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Level Designer/Scripter

A Long Night

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Level Trailer

Level Overview

A Long Night

Development time: 5 weeks

Engine: Cryengine 3 (Sandbox Editor)

Game: Crysis 2

Summary: The Lonely Man starts as a combat-less horror level, where players witness the slow death of the C.E.L.L. soldiers in the hands of a single Ceph invader. Scripted sequences slowly escalate the tension, until players finally have to confront the creature that has been haunting them throughout the level. To the players' despair, the creature's death only marks the beginning of a much bigger Ceph invasion on the C.E.L.L.-controlled island. With limited time and ammo, players must hurry to get out of the facilities, reach the island's heliport, and meet eh extraction team before it is too late.

Story Overview

Waking up

  • Playerswake up in an abandoned building, with no ammo and no recollection of how they got there. How did they end up there?

Moving shadows

  • But the C.E.L.L. are not the only thing that should concern them. They can constantly hear sounds of something moving around, behind the building walls.


  • As soon as players get outside, a surprise is waiting for them: they are in an island, caught in a battle between the Ceph and the C.E.L.L. 

There is someone here

  • Unfortunately, players are not the only ones in the building. Looks like the C.E.L.L. got there before them. An objective shows up in their HUD: "Rescue the hostage".

Mission failed

  • And their problems have just begun. They manage to find the hostage, but he is not ready to go. Time to get out of there!

A long night

  • Will players make it out alive? The Ceph seem eager to meet players before it is too late. Time to shake some aliens' hands!

Progress Shots

Creating the "abandoned" look

  • In the abandoned building, each room tells a story related to the Ceph attack on the C.E.L.L. In order to do that, I came up with mini stories that each room was going to showcase. In the following caption, for instance, a C.E.L.L. guard sees the Ceph in the distance and tries to reach for his weapon unsuccessfully.


Gameplay milestone vs RTM milestone

The Dead Guard

  • One of the challenges of developing "A long night" was to decorate the abandoned building in a realistic way, that communicated both the neglect that the building had suffered, as well as the recent semi restoration done by the C.E.L.L. Clutter like trash bags and rotting food, along with graffiti and blood overlays were the key when developing this decaying area.


Gameplay milestone vs RTM milestone

The Dead Guard

  • The hostage's room is a key part of the abandoned building. For this room, I put the boxes one by one, to make sure that players couldn't see the hostage chair until they reached the end of the room. However, players can see the area around the chair through the space between the boxes, which increases the room's suspense.


Gameplay milestone vs RTM milestone

An island under attack

  • Once players reach the outside part of the level, it is important that they understand that they are in imminent danger. Several fires and destroyed vehicles and containers tell players that the island has been recently attacked by a huge destructive force.


Gameplay milestone vs RTM milestone

Creating effective scripted sequences

  • Scripted sequences are a big part of "A Long Night". In this particular area, I wanted the whole laboratory to get hit by the wave of a explosion. I quickly realize that the wave looked stronger if all the objects in the room started flying in one direction. To make the scene as shocking as possible, I added as much movable clutter as I could.


Gameplay milestone vs RTM milestone


  • Every corner of the island is decorated in a way that reinforces the story of the Ceph attack, even if the area is not part of the critical path. A good example can be seen in the following picture, which shows the back of a building that players visit during the latter part of the level.


Gameplay milestone vs RTM milestone

Mini postmortem

What went right

What went wrong

  • Some scripted sequences were frequently missed by players. The designer had to made layout changes to force players to look at certain spots.

  • Not all gameplay styles were considered during the design phase. Adapting to styles like the "run-and-gun" required additional changes to the layout and encounters.

  • The project started as two different levels. Merging them required significant gameplay and aesthetics tweaks that were not initially considered.

  • Created a weapon-less experience that still feels part of Crysis 2, by creating a level layout that enforced a stealth approach.

  • Slowly build up to the moment when players meet the Ceph for the first time, which enhanced the importance of the Ceph enemy.

  • Successfully created an oppressing atmosphere by using scripted sequences, environmental storytelling, and lighting.

What I learned

  • When adding a scripted sequence, the layout has to direct the players' attention towards the sequence. Otherwise players will miss it.

  • Ammo should be located in places that require players to take a risk. Ammo in obvious places makes combat uninteresting.

  • Areas outside of the critical path need to tell a story and be believable. A badly decorated area can break immersion, even if it is located in a remote part of the level.

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