BioShock – Mad God

BioShock – Mad God | Personal Project | UE 5 | 2022

NOTE: This is an live page which I’m using to document my level design process. Apologies if its a little all over the place.

This level was a personal project about designing a fictional first level for a DLC for the original BioShock. I wanted to focus on pacing, atmosphere, environmental storytelling and introducing the player to mechanics and a new plasmid.

Level Design work

  • Created level blockout inside UE5 using cube grid and modeling toolset.
  • Collected reference, designed level layout, planned gameplay beats, spaces and encounters, designed and implemented puzzles
  • Used blueprints and sequencer to script player interactions, gameplay events and enemy routes us
  • Conceptualized and scripted narrative moments.

Download and play the current version of the level here

Gameplay & narrative beats, intensity and level flow

Gameplay & beats

  1. Arrive at the lighthouse
  2. Bathysphere Gas trap
  3. Collect Radio/Meet the stranger
  4. Jumping and crouching (TUTORIAL)
  5. Collect the wrench
  6. Melee Combat (TUTORIAL)
  7. Plasmid puzzle
  8. Exit level

Further reading: BioShock – Level design project – Planning

Blueprints & Sequencer

The following shows some of the various gameplay blueprints that I’ve scripted for the level e.g. actor blueprints for the Secruis doors so I can reuse them throughout the level, a teleport blueprint contained in the Level Blueprint and the sequence which plays the lighting event as the player enters the lighthouse.

Actor Blueprint for opening and closing door
Level Blueprint to teleport player
Main door & Lighting sequence

Level Design Research

I began by replaying BioShock, BioShock 2 and Minerva’s den to get a general feel for how the levels are designed. As I played, I noted down, the general layout of the levels, environmental storytelling aspects, story events, splicer attacks and pickups.

Planning & Reference

Further reading: BioShock – Level design project – Planning

Related pages

  1. BioShock – Level Design Project – Reference
  2. BioShock – Level design project – Lighthouse
  3. BioShock – Level design project – Planning
  4. BioShock – Level design project – Update #1
  5. BioShock – Level design project – Update #2