Portal 2 - Red lines
Project: Red Lines
Game: Portal 2
Statut: Publish on the Steam workshop
Evalutation: 5 stars on the Steam workshop, 450+ subscribers.
Create a non-Euclidian level
Design for mid-skill players
Duration, around 10 minutes for a first play
Before I started the level in hammer, I made several sketches to design the level layout and to have a clear idea of the gameplay idea.
Due of the time limitation of the contest, I wanted to keep a small test map, to finish this project in time and improve it, if I have time.
I used the in-game editor to quick prototype and choose which mechanic I will use.
The player starts in a safe area, they need to explore to discover the non-Euclidian mechanic. Then the player needs to use it to access at the second part of the level.
To encourage the player to turn back, the front of the map is totally black.
There is light behind the entrance, to suggest that something is here.
When the player presses the button, the rest of the map appear and they can see its next objective.
The player needs to resolve the non-Euclidian puzzle to cross the gap.
The main room
In this room, the player has to connect 3 lasers with the help of the non-Euclidian portal and laser cubes.
The room is separate in 2 parts to be clearer for the player: The left part is where they find exit and laser receivers. The right part is where they find the laser emitters.
The exit is clearly defined with lights and elements of decoration.
The non-Euclidian mechanic is in the center of the place to highlight it.
To help the player to understand the mechanic. One part of the puzzle consists to take a cube to active the laser receiver.
Due to the technical limitation of the new mechanics (I can’t put more than 2 non-Euclidian portals at a time), I had to “script” elements and I built the level in a way that the player can’t see the change.
At the start of the level during loading, I attach the first portal to the second.
When the player activates the button with, I relink the portal in the room with a second one in another space.
When the player reaches the second part of the level. I destroy the 3 first non-Euclidian portals to save resources and I activate the last ones in the main puzzle area.
After playtests, I notice that players complained about portal placement. I fix this problem with quality-of-life improvement. I used the ‘’info_placement_helper’’ function. This tool is a portal auto aligner. Portals fired within the entity radius will automatically be positioned at the center.
Non-Euclidian portal in Hammer
Portal alignment tool in Hammer
Environnement music & sounds
To reward players when they resolved puzzles, I added sounds and music in the map. For example, the player links a laser and the music start to play. When they link a second laser, the music becomes more complex and so on.
To proceed at the end of the map, the player has to activate the 3 laser receivers and then the door open.
To bring some quality of life in the level, I added indicators, the light turn orange when a receiver is activated,it’s easier for the player to understand when they resolve a part of the level.
Receivers are linked to a “env_texturetoggle” that changes the texture of all objects that have the same name given in parameter. When a receiver is activated, it increases the texture index by 1 and that turns the indicators light to orange and vice versa when the player turns off a receiver.
Schema of the door system