FIRST PERSON STEALTH LEVEL
Thief 4 Inspired Level
The goal of this project was to design a small area of an old town. It's heavly inspired by the Thief franchise and its victorian and gothic aesthetics.
It's up to the player to approach the game in a more stealthy or aggressive manner, and are given multiple gameplay options for either playstyle.
Developed over: 3 weeks
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Assets used: Interaction With Advanced Locomotion System v4 (Jakub W Patreon, Epic Marketplace), Medieval Kingdom Asset Pack (Epic Marketplace), Ancient Treasures Asset Pack (Epic Marketplace)
Planning a city from scratch was a bit challenging, luckily for me I found a website that could help with that! A Medieval City Generator, an infinite source of ideas for cities like the one I wanted.
Medieval Fantasy City Generator:
Thief 4 is set in a world inspired by gothic and victorian aesthetics. I looked at many pictures and illustrations of old London, but took most of my inspiration from the game itself and its concept art.
DESIGNING A SMALL TOWN
There has to be some form of danger as motivation for the player.
Guards carrying torches act as a dynamic light source. This means some places that normally would be safe might not be forever.
LIGHT AND SHADOWS
The "Light and shadow" element is fundamental for a genuine Thief experience. The player is encouraged to use shadows as a way to avoid detection, but they can also be used as a tool to overcome challenges. As mentioned in 'Guard patrol', the guards carry torches that might light up cover spaces. Naturally, this means that objects in the environment could potentially cast "new" shadows around them. Those shadows can be seen as an opportunity to sneak around in plain sight.
Guard Patrol Path
Much like in the game, loot and treasure is everywhere. In most cases they present some type of challenge, like sneaking past a guard and grabbing the coin purse they left out in the open.
It was relevant to create scenarios using the surroundings that make the player feel like a clever and skilled thief. Giving them enough cover spaces, attack opportunities and different solutions to reach and obtain those treasures.
Some of the main mechanics in Thief include rope arrows, lockpicking and a grappling tool called "The Claw". I wanted to push those three skills further in the experience.
I added elevations that would be impossible to reach without either rope arrows or the claw.
Unlockable windows are marked with a blue light shining through them. Both the windows and the vents are able to be lockpicked, opening up a new path for the player.
Even though this project was small, I believe I got the mood and setting for Thief right. The areas were distinct enough so that building a mental map for the player turned out to be successful! I had a lot of fun making this level, especially designing gameplay around 'The Claw' and playing around with ways to create quick escape routes and vantage points for memorising the guards patrol points.
The atmosphere and overall layout turned out just the way I wanted, and I believe I achieved my goal of making the player feel like a master thief.