En Garde! is my graduation project and was made with Unreal Engine 4. It is a swashbuckler action fantasy game where you play as a stylish swordmaster in a fantasized 17th century.
 You can download the game here

We were a team of 8 students and we had 9 months to make En Garde! happen, I worked as the Level designer and Level Builder of the project.

The game is a sword fighting beat them up with a very strong emphasis on environmental interactions such as using furnitures to beat your opponents in combat.

 

Level Architecture

En Garde! takes place in a fantasized Spanish palace of the 17th century. The main reference for the palace is the Alcazar palace and the mudejar architectural style.

I worked closely with the artists of my team to create our version of this architectural style so that it fits with our needs in term of traversal, combat and environmental interactions. 

My first blockout iteration was there to to determine our metrics and how much environment we had to produce. Our main challenge with the mudejar architectural style was the use of columns wich are a huge composant of this style but that can also have negative impacts in term of navigation and camera.

Level Layout

The palace is an open level, the player can go everywhere. At first the main objective of the player is to find and beat three elite guards that all have their own personalities and AI behaviors.

The level is divided in 4 different areas (plus the tutorial room). The garden is the hub of the level. There are less enemies and many shortcuts to allow the player to navigate easily between the other parts of the level.

The three other parts (Library, Training Room and Bal Room) contain one of the elite guards and are built to fit with their behavior. For exemple Emilio wich is inside the library is very evasive and will dodge and flee the player attacks. The library is filled with bookshelves and other objects that will be easily toppled by the player and Emilio to create chaos with books and furnitures spread on the ground. This wing of the palace is also dark, full of corners and balconies so that Emilio can retreat to a new safe position when he takes damages.

I used an iterative process to work on the level, this way I was able to adapt the level when new gameplay elements were implemented (such as combat or freerun). But also to improve the quality of the level during the entire production. The level went through 5 major iterations.

 

Level Building

The greatest weekness of our team was our lack of a dedicated environment artist. So we needed to be able to build the level with the less elements possible. The solution we used to solve this issue was to use modular elements to build our environment.

Every architectural elements such as walls, columns and roofs are small modular assets that I assembled to create every building in the Level. I built each of them from scratch using mudejar architecture references.

I also worked with the artists to create a unique mood inside each wing of the palace to allow the players to navigate more easily and that they know where they are at every moment. Besides that I propsed the level alongside the artists.