Lately I had the pleasure to work at Slant Six Games on Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City in a Design Support position. It was my fist venture in a AAA environment so it was quite an interesting and exciting experience for me.
In my role, I worked closely with the lead designers and scripters to create level content for the game. My work included pickup placement and balancing in multiplayer, cover volume placement, intel collectable placement in campaign levels, scripting in multiplayer, and testing and giving feedback to the scripters and designers.
One challenge was to balance multiplayer levels to work with all multiplayer modes. This required us to consider the flow that the different game modes have and choose the right place for any health sprays, ammo boxes, anti-viral sprays and grenades in the world.
We wanted to encourage the player to utilize all areas of the level and placing pickups was a great way to achieve that. One mode, Nemesis, is a capture-and-hold type of mode so the players usually focus in that capture area. To balance for this, we moved valuable pickups like health sprays out of that area so they have to leave the capture area defenseless to survive. This allowed the match to go back and forth to give the players more suspense.
Another important part was play testing the level to see how your balance worked out. I played with the dev testers and watched their reaction as the match went on. I also took note of where people camped to easily win and tuned that accordingly. Through that iterative process, we balanced the multiplayer modes.
Overall, working on Resident Evil was a great learning experience and entrance in the triple A industry, something I’m proud to have been a part of.