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Kill Crab

Level Design Breakdown

Below you will find a video breakdown of my level design process behind Kill Crab as well as particular techniques used in order to facilitate gameplay

WIP Not Currently Present

Design Breakdown


Over the course of the development of Kill Crab maps went through several iterations via player feedback and public playtest feedback data. This data was then used to resized and redesign areas such as the Manta Mine flank paths and the Crust Station terrrain paths in order to make movement and interaction with the environment more fluid to accommodate for a more hectic and fast paced gameplay fitting of an arcade shooter. This combined with consistant tweaking to enemy spawn locations per map allowed me to adjust the desired experience for each combat zone and focus gameplay around key landmarked areas of the levels.


Moodboards / Concept

Throughout the development of kill crab i was responsible for the creation of 3 of the 4 key areas / Levels. Levels were designed to be interconnected without using loading screens or seperate levels therefore each level had to make sense and be connected in a fluid and seamless way to keep the player immersed while playing through the game


Node Based Design Town Hub Zone

Driftwood Node Designs

Driftwood was designed as the key hub zone in order to link all 3 other areas together to act as a nexus for player movement some of the key level design thoughts behind creating this area are as follows Hub Style map used to link the three main areas together.

The map boasts verticality thanks to prominent rock formations and strategically placed key structures. There are train tracks that guide you to the mine and train level, while the outlaw camp stands in opposition. You can also utilize these rock formations as alternate pathways and discover shortcuts for efficient navigation, especially when revisiting previously explored terrain.

In terms of level flow, it adopts a semi-linear hub zone layout, with a central core area connecting to the other levels. This design incorporates a blend of open spaces at the center and narrower passages leading to each new level. Regardless of your chosen path, all roads converge at the three central structures, and vertical shortcuts are available to minimize the need for extensive backtracking.

Node Based Designs Manta Mine

Manta Mine Node Designs

Manta Mine is comprised of cavern mines where verticality is a key feature, with mine shafts offering opportunities to descend and evade enemies, as well as jump paths to ascend. The open areas provide a broader view of side paths, which are interconnected by smaller routes.

In terms of level flow, it all begins with a single entrance leading to a vast open zone. There are side vertical connections leading to two distinct mine shafts that wind around to the next expansive open zone. The loading zone presents two connector gates, offering players various options and environmental challenges. The cavern zone serves as a hub, connecting all sub-paths and leading to the objective zone. Players can secure the loot chest and then choose from multiple potential paths to return to the hub level.

Node Based Design Crust-Station

Crust Station Node Designs

Crust Station offers an expansive, open-style map featuring large structures, imposing rocks, and captivating background assets. Verticality is achieved through the presence of train debris and natural rock formations. The map design leads players along track paths that converge toward a central objective, creating a dynamic experience that starts from an elevated position and descends to a lower elevation as they progress. There are also flanking and side paths strategically placed for players to discover shortcuts and utilize jump paths across the debris.

The level flow of Crust Station features a three-laned approach, with two flanking train track paths that connect to open areas just before reaching the train depot. Crust Station also allows for freedom of movement  by using dividing rocks and debris, allowing for more free-form movement and exploration. All these paths eventually lead to the train depot at the end, introducing verticality in the final area through overlooks, towers, and opportunities for traversal over train debris and rocks.

Top Down plans and planning

Top down plans were created from the selected node based designs. These were then refined and iterated upon to outline verticality, key structures. objective locations and landmarks whilst considering player visibility with predicted sightlines and determining the optimal level flow to fit concisely with the movement mechanics present within Kill Crab such as using a dash, double jump, ground slams, booster jumps and minecart riding to traverse the level in fun and creative ways.

Top Down Plans

Game Trailer

Below is the game trailer for Kill Crab 

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