Paso, Elsewhere.

Level - Meat Room

Meat Room is a mid to late game level, and one of the landmarks. Built late in development, this level is entirely linear, and includes only minor sequence scripting to prevent backtracking, and to trigger some enemy spawns.

I had the opportunity to extend the modular kit for this biome during this level, to add the meat tubes, panels, and pillars.

There's a high concept idea behind this layout, where the player moves through the chambers of the human heart, with the rest area being the lungs. That is a contributing factor to the overlapping layout of this level which is fairly rare for this title.

This being a landmark level, there is less narrative to deliver, and more of a focus on spectacle and getting everything that might interfere with the rap track that was selected for it out of the way. 

Intensity builds with each successive chamber, dropping back down after the rest room, with the climax in Arena 2, followed by a couple minor encounters as the player exits the level.

Fully Lit Shots