Justin E. Palmer

Game Designer, Unity Engineer, AR/VR/XR enthusiast, and
Creative Technologist

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Ratchet & Clank - Level Design Diagram

I took a few days in July 2020 to design a "Robot Factory" themed traversal segment for the PlayStation classic, Ratchet & Clank. The gameplay is mostly about using the game's mechanics to move from place to place, with some minor combat elements sprinkled in.

The first area contains a bunch of weak "worker" enemies to draw the player into the space, followed up with some basic platforming atop various crates and machinery to advance to the next area. Huge windows let the player see the area they need to get to, while at the same time restricting immediate access to the space. A huge reactor core in the final area can be seen from these windows.

The next area features a crane and conveyor belt. Interacting with the Bolt Crank will cause the crane to spin around and drop its payload (a faulty reactor core) onto the conveyor, as well as activate the conveyor belt itself. This ungates access to the next area, provides a cool interaction with the factory environment, and moves the faulty reactor core... somewhere special.

The third area features a combat-light space with heavy platforming elements. A moving conveyor belt is hauling crates away from where the player needs to go; the player must jump on top of each moving crate to "out run" the conveyor.

The fourth area again features heavy platforming, but with an emphasis on Ratchet's glide. I added a flying "jetpack" enemy near the end of this space for an additional challenge.

The fifth and final area features a combat-heavy encounter against several "Robot Guards" (as of writing, I'm realizing that this space looks super boring for combat... I might go back and rework that space). Once all the enemies have been defeated, a final bolt crank will activate the crane here, which will pick up the faulty core from earlier and place it into the reactor. This triggers a reactor meltdown, and the player is urged to evacuate the Factory.

Traversal segment designed around Racthet & Clank's gameplay.