The Mafia Harbour

The level is based on a fictitious story involving a dispute between Mafia families. The Gambino family has secretly begun participating in drug trafficking through the use of a Harbour. Due to the risks involved with drug trafficking, the leadership of all the Mafia families, also known as the Commission, decided that it would be necessary to eliminate the leader of the Gambino family.

In the Mafia Harbour, you are required by the Commission to infiltrate the Harbour and eliminate the leader of the Gambino Mafia family.


Level Overview

The Mafia Harbour takes a lot of inspiration from Far Cry and Splinter Cell. On the macro level, the level layout is very similar to Far Cry since it follows the open world level design concept. On the micro level, although the pace is still similar to Far Cry, the level design encourages stealthy gameplay like Splinter Cell. The smoothest way to complete the level is to remain stealthy, select non-obvious routes, and acquire tactical advantage by observing from high-grounds.

The map is divided in three main regions. The first region is the spawn and warehouse, the second region is the workshop, and the third region is the ship. The objective to eliminate the leader is located inside one of the ship's rooms. In order to get to the ship, the player can take the stealth path, the action path, or he can go on the silo for scouting or engaging the enemy from high ground. The map is populated by 20 AIs and the leader.

The first stage, represented by the warehouse, is located between the stealth and action paths. The reason why the warehouse is considered as a stage is because it occupies 3 AIs and there are 3 AIs in the vicinity. As soon as the player engages an AI openly near the warehouse, the AIs indoor will enter combat and engage the player, and vice-versa.

Once the player has taken out these AIs, he will be getting fire from the direction of the workshop area which is populated by 6 AIs. The options the player faces are to either engage the AIs, or to avoid them by going through the containers on the other side of the railway. If the player decides to engage the AIs, the probability of entering the right side of the map will be very high due to the placement of AIs within the workshop. Because of the AIs behaviour, some AIs will choose to remain inside the workshop rather than leaving to explore and engage the player.

The third stage is determined by the ship, which is the location of the objective. The ship is populated by 5 AIs. These AIs do not have the ability to leave the ship. This was done to follow the design of the division of the map in three stages. It ensures that the player will continue getting resistance at different locations within the map rather than encountering all of the maps' AIs at once when heavy fire is done. The leader of the Gambino family is located within a room on the ship.

Design

When designing the map, the intent was for the main path to be the stealth path. This was done by spawning the player facing the stealth entrance, and by subconsciously suggesting the player to be stealthy by giving the objective to "infiltrate" the Harbour. The player is also encouraged to enter the Harbour through the stealth entrance because of the displays of resistance at the main entrance from the spawn position. Either way, both options are available and the objectives do not change. The player is not penalized for choosing the action path. Additionally, if the player explores beyond the stealth/action entrances, he will be rewarded by the discovery of a ladder to the top of the silo. This provides a sniper position for the player, and the ability to see the map from a bird's eye view. He could decide to shoot AIs from this position, or simply use the information to plan an attack.

Whether the player is entering the Harbour from the stealth entrance or the action entrance, he will be forced to reach the ship from the right side of the map because of the location of the railway and AIs. Since the player is not allowed to use the Crysis tools such as invisibility, strength (jump higher), haste, jumping over the train is a possibility, but subconsciously, the player will be pushed towards the right side of the map because of the lack of a clear pathway towards the ship. As well as because he will be getting attacked by the AI's located near the workshop. The player is forced to cross the middle of the map from the right side to encourage the use of as much of the map's area as possible. If the player could easily cross the level from the left side of the map, the duration of the map would be too short, and the player would not encounter as many AIs.

Warehouse

If the player chooses to enter the warehouse, he will be rewarded by the availability of additional ammunition. However, he will be confronted by 3 AIs. There are two AIs on the main level, and one AI in the office on the second level. The two AIs on the main level are positioned such that entering the warehouse from the stealth path, the ability to take them down stealthy is present because they are facing the action path entrance. The AI in the office on the second level is not positioned in a way that will be obvious for the player. From play-testing, it was noticed that none of the players killed the AI on the second level before the AIs on the first level as it was intended. The AI on the second level was added to provide an extra dimension for the player, rather than focusing on looking straight in front all the time, he would have to look up to challenge the AI if he is awoken.

Workshop

Both the stealth path and the action path merge at a similar position on the right side of the map. This position is highlighted by the exploded car. This exploded car was positioned there to draw the attention of the player. Other than the flames, a lot of objects are pointed towards that direction to subconsciously draw the vision of the player to the exploded car. This location is heavily guarded with 6 AIs. 3 AI are positioned inside the workshop, and 3 AIs are positioned on the outside. Once the player has taken out all the 6 AIs in the area, his next focus will be the infiltration of the ship.

