The Selfish Giant


The level takes place in post-apocalyptic Manchester. Large sandstorms have swept across Europe. The goal is to get into the base that controls the water supply.

  • To make memorable environments with distinct focal points.

  • To guide the player through an adventurous path into the base.

  • Developed in 4 weeks part-time

  • First Person Shooter

  • Unreal Engine 4

  • Visual Scripting

  • Using assets from Unreal Marketplace

  • Special made shooting target by Fredrik Appelholm 

Images from the level "The Selfish Giant".


In pre-production I searched for inspirational images for the setting

I was looking for pictures with the same mood as the feature film Mad Max: Fury Road.


I began to draw overviews on paper, where I explored the layout of the level and player flow

In an early stage of the rough blockout, the level had the size of a backyard and the player path was only inside that enclosed area.

Then I reworked my thoughts and I realized it would be more interesting to work and explore the player path into the tower. So I decided to expand the area.

Focus Areas & Iteration

I want to establish a sense of the place and setting for the level. I designed the composition to be a wow-moment when the player reaches the top of the sandhill and the towers rise up in the horizon.

Early on I implemented the 
drained canal to the level to lead the player. Later on, I decided to also let the player explore the canal by having the player jump down into it and find a new path through a broken pipe.

I designed this area for possible combat

I wanted the player's focus directed towards the tower. To intentionally attract attention to the windmill, I used the wires, suspension bridge and the road.

From the tower I designed the composition so that the player gets a good glimpse of the previous path and a good overview of the area.

The pipes are always present in the level.

I decided to work with them to lead the player and to induce a sense of repetition. 


​I appreciate the process of iterating with geometric shapes. To challenge myself I chose to start building the level directly with assets. That was a new method I wanted to try. It's has been challenging to be patient and not focus too much on the details, in an early stage

When I decided to expand the area my focus was to design memorable areas. To reach it I divided the level into three zones; "the sand area outside the gate", "inside the gated area" and "up on the roofs and towards the tower".

1 min iteration video.

Closing Thoughts

I believe my decision to mix different assets packs enhances the experience and that I managed to capture memorable areas.

I have learned when my design choices work and when they don't. It makes me stronger as a level designer to give myself time to redesign. To zoom out and get a holistic view.

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©2020 by Emma Thorsander