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Blocktober: Dissecting The Levels of The Last of Us Part II

Arnaldo Licea did a breakdown of one of the levels and explained why early tests are incredibly important.

To celebrate this year's Blocktober, Lead Designer at Naughty Dog Arnaldo Licea decided to break down one of the flooded levels from The Last of Us Part II showing how the initial layout influenced the final environment.

The designer emphasized how important it is to play your level as soon as possible. The technique lets designers put themselves in the player’s shoes and examine what needs to be fixed. "It's the first thing I do even when it’s a flat plane and some boxes. Play as you build," wrote Licea. 

The designer discussed the production process behind one of the first combat layouts that Licea worked on "during pre-production of The Last of Us Part II, after moving to Design from QA at Naughty Dog". This stage allowed the team to explore different mechanics and see if they had a place in the game.

When speaking about the flooded level, Licea talked about water and how it affected the player's speed. "First thing was tuning player speed when in wade-height water and doing some quick layout tests. I made a flat space with 1m high water and some mounds to get to. Originally, I wanted the player to move REALLY slow, to feel the weight of the water and accentuate the groundedness, and compensate with the layout somehow," wrote the designer.

Finally, they decided to set up a light jog that didn't feel like mud but still limited players' moves. You can find the full write-up here. Don't forget to join our Reddit page and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more. 

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