June 16, 2008

What I Do...

I thought this turned out pretty well, so I thought I'd share. This is a prosaic account of the mini-level I intend to produce for level design this term. Enjoy!


As Gordon emerges from the tunnel leading to Ravenholm, he can immediately spot the remains of the lost convoy. The APC once carrying the civilians and supplies to the Resistance base was now a smoking wreck abandoned near the side of the road. In addition to the broken down husk of the APC, Gordon could make out a few small fires casting distinct shadows on the town’s walls, though they did not appear to be coming from the APC itself. Looking more closely, Gordon could see a number of vague silhouettes moving toward the fires. As he moves toward the APC, a flash suddenly lights up the street clearly revealing what Gordon was seeing. The fires were in barrels next to the APC and the flash was the muzzle flash from a machine gun the Resistance squad had mounted onto a hastily constructed barricade around the APC. In addition, the repeated flashes lit up the rest of the scene showing a horde of zombies slowly encroaching on the convoy survivors. Now understanding the situation, Gordon charges into the fray in order to save the convoy members from the encroaching zombie horde.

After dispatching the zombies, Gordon joins up with surviving convoy members behind the barricade, to find only two people present: a Resistance mechanic and a civilian. The mechanic explains that a new combine weapon, exploding headcrabs, attacked the convoy. The initial attack killed two civilians and one of the other Resistance soldiers. The rest of the civilians scattered after the attack and the remaining soldier went out to search for them. He also tells Gordon that he can repair the APC but he will need some spare parts: two tires, a battery, and a gas can. He says he has to protect the APC, as it is their only hope of escaping alive. Gordon agrees and sets out to find the parts and the missing survivors.

Exploring the darkness of Ravenholm, Gordon comes across a couple of the parts needed to repair the APC (a tire and a battery) as well as a couple of the missing survivors: two civilians. Gordon also discovers a shotgun and some ammo, so he picks up the shotgun and gives his pistol to one of the civilians for protection. Continuing to search for the other survivors, Gordon sees the missing resistance soldier firing at some zombies from inside a building. Gordon and his “squad” dispatch the zombies and enter the building. Upon entering, Gordon sees the reason for the soldier’s position: a wounded civilian lying on a couch toward the back of the room. The soldier tells Gordon he needs to get a medkit from the APC and bring it to the civilian so they can make their way back to the APC. Gordon escorts his followers to the APC and leaves them there under the protection of the barricade.

Gordon returns to the injured civilian with the medkit, and after healing her, the soldier tells Gordon he is going to escort her back to the convoy. He also tells Gordon he saw another civilian running toward the building to the north, but he could not leave the other civilian to follow her. As Gordon moves toward the building, the door blows open and a handful of exploding headcrabs and fast zombies run out. After defeating the enemies, Gordon is free to enter the building, which appears to be a small garage. Gordon picks up another tire and a gas can as he makes his way to the back office. As he enters, he finds the last surviving civilian hiding behind a desk. Inside the office, Gordon also finds an SMG, which he gives to the civilian to protect herself. As they make their way back to the convoy, a horde of exploding headcrabs and zombies attack them. By targeting the headcrabs, they easily destroy both groups and continue on their way back to the APC.

Finally arriving with the last survivor and spare parts needed to fix the APC, Gordon gives the parts to the Resistance mechanic. The mechanic says the repairs should only take a couple minutes and then they should finally be able to escape. As the soldier begins his repairs, loud howling begins to resonate throughout the Ravenholm. A horde of zombies, fast zombies, and exploding headcrabs begin charging down the street toward the barricade. Gordon grabs the machine gun and unloads on the advancing horde as does any survivor armed with a weapon. Wave after wave of enemies assaults the survivor’s weak barricade as the mechanic hastily completes the repairs to the APC. Finally finished, the mechanics jumps into the APC and yells at everyone to get in. Once all the survivors are inside the APC, Gordon drops the machine gun and jumps into the vehicle right before it speeds through the advancing enemy horde.

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