Titanfall 2 - Mission 03 - "Into the Abyss"


Platform:
PS4, Xbox One, PC

Tools Used:
Squirrel,
Custom Level Editor
& Tools

Duration:
9+ months

Team Size:
90+

Role:
Game Designer

 

Overview

 

"This section [...] was the highlight of my time with Titanfall 2. If the rest of the game has moments that match the rollercoaster-like thrills of Boomtown, campaign players are in for a treat." - Polygon.com


"Into the Abyss" (codenamed "Boomtown") is a single-player level that I conceived of and pitched to the team. It was approved immediately due to the interesting setting and innovative gameplay of pilot mobility and combat on moving geometry.

After the pitch, I partnered with an excited level designer. We refined my initial design and prototyped gameplay scenarios. During prototyping, I worked with coders on new engine features such as optimized moving geometry and AI working on that moving geometry. These features were then used throughout the rest of the game.

As the primary point of contact for the level's design, I created and maintained the level design documents and diagrams.

Due to scheduling needs, we split the level into chunks that other designers built and scripted. They implemented the design in my doc but added their own unique flare which keeps the level feeling fresh. They scripted the intro and World Foundry factory while I scripted everything from the game's first big Reaper fight through the end of the level. (Since I was the Reaper's designer, of course I wanted to grand reveal it!)

Ultimately, this level was beloved by players, and is the basis for the multiplayer map, "Boomtown," which kept the codename of my original pitch. It was also featured multiple times in our trailers.

NOTE: All screenshots and video reflect the work of the entire team (art, FX, SFX, code, design, etc).

Gameplay Videos


While I co-designed the entire mission, I only scripted the last half. Since this level is technically challenging, we needed it done ASAP to ensure we could actually ship it to our high standards. To do this, we added another designer to script the first chunk in parallel.

The video contains most of the campaign, so I setup the link below to start and stop appropriately.
Running time: 13 Minutes, 24 seconds.


Here is a full playthrough of the entire mission which spans three level loads.
The video contains most of the campaign, so I setup the link below to start and stop appropriately.
Running time: 42 Minutes, 28 seconds.



Detailed Info

Level Design & Building

  • Conceived of and successfully pitched the level.
  • Created the initial level design and a prototype level to aid the pitch.
  • Refined & prototyped the design with a level designer.
  • Wrote the visually-oriented design doc and created level diagrams. Maintained the doc through level completion.
  • Served as primary point of contact for decisions.
  • Worked with FX artist to place and trigger FX such as smoke, electrical sparks, explosions, fire, etc.
  • Worked with sound designer to trigger SFX at the right time & place.

Scripting

  • Sky dome bootup sequence.


  • Shootable sky panels.


  • Created and hooked up moving geometry for events like the Reaper's delivery tube, moving sky panels, etc.
  • Hookup animations throughout the level (Reaper intro, Ash intro, etc.)
  • Screen shake, explosions, falling debris, exploding sky panels, etc. for facility escape.
  • Countless misc. scripting tasks such as doors, checkpoints, ghost helper, etc.

Combat

  • Simulation Dome arena combat with custom progression that is more fluid and natural like God of War than "kill everything to proceed."
  • Refine and balance combat encounters.
  • Ensure proper encounter pacing so that there are highs and lows in player interest curve during the level.

Story & Dialog

  • Worked with writer to write dialog that tells the level's story.
  • Integrate and trigger dialog and player/titan conversations throughout the level.