Call of Duty  Black Ops 3 Screenshot 202

Neptune

Besides the normal gameplay players expect from a rounds based Call Of Duty zombies level, Neptune also features the following:

  • Flooding Mechanic. The entire rig starts to sink into the ocean while playing through the map. Players need to manage the undead onslaught with finding emergency consoles that halt and recover certain floors.

  • 2 Elaborate Easter Egg Quests. One requires players to complete time sensitive gameplay challenges (such as headshot a certain number of zombies or kill zombies from far away) to unlock the Pack-a-Punch machine. The other requires players to piece together cryptic clues to fight back against the undead and stop their spread by going to the source of the infection, a completely separate cargo container ship, where the player engages in a fight for survival against an entirely unique boss.

  • Randomized Gameplay. From the position of the required Power Lever needed to start the rig's power to the starting weapons, select elements have been setup to be randomized to a degree to allow for a unique experience each time the map is played.

  • 12 Perk Machines, non-zombie enemies (such as Nova Crawlers and Parasites) and weapons from across the Black Ops zombies games make for a unique experience.

  • Unique Inventory and Scoreboard elements created to help track various quests.

This map can be found now on the Steam Workshop Here.

  • Role : Game Designer

  • Project : Personal

  • Base Game : Call of Duty: Black Ops III 

  • Platform : PC

  • Release Date : 2020

  • Type : FPS

Development Challenges

  • Difficulty. Due to the amount of unique gameplay elements present within Neptune, extensive testing was used to get the difficulty and flow of concepts to feel right. To avoid overwhelming players, large amounts of content doesn't even appear until after the rig is powered, with the assumption that they'd be reasonably comfortable with the level by that point.

  • Navigation. Early playtests saw multiple mentions of how maze-like Neptune felt. To address this, a number of approaches were taken. Rooms were better landmarked to help differentiate them from each other. Residential rooms feel considerably different than the offices. Likewise, each room had its lighting updated to help drive their differences home. Dramatic flares help differentiate one tunnel opening with the moon lit other end. To round this off, improved signage was added to give players a better immediate sense of where they are and where they may want to go, such as the path to the power room.

  • Flood Tuning. Being a new mechanic, the flooding gameplay was one of the first things setup but had its behavior continually modified up until right before release. Thankfully, the scripted elements could be easily tuned for different desired behavior. Given access to a slew of parameters such as the rate of water climb or the water lower amount per console use, it was easy to tune flooding gameplay. After significant rounds of playtesting, a much slower and more forgiving approach was chosen that broadcasts the different flooding states as clearly as possible. While more passive than initially pitched, the dread of seeing creeping ocean still remains quite powerful.

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