Level Designer

Eira: Echoes of Adventure is a first person, casual adventure game where you play as Eira, a young treasure hunter tasked with tracing their grandfather’s footsteps on a journey through an icy world filled with curious alien wildlife, spatial puzzles, and hordes of treasure. Use your powerful GalactiVac to terraform the frozen landscape in a sandbox abundant with riches and valuable gems. Upgrade your GalactiVac, unlocking new passages full of treasures and secrets to explore in every region.

Project Details:
Engine – Unity
Team Size – 21
Project Timeline – (January 2020 – May 2020 Release)

Creating the World:

When I first joined No Scope Studios the game was originally called Vacuum Vault. Vacuum Vault was essentially a tech demo showcasing the terraforming and structure repair abilities using the vacuum gun in a small sandy level with a pirate theme. With new people added to the team, the first thing that we decided on was a change to the environment. We settle upon a snow/ice theme thinking it would better fit the core vacuum mechanic. After deciding on the theme, the team met with Claire and I (The two Level Designers) to determine how many levels were in scope. We settled on 5 levels total (a small tutorial level in the beginning, 3 main levels, and a final treasure room). Claire and I started building a map of the world so we would know how the levels fit together; this also gave the artists an idea of each level’s environment. (Diagram Below)

Each level was designed to include a vacuum gun upgrade blueprint that the player would need to complete puzzles. The puzzles would increase in difficulty, with later game puzzles being multi-step and requiring all upgrades. We divided the levels among Claire and I, deciding that Claire would work on the tutorial, level 2, and the vault, and I would work on level 1 and level 3. Later, due to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, we re-scoped the project, Integrating the tutorial into level 1 and cutting level 2. We also shrunk the world map to reduce the number of necessary environmental assets.

Level 1 (Cold Cavern):

This level was designed to be the player’s first stop on their quest to find grandpa. The level features a large cave filled with loot areas, spatial puzzles, and secrets for the player to explore. Outside the cave entrance includes an integrated tutorial space designed to teach the player basic game mechanics such as terraforming with snow, repairing interactive objects, and the looting/upgrade system.

Early Level Layout Sketches

Level 2 (Mighty Mountain):

The Mighty Mountain is a much larger and more open play-space compared to the cave. This level focuses much more on verticality, featuring multiple layers of the mountain that the player must ascend on their journey to the peak. The level was designed to encourage exploration, offering many pathways and hidden areas for the player to find on their journey. The mountain features multiple puzzles the player must solve along the way, concluding with a puzzle requiring all player mechanics.

Early Level Layout Sketches

Game Trailer:

The Team:

Andersen Pinckney – Lead Designer
Jared Ciano – Systems
Nicholas Deluzio – Audio
Rowan Minney – Sound
Andrew Macdonald – Narrative
Zachary Fugere – Level Designer
Claire Yeash – Level Designer

Scott Aquino – Lead Programmer
Tyler Chapman – Systems
Karim Elzanaty – Tools
William Gordon – Programmer
James Smith – Programmer

Nicholas Kline – Lead Artist
Hannah Greiner – Technical Artist
Maxwell Laudenslager – Environmental Artist

Michael-Paul Ho-Kang-You
Bryan Richardson
Abigail Scott – Marketing

Ann Clough – QA Manager
Matthew Lovetere – QA Manager
Patrick Fagan – QA Tester
Nicholas Sanguine – QA Tester
Miriam Shuker – QA Tester