I have been asked to work in a group of 6 people to design a Lego game level using an existing IP. The themes available are: ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Norse Gods’ or ‘The Muppets’. I must consider how to incorporate Lego into my level in the form of characters and interactive objects. I will need to research existing Lego games and use ideas and collectables to inspire my level.
The first step was to choose which theme our group would use for the level. After some thinking, we concluded that The Muppets was our best option.
We nearly chose Norse Gods to start with but we soon realised that most of the other groups in our class were using that IP. We then decided that we should probably pick something a little different so our project would stand out a little more.
We debated choosing The Walking Dead for a while but finally decided that it has some very dark themes that would be difficult to translate into a Lego game intended for children. Secondly, the series is based in a post-apocalyptic world and a lot of the scenery is barren. There are a lot of greys and browns which, from a design point of view, would not make for an aesthetically pleasing, fun looking game.
So eventually we settled on The Muppets as it is fun, colourful, child friendly and has a huge range for potential plots and story ideas.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Star Wars was one of the first Lego games ever made and is one of the most well known. I personally have completed it 100% a number of times. We chose this game as our main inspiration as it has so many different aspects that are still applied to the Lego games today.
First, we used the idea of a small character (young Anakin or the Ewoks in Star Wars) and applied that to our level. We made Pepe the Prawn a small character who can crawl into small spaces to travel around the level.
Second, we used the wall puzzle idea from the Kamino. The puzzle must be built and can then be switched between Jango Fett and Boba Fett’s helmets. We used a wall puzzle idea similar to this but made it slightly more complicated. The second puzzle in the level is a picture of Lego Kermit the Frog. This is split into circles that form layers. The image is jumbled up and the player must rotate all of the circles to form Kermit’s face.
We also used the idea of pushing boxes along a track. In the Mos Eisley mission where Luke, Ben, C3PO and R2D2 are trying to find a pilot, there is a section where the player must push a box along a track and off a ledge onto another track. We have used this idea and adapted it slightly so that when the box is pushed off the ledge, it is destroyed and its pieces can be used to build a new item.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Marvel Super Heroes is one of the more recent Lego games. Again, I have completed this game to 100%. We chose this game as an inspiration as it has a number of more advanced puzzles that we thought would be fun to incorporate into our level design.
First, we used a puzzle idea from Marvel. There is a mission in Oscorp where you must play as Black Widow, Hawkeye and Spiderman to fight Green Goblin and Venom for control of the Cosmic Brick. There is a section in this level where Black Widow must hack into a puzzle. The player must rotate sections of wire in order to make a connection from a node on the left to a node on the right. We used an idea similar to this in our level where the players must rotate pipes to form a full link from 3 sides to the centre.
We created a storyboard which describes the opening cinematic of our level. The level takes place backstage during a talent show. The idea is that Dr Bunsen Honeydew is doing a live experiment on Beaker. The experiment involves Beaker wearing a helmet and dropping into a pool of liquid which is supposed to react with the helmet and increase his IQ. Honeydew and Beaker are practising backstage while Swedish Chef performs a cooking show onstage. However, when dropped into the pool, Beaker’s body size increases rather than his IQ. Due to his sudden growth, Beaker starts to panic and begins smashing up objects backstage. At various points throughout the level, Beaker will reach through the curtains and smash part of the stage. Completely oblivious, Swedish Chef will continue his cooking show, luckily avoiding Beakers fists every time he lashes out. Hearing the crashing, Pepe comes running through to help Honeydew remove Beaker’s helmet in an attempt to shrink him back down to normal size before he causes too much damage and ruins Swedish Chef’s show.
We then had to come up with Lego characters for our level.
The Hairdryer (Chicken In Peril) The first switch requires a giant hairdryer, you go into one of the dressing rooms on set and are faced with some puzzles. Honeydew must push a small ladder into a shelf allowing Pepe to climb up and knock down a box containing parts for a portal. Honeydew then builds the portal allowing passage taking you onto the stand with Statler and Waldorf, they don’t notice you but you can then grab the hairdryer parts, go back through the portal and build it on the set outside the dressing room door. The final note is that if they hairdryer is hit by the player it changes the power, you can use the low setting to get on Beaker’s helmet or the high setting to fly over and rescue the Chicken In Peril.
The Chicken Gun To get the chicken gun you start with the door puzzle in the top right of the level, it can only be completed by Honeydew and, when completed, opens up access to the vents. Pepe, as a small character, can then enter the vents and follow them around to Swedish Chef’s changing room. When in the changing room Pepe can open the locked door allowing Honeydew into the room, Honeydew can then blow open the weak wall with his chemicals. The players may then build the parts of the chicken gun in the main room. Honeydew must load Pepe into the gun and fire him onto Beaker’s helmet.
The Cannon (Gold Brick) The final part is the cannon. To obtain this, you must have Pepe complete the wall puzzle in the top left of the level. Once through, Honeydew can rearrange the boxes in the puzzle. This will result in one of the boxes being pushed up against the right hand wall. Honeydew can then climb up and push the box containing the cannon parts down to the floor. The players can then build the cannon. The players then head outside and fire the cannon. They can aim at the helmet, destroying it, shrinking Beaker and completing the level. Or they can rotate it to fire at Bobo the Bear (currently standing guard by one of the changing rooms). Bobo is holding the gold brick but if knocked back by the cannon, he will be knocked back into the room and will drop the brick for the players to collect.
Free Play (Red Brick) To obtain the red brick the player must return in Free Play. In Swedish Chef’s changing room is a drum kit, returning as Animal will allow you to complete a really fast QTE to open a door and allowing you to collect the red brick.
Ending Once the level is complete, a cinematic will play of Beaker shrinking down into the pool and climbing out covered in green liquid. While Honeydew runs over to him to make sure he is ok, Pepe can be seen in the background laughing and a piece of the ceiling falling on top of him. It then cuts to the front of the stage with Swedish Chef finishing off his meal, surrounded by a destroyed stage covered in rubble while Statler and Waldorf laugh at the whole situation.
This is the final level design for our level.