Cheitha is a top-down action game where the player has to use a wide range of different weapons in order to hold off as long as possible from an never-ending horde. It’s released on steam as an early access title.

I was brought in relatively late in the development process. At that point the core gameplay was already implemented, with a very basic blockout of the map. I was tasked with taking the initial blank blockout and adding obstacles, set dressing, post processing and lighting to it. During the creation process I paid close attention to both the levels visual style and also the general playability of the level.

My tasks

  • Added general obstacles for the player to navigate around
  • Worked with the team to establish a general mood for the level, through lighting and post-processing
  • Added set-dressing to flesh out the level

Tools used

  • Unity 2017.1

Level Design

When I was brought onto the project, the team only had a very basic block-out ready with little to no visual detail. I was tasked with tweaking the block-out and placing set-dressings in the level. Since Cheitha was designed to be a top-down shooter, which progressively gets harder by each passing wave, I ensured that the player would be able to comfortably navigate the environment. Even with a growing number of amount of enemies being present on screen, without getting stuck on set-dressing. Big part of my contribution was also play-testing each area to ensure that.

Art style

When placing set-dressing on the level I tried to give the players an impression that they are on an industrial off-world site, which is under an alien infestation. Effort was put to ensure that each area looked unique enough to avoid repetition and at the same time also had a story to tell. While playing the game the players can stumble upon different set-pieces, such as crashed cargo ships, checkpoints and outposts.

Since the game is supposed to have a dreary atmosphere, I tried to convey that also through lighting. Finding the correct balance between dark-atmospheric lighting which also didn’t obscure the players playing field was the main challenge. The look of the level went through a few different iterations, with the team finally deciding on a cold blueish, foggy look.