Larry Shen Level Design « Using Level Design Strategies to Create Useful Non-Playable Character Companions That Provide Effective Gameplay Value to the Player The goal of this thesis project was to better understanding of player motivations scenarios where an Artificial Intelligence- impact players’ sense of enjoyment. examine best practices for creating level controlled companion character can support a player’s gameplay experience in a positive, effective manner. In my level artifact, the player helps the survivor of a caravan attack retrieve a precious piece of cargo from a derelict underground facility. The player and companion support each other through combat, progression, and communication as they tackle obstacles and uncover the true nature of the facility they are in. I worked on this project for seven months. Over the course of the project, I developed skills related to scenario planning, gameplay scripting, