Henry Tofts - Level Designer

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Professional Work - Trials HD Big Pack and Big Thrills DLC

Trials HD is a 2.5d physics based motorcycle game. The aim is to get the rider from the start to the end of the level in the fastest time. As a level designer working on the DLC packs, we had just 10-12 kilobytes to make a track that looked great, played well, and performed well. File sizes were so small to ensure that each level loaded extremely fast upon reloading the game from the start or from a checkpoint.

 

Tasks:

  • Designing the driving lines  from paper to release

  • Decorating the levels to a high standard, while keeping within the limits of the file size and performance requirements.

  • Ensure difficulty was fair and specific to each category within the game i.e Beginner/Easy/Medium/Hard/Extreme.

  • Attention to detail in play-testing each level and fellow colleagues work.

  • Using the in-game editor to a high standard, especially when using triggers and physics based obstacles.

  • Above all, made sure the level was fun!

I helped to create over 20 tracks for the DLC content as a level designer. For the duration of the projects, I lived and worked in Finland at Redlynx's studio in Helsinki.

 

I liked to push their editor in ways not seen by players before. This was highly risky with a vocal player base and pro players that wanted perfect driving lines. Crazy ideas such as FlugTag (I made a rocket car around the bike), came into being because of the trust the team placed in me and the expertise they had in creating fun and addictive gameplay as a team.

 

On request I can send a document listing the tracks I worked on and collaborated with at Redlynx.

 

- Redlynx is now a Ubisoft studio, and they continue to make awesome Trials games!  (www.redlynx.com)-

I recorded this from my camera. This skill-game was quite complex to make, and it required very careful placement and rigorous testing to make sure that all the flippers in the level would send the rider in the correct direction.

 

At the time, this replay was at the top of the leaderboards. The idea of this skill-game is to collect as many targets in the level before the time runs out.

 

As you can see some of our player base were extremely talented at the game. To make fast and minute adjustments to the rider like that required pro skills!

 

When making this skill-game I couldn't replicate this players achievement in a single sitting, so I broke up each of the levels design into clear zones, thus making it easier for me to make adjustments and for other team members to test.

Anatomy Of A Trials Track

THEME

 

A theme is something we started with, a visual pull that is both interesting and a source of inspiration for obstacles to overcome. There should be no floating objects or decoration that blocks the rider as they can only move in a straight line.

 

DIFFICULTY

 

The difficulty of a track had a habit of changing based upon our final feedback from the rest of the team at Redlynx. Difficulty of tracks in Trials are based on flow, technical requirements of the rider and complexity of the obstacles. It's super easy to make an extreme track for example by making a lot of very steep inclines and large gaps that require the rider to lean back on the rear wheel to get the speed required to jump it, however these kind of tracks can instill a sense of frustration that borders on madness. Trials is the fun kind of stress!

 

Each of the bikes in Trials handles differently and the tracks must be tailored to support each one. Try playing inferno with the Reptile bike and you will see what I mean.

 

Checkpoints and their placement must be fair so that if the rider does a very difficult obstacle they must be given a reward of a checkpoint, or if they fail at the next jump they will have to repeat the previous obstacle.

 

I made a fair few of the tracks that contain the most flow, which is essentially creating obstacles that if you hit correctly you generate more speed when going into the next ramp. It is a kinectic sense of movement that will achieve the best time on the leaderboards. Tracks such as Bouncy Castle and King of the Spill are good examples of this type of track.

Redlynx webste Xbox_360_Horizontal

Reviews

 

Title: Trials HD Big Pack DLC   -  (Read review - Eurogamer.net)

 

Title: Trials HD Big Thrills DLC  -  (Review Links)

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