Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront II is an action shooter video game based on the Star Wars film franchise. It is the fourth major installment of the Star Wars: Battlefront series and seventh overall, and a sequel to the 2015 reboot of the series. It was developed by EA DICE, in collaboration with Criterion Games and Motive Studios, and published by Electronic Arts.

Position

Lead Level Designer

Genre

Action Shooter

Engine

Frostbite

Release

November 17th, 2017

Developer

Motive, Criterion, DICE

Publisher

Electronic Arts

Platform

PC, PS4, Xbox One

Key Responsibilities:

  • Worked with direction to establish vision for level design.
  • Managed and mentored a team of twelve level designers, ranging from junior to senior.
  • Saw through twelve single player chapters from concept to ship.
  • Created document templates and kept documents up to date for other disciplines and external partners.
  • Worked with technical design to establish implementation standards.
  • Reviewed game content and provided feedback and guidance to the team.
  • Worked and communicated closely with other discipline leads to create a cohesive experience.
  • Collaborated cross studio with EAV, DICE and Criterion.
  • Collaborated with level artists to create whiteboxing kits.
  • Took ownership of implementing two chapters.
  • Approver and reviewer for any LD related bug during build locks.

Royalty

Royality is the Leia hero chapter that takes place on the surface of Naboo. The imperial forces abandon their sinking star destroyer and make a desperate attempt to land on Theed to take it by ground. Leia must work together with Iden, Del and Shriv to reactivate an ancient city defense system, originally used against the droid armies, to disable the imperial invasion fleet. They must activate the power relays and defend the palace before the imperials can take it by force.

The first design goal was to do General Organa justice, and make playing Leia feel like you were commanding a group of rebel forces. This worked well from both a narrative perspective, as Leia is a natural born leader, and also from a gameplay perspective, as her ability kit was focused on defending allies with a shield and controlling enemies with flash bangs. Because of this, I designed the majority of the mission around large scale rebel vs. imperial ground skirmishes - giving ample chance for the player to shield rebels and flashback large groups of imperials. It's also enforced by the objective, as Del cannot slice into the relays while he is taking damage - forcing the player to utilize the shield ability to stop incoming damage.

The other key part of this chapter was to really sell that the imperials were invading and about to take Theed from the rebels. I did this by having the entire map covered in rebel vs. imperial skirmishes and starfighter dogfights overhead. Another interesting concept we implemented was an AT-AT marching toward the palace in the central street, almost as a doomsday clock. This was super prevalent in the last beat where the player is holding the front line in front of the palace against the imperials and AT-AT, trying to buy time for Del to activate the Ion pulse. The result is a fairly unique beat where the frontline consistently is pushed back - having to defend closer and closer to the palace while also increasing the overall tension and intensity for the player.

I also worked very closely with animation to set the standard in terms of realization throughout the game. Everything from a systemic dogfighting starfighter chase, a forward medic camp, rebels dragging wounded out of battle, choreographed Y-wing bombing runs blowing up AT-STs, crashing starfighters - I could go on. The result was an epic believable warfront, and turned out to be the reference point during production for other chapters in terms of realization.

Responsibilities:

  • Designed and implemented the chapter from concept to final
  • Scripted mission logic and gameplay with Schematics, FrostEd's visual scripting editor
  • Worked closley with animation to set the standard and point of reference for realization across the game
  • Created a systemic warfront between two AI factions for both ground and air combat
  • Worked closely with other departments to bring the content to life and ensure the exprience was cohesive
  • Utilized director feedback and playtest data to improve the quality and reduce confusion of the experience

Project: Resurrection

This was the full fludged space chapter and the first chaper free DLC update. An older Iden and her daughter, Zay, take on a Jinata Security convoy en route to abduct children for Project: Ressurection, a program that kidnaps children to condition and train them into First Order Stormtroopers. Iden and Zay are met with opposition, as the Jinata Security convoy is heavily armed with moddifed surplus vehicles spanning all eras. After disabling the convoy, it culminates with a starfighter bossfight against a Jinata Security officer named Leema Kai.

The high level design goal for this chapter was inspired from Mad Max: Fury Road. It was intended to be a non stop action through an asteroid field with various different ship sizes. Rather than have static objectives in certain parts of the map, the gameplay is entirely centered around the convoy and it's position in the asteroid field.

Because of this highly dynamic design goal, there were a few technical problems to solve in order to achieve it. This chapter ended up being one of the most complex in the game because of it, requiring four designers in total, including myself and the lead technical designer helping out. Some off the problems we ran into that we had to solve were; multiple rubber banding of ships so that maintain formation, but also change speed depending on player distance; having combat zones move with the convoy; and a starfighter boss fight with a unique seismic mine ability.

Responsibilities:

  • Worked alongside and effectively delegated to 3 other level designers to bring the chapter to life
  • Scripted mission logic and gameplay with Schematics, FrostEd's visual scripting editor
  • Worked closely with game design to create custom boss fight mechanics
  • Worked closely with other departments to bring the content to life and ensure the exprience was cohesive
  • Utilized director feedback and playtest data to improve the quality and reduce confusion of the experience