Ship

The ship has two possible entrances: the front and the back. The back of the ship has 1 AI on the ship and and two AIs beside the ship. Two AIs were positioned beside the back entrance of the ship to provide additional difficulty (but not too much) in case the player sneaked his way between the containers on the freight train. The player's stealth opportunities diminish as the distance to the objective is reduced. Such that when the player reached onto the ship, there is absolutely no way for him to sneak his way to the objective. The player will be confronted by AIs on both the back and front entrances of the ship. This was done to subconsciously tell the player that the ship is an important location as it is heavily guarded. Also, from a story standpoint, the leader of Mafia family would realistically be heavily guarded at his location.

Landmarks

The right side of the map is populated by trees and landmarks. The landmark buildings were chosen based on their size. The goal was for the player to be able to notice the right side landmarks from almost anywhere in the map. This would allow the player the ability to instantly locate himself in the map. Other significant landmarks include the silos situated near the spawn, the forest, the crane, the ocean, and the ship. On a smaller scale other landmarks were included such as an exploded car, a flipped tanker truck trailer, a freight train engine, and large oil tanks.

Recommendations

Gameplay

To provide an additional gameplay element, an underground sewer system would be added to the right side of the map so that if the map was played in an open-world game, the player would have options to infiltrate the map from multiple sides. The sewer exit would also be placed on the right side of the map near the depot so that the player would have to go through the exploded car location to get to the ship. The placement of AI in the map would have to adjusted according to the location of the sewer entrance and exit so that the player does not have an easier time than going through the stealth entrance.

To add some extra dimensions to the level an AI could be added on the crane. The addition of an AI crane is tricky because it affects the rest of the map a lot. Since the AI on the crane would have a clear view of the majority of the map, being detected by AIs closer to the beginning of the map would mean that the overall cover would be reduced since the AI is positioned high up. Work would have to be done on the placement of objects to accommodate for the addition of the AI.

Occlusion/Texturing

If the level was included as part of a collection of other levels (such as a game like Far Cry), the use of occlusion could be necessary. Therefore, the mountains located at the edges of the map could be brough much closer to the level to provide natural occlusion. The texturing resolution can be changed for each regions of the map as a whole. For performance purposes, it could be increased in the area near the Harbour, and the rest of the map could have lower texture resolution.

Assets

Since all of the assets used in the map were created by Crytek, it means that for the Mafia storyline, not a lot of small objects represent this story since it is not something found in Crysis. Ideally, a lot of props would be added all over the map (a reasonable number for performance purposes) that match the storyline. These could include newspapers with titles that affect the family, and assets that represent a shipment of drugs. Possibly some drug manipulation tools (different alchemy sets). The most significant change in asset would be the change of ship. At this point in time, the only available ship asset that allows the player to board is the military ship. However, a cargo ship would be much more accomodating to the story-line. The current models of the AIs are Deckhandlers. These models are intended to be used in a level that involves airplanes. Ideally, the models would look closer to workers, with some occasional suited models. The leader model would be much different than the rest of the models (large weight, distinctive clothing).

AI

With more testing, the positioning of the AI would be fine-tuned as it is one of the most important aspect of the map. Due to the technical direction of CryEngine2, there are a lot of possibilities for AI bugs that are introduced by the level designer. This is because the level designer is required to position AIPoints inside every building so that the AI is able to roam around the building without trouble. However, there are some possibilities where two AI could collide with each other very easily based on the location of these AIPoints.

Objectives

The most significant recommendation is the addition of an objective such as grabbing documents incriminating the leader from the workshop. This would replace the need to split the map with the railway as the player would have to get to the right side of the map to get the documents. The result of implementing another objective would affect a lot of aspects of the map, including object placement, AI placement.

Production Timeline

Approximate Total Production Time: 250 hours
Research 40 hours
Learning GeoControl2 10 hours
Learning CryEngine 2 basics 40 hours
Implementing terrain 10 hours
Texturing 10 hours
Buildings/Vegetations/Objects placements 90 hours
AI 30 hours
Website (CSS+HTML) + Content 15 hours

Additional Information

The Mafia Harbour is a level designed by Marc Angers on the CryEngine 2 game engine. CryEngine 2 was used in Crytek's game Crysis. All assets used in the level were created by Crytek. Thanks to crymod.com for tutorials and forums. Thanks to Dane Reynolds, Jon Gates, Alison Regehr, Anna Best, Ovidiu Bledea, and Louise McAndrew for play-testing.

How to play the level

Download

Requirements: Crysis with the editor installed.

Extract mafia.rar inside a folder within the \crysis\Game\Levels\ folder.
Example: C:\Programs Files\Crysis\Game\Levels\Mafia\
Load Editor.exe located in \crysis\Bin32\ or \crysis\Bin64\
Locate and open ubi.cry. Close any windows that pop up after the loading.
Go to the approximate spawn location by using WASD and the left and right mouse buttons to navigate. Press Ctrl+G to spawn.
Play.

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