Stuart Scott
Games Developer | Lead Level Designer

Archive

Category: Level Design

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  • Date

    18 August

The Division 2

I am currently Lead Level Designer for the Open World in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.

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  • Date

    7 May

The Division: Underground DLC

As a Senior Level Designer on Tom Clancy’s The Division: Underground I was part of the core team that developed the procedural generation systems and processes used to produce the replayable underground levels as part of this major expansion to the base game.

This included developing and applying new procedural techniques to the existing game and project resources, as well as implementing technical systems and tools to be used in the mission generation process.

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  • Date

    7 May

The Division – Murray Hill

The design and creation of the Murray Hill area of Manhattan as represented in The Division was one of my primary responsibilities during the project’s development. Working closely with an Environment Artist, I contributed to the following throughout the area;

  • Conceptualise the space and the themes of the area in the game world and setting
  • Design all playable spaces and open world encounter locations
  • Create and arrange the game space cover layouts, navigation paths and exploration areas
  • Design and script the open world encounters throughout the area
  • Maintain and iterate the quality of the game space arrangement and encounter scripting based on playtests and peer reviews

My main ambition with the Murray Hill area was to convey a sense of chaos vs order in this slice of The Division’s Manhattan. This was primarily represented by the large Last Man Battalion (LMB) fortifications that split the area in two, with the chaos and lawlessness of the Riker controlled areas to the south of the wall in conflict with the totalitarian control of the LMB areas north of the divide.

The Queens Tunnel entrance provided a perfect pre-built defence for the LMB to establish their barricades that reminded me of a medieval moat which would serve to reinforce the walls of the LMB’s fortress! Penetrating the walls would throw players into the midst of the LMB forces, ultimately leading to their castle in the north, the UN Building.

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  • Date

    7 May

The Division – Hell’s Kitchen

As well as working on the Murray Hill area, I also designed and created the majority of the Hell’s Kitchen playable space in collaboration with a team of Environment Artists which included;

  • Designing the playable spaces and open world encounter locations
  • Create and arrange the game space cover layouts, navigation paths and exploration areas
  • Design and script the open world encounters throughout the area
  • Iterate upon the quality of the game space arrangement and encounter scripting based on playtests and peer reviews

Although I was not initially in a position to contribute to the conceptualisation of Hell’s Kitchen in The Division, I was still able to incorporate a lot of ideas throughout in my level design of the area. This included the design of two separate, thrilling, assault based side missions inside landmark buildings in the region, as well as an encounter situated on the open-air rail tracks nestled between the buildings designed to shift the power balance and surprise players.

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  • Date

    7 May

The Division – Stuyvesant Town

Stuyvesant was the first entire region of the open world in The Division that I was personally responsible for, and working in collaboration with a team of Environment Artists I contributed to the following throughout the area;

  • Conceptualise the space and the themes of the area in the game world and setting
  • Design the initial playable spaces and open world encounter locations
  • Create and arrange the whitebox game space cover layouts, navigation paths and exploration areas

Despite only working on the Stuyvesant region in its early stages of development, the area still remains one of my favourite level design challenges to date. Tonally, it was completely different to any of the other open world areas of The Division with its dense parkland, rolling landscaping and not a hint of the street grid layout that permeates throughout Manhattan. Not to mention the unique challenge this presented to convert the area into a compelling, beautiful space for cover-based shooting that still believably conveyed the real-world location.

I’m pleased to say that the majority of my initial level design and conceptualisation of the area remains in the final version of the game. What’s more, the team that took over from me did a brilliant job in creating what I still consider to be the most beautiful and visually interesting area of The Division!

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  • Date

    7 May

The Division – Broadway Emporium

At an early point in development, I was given the responsibility of designing and implementing the Broadway Emporium main mission. At the time I was given a lot of freedom regarding the narrative and moment-to-moment gameplay of the mission, and I’m pleased to say that most of the ideas I suggested in those early concept stages have made it into the final version of the game.

