BATTLE FORTRESS TORTOISE

Unreal Engine 3 Infinite 8 Games Studios


An indie game developed by myself and 20 other graduate students at FIEA in Orlando, FL,
Battle Fortress Tortoise is a single-player tower-defense shooter taking place on top of a giant moving tortoise. It was one of the first ever student games to be greenlit on Steam.


My roles included Level Design and Narrative Design.





The Valley of Teeth

This level serves as a tutorial for the gameplay mechanics. It was designed to combine story, level flow and geometry to introduce the premise and basics of the game.


One of the critical challenges I dealt with as the level designer was the sense of scale. In order to have the enemies show well on the level, they had to be scaled up to 10 times the size of the same enemy model on top of the fortress. Ensuring that the level environment looked right in comparison - both in the distance and up close when the player passes by - was critical.


Responsibilities: Shaped heightmaps. Blocked out level. Set dressing. Scripted enemy encounters. Designed tutorial. Created cut-scenes. Wrote, directed and implemented dialogue.



 


The Tortoise Graveyard

With a darker theme than earlier parts of the game, the Graveyard features more hectic gameplay as the early encounters are designed primarily for the Crow's Nest mechanic. Towards the end of the sequence, we introduce the Orkus, a larger enemy creature that serves as a counter-weight by dealing incredible damage if the player remains in the Crow's Nest.


Responsibilities: Shaped heightmaps. Blocked out level. Set dressing. Placed lights. Scripted enemy encounters. Created cut-scenes. Wrote and implemented dialogue. Scripted dynamic environments.



 


The Hyena City

As the final part of the game demo, the Hyena City was designed to be a difficult and epic set of encounters. The tortoise and its crew gets completely surrounded by enemies and with a designed shout-out to a great movie (one of many such shout-outs in the game) the gnomes decide to "go down with the ship" as it were.


Responsibilities: Shaped heightmaps. Blocked out level. Set dressing and environment polish. Scripted enemy encounters. Wrote, directed and implemented dialogue.