Quest Design, Dialogue Designs & Level Greybox
As a part of a 2 week iRT3D Skills Bootcamp at INFINITY27, I was tasked with designing a quest with branching dialogue options and an accompanying level greybox.
SAMSARA is a next-gen action-adventure RPG that fuses elements of Buddhism with souls-like gameplay — challenging players to meditate on their philosophy, life and death to help them find meaning through discourse, conflict and exploration.
- Designed and implemented a quest with a branching player-driven narrative
- Wrote branching options for the dialogue tree
- Sketched out a floor plan of the level and then iterated on it
- Created a greybox level with around 5 minutes of gameplay
- Balanced loot and enemy encounters within my greybox
- Participated in stand-up meetings and gave feedback on peers' levels
- Pitched my level, quest, and dialogue to the team at INFINITY27
As my first action, I designed a side-quest based on the game's central themes of choosing your own path and actions which always have consequences, positive or negative.
Therefore, I crafted this quest to focus on the karma/reincarnation system the game revolves around by giving the player multiple different ways to finish this quest.
The quest idea started fairly simple, but after multiple iterations and revisions, it became more complex and rewarding for different playstyles the game has to offer.
Similar to the quest itself, the dialogue options had to account for different playstyles, and so I designed them to each reflect different tones, attitudes, or actions. These choices ranged from peaceful negotiations to aggressive confrontations.
For each major choice, both in dialogue and actions, I also considered the immediate outcomes and long-term consequences on the game's world and characters to ensure that each choice has meaningful repercussions to incentivize replayability.
Dialogue Branching Examples
I started by thinking about the level's overall theme, mood, and key interactions and how to best match them with the quest's narrative. This information along with creating a mood board of reference images helped me conceptualize the level's structure and aesthetics, ensuring they aligned with the game's broader artistic direction as well.
I then created a floor plan of the whole area along with marking any NPC interactions, enemy encounters, and the main critical path. This design has then been through multiple iterations to ensure the pacing was up to the required standards.
Once I was satisfied with the level's layout, I started using the modelling tools within Unreal Engine 5 to create my level greybox out of simple shapes and placeholder models.
My focus was to use leading lines and lights to guide the players on the critical path, and also adding hidden areas and treasures to reward players for exploration.
Similarly to the previous designs, I iterated on the level until I was satisfied and the greybox met the requirements set by the design team.