Although some of the narrative structure has been adapted since I handed the mission on to another team, the broad beats of the mission objectives and the whitebox layout of the store remains largely unchanged.

This location was always intended to be a visually arresting space with its burning Christmas tree the centre piece amidst the aisles of looted jewellery and fragrance counters. More than that, it serves as a key piece of the story in determining the origins of the virus, as well as the motivations of the Cleaner faction in the game.

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  • Date

    7 May

Watch Dogs

As a Mission Designer/Level Designer on Watch Dogs, I was responsible for the design and creation of a number of driving based side missions called Fixer Contracts.

Transporter

Transporter contracts were designed to be fast paced vehicle delivery missions that encouraged exploration, parkour and the use of the city’s many shortcuts in order to achieve the fastest delivery times for leaderboards. Adding to the challenge, players had to ensure that damage to the vehicle was kept to a minimum to avoid failure, providing an additional test of their driving skills with high risk/rewards.

Contract List

  • Urban Exploration
  • Straight and Narrow
  • Muscle Memory
  • Industry Standards
  • Grand Triathlon
  • Lap of Luxury
  • The Badlands


Decoy

Speed through the city and push your driving skills to the max, attracting the attention of the police and CtOS whilst the Fixer uses the distraction for their hacking activities. Designed to take players on high intensity routes that capitalised on the many stunt opportunities throughout the city, these contracts get progressively more challenging as the police close in on you with all their force.

Contract List

  • Trials and Tribulations
  • Parker Square Rally
  • Raid
  • Deception
  • Misguided
  • Bootlegged
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  • Date

    6 May

Driver: San Francisco

Driver: San Francisco is the critically acclaimed follow up in the Driver franchise that sees the return of Tanner as he pursues wanted criminal Jericho across the city of classic car chases. The game introduces the innovative new Shift feature that allows players to instantly jump into the driving seat of any car in the city to offer a fresh new perspective on the driving game genre.

Project Contribution

As a Level Designer and Mission Scripter on Driver: San Francisco I was responsible for designing, producing and maintaining the majority of the side mission content in the single-player campaign which included:

  • 50 City Activity side missions
  • 32 Challenge missions
    • 12 Driver Challenges – designed to test the player’s driving skill
    • 13 Movie Challenges – hardcore challenges  inspired by classic car chases and races
    • 5 Uplay Challenges – Uplay points reward challenges
    • 2 Special Challenges – including a re-imagining of the infamous Driver Car Park initiation mission

E3 2010

I was responsible for scripting and designing the 2010 E3 demo for the game that would serve as the first public announcement of the project. I was also chosen as a representative of the company to exhibit the demo live on the E3 show floor in the VIP booth during the conference’s duration.

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  • Date

    6 May

mp_stash

Set in a rundown Japanese ammo dump complex situated in the dense jungle, mp_stash was a personally ambitious project that I started with the intention of testing my level design and environment art abilities.

Harnessing the confidence and ability I had gathered from my previous successful public releases, I wanted to produce a highly detailed and realistic exterior locale that provided a harmoniously balanced gameplay. There was also the added challenge of dealing with the latest version of the game engine which imposed strict limitations regarding asset and texture usage, as well as a greater reliance on occlusion and performance enhancing techniques during design.

Unfortunately the project was shelved shortly after I began as a professional Level Designer on Driver: San Francisco owing to time commitments, but I hope to return to complete this project in the future.

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  • Date

    6 May

mp_scrap

Set in the heart of a fictional scrapyard, this project won the MODSCON08 mapping contest and was regarded as one of the most balanced and competitive custom maps released for Call of Duty 4.

Setting myself a challenge of creating a map that would successfully support all available gametypes, I designed an original layout and theme in an attempt to create a compelling realistic environment as well as a finely balanced multiplayer arena. Ensuring the map was balanced required a long process of playtesting and adjustment to the environment, particularly the piles of scrap that dominated the landscape.

It was within this central area of the map that I wanted to provide players with a new experience in navigation and decision making, offering choice to fight atop or amongst the piles of scrap that created a maze like arena of dangerous possibilities for players.

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