Far Cry 4
Ubisoft Montreal | Level Designer
A little background…
After shipping Watch_Dogs I joined the Far Cry team to aid the team in creating level and mission content for Far Cry 4. Being a huge fan of Far Cry 3 and (especially) Blood Dragon, I was delighted to join the team and apply my open world expertise to this rich franchise. This was also my chance to return to my roots in first person level design.
Far Cry 4 took the foundations of Far Cry 3 and ran with them, turning every aspect up to 11. Despite the familiar formula, I was fortunate enough to work on areas that were new to the series.
18 November 2014
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
As I joined the project during the alpha stage, it was an intense production. Closing the project meant responding fast and intelligently to playtest feedback. This meant ensuring that the content offered the correct amount of challenge and balance for all play styles, as well as supporting the campaign’s difficulty curve.
- Refactoring pre alpha level and mission design content bringing it to shipping quality
- Responding to director feedback and playtest data
- Extensive use of “Dunia” and the “Domino” visual scripting language
I worked on the opening missions for the second act of the game;
- “Rebel Yell”
- “Hunt Or Be Hunted”
These missions aren’t played in sequence, but are instead used as alternate missions to introduce the “balance of power” mechanic. Balance of power is where players must decide which mission giver to side with, either Amita or Sabal.
The player’s decision influences the following mission, and eventually the narrative of the game. For this mission, both options used the same map locations, but at different camps. Players would complete a task at their chosen starting camp and finish at the opposing camp, dealing with the consequences of their decision.
These levels featured the first appearance of the new “Hunter” enemy type, a bow-wielding member of the enemy faction (the Royal Army). The mission design and layouts were tailored to best showcase this archetype’s unique features, such as detagging (achieved by moving through overgrowth), and animal charming (switching the alignment of wildlife to attack the player).
In the final months of development, I took part in the first episode of the Far Cry 4 podcast, offering some insights into mission and level design.