Student Marloes de Graaf about her work as level designer for game ‘A.R.D.’

Student Marloes de Graaf about her work as level designer for game ‘A.R.D.’

03/30/2023 - 14:19

We interviewed Marloes de Graaf, a fourth-year Creative Media and Game Technologies student at BUas, to learn about her work on the game ‘Alien Removal Division’ (A.R.D.).
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Could you tell us about the game you worked on?

Marloes: ‘In the game "Alien Removal Division", players are immersed in a first-person shooter set in a 1950s military research facility that has been overtaken by aliens. As the sole survivor, the player is equipped with an arsenal of weapons and movement abilities to effectively combat the alien invasion.’

What was your role in the game's development?

Marloes: 'As part of our third-year project, a group of approximately 25 students and I collaborated on creating a first-person shooter game. As a level designer, I was responsible for designing two movement challenge sections and a combat arena. This involved creating blockouts with a modular asset kit, refining gameplay through playtesting and iteration, and adding the final touches by setting the scenes with marketplace environment asset kits.'

'Additionally, I also took on the role of co-community manager for the project, acting as a point of contact between the players and the development team.'

Can you tell us about the development process?

Marloes: ‘Our team dedicated an entire academic year to develop this game. During block A, we started conceptualizing and laying out the groundwork for pre-production. However, we had to adjust the scope of our project several times throughout the year due to the changing of our team’s composition.’

'In the next block, we continued the pre-production phase by setting up pipelines, creating content and playtesting the content to refine our core gameplay loop. We made notes of players’ feedback and used these to set action points for improvement. Besides that, whenever we discovered bugs or other issues, the entire team did their best to fix them. Our team also set up a QA pipeline quite early on in the project, which helped create a polished game in the end.’

‘I am extremely proud of the collective efforts of our team, and I am thrilled to share that our game, A.R.D., has been downloaded over 75,000 times on Steam with a 87% positive review rating.’

The game A.R.D. was released in June 2022. Play it on Steam!

What are your plans for the future?

Marloes: ‘I'm currently doing a work placement as a level designer at Coffee Stain Studios in Skövde, Sweden, where I'm working on 'Satisfactory', a first-person open-world factory building game built in Unreal Engine 5. For now, I’m focused on finishing my studies and graduating, but I’m having a great time at Coffee Stain and in Sweden. So, we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds. My passion lies in level design, and I hope to broaden my knowledge further in the field of mission design in the future.’

Are you curious about other projects Marloes worked on? Check out her personal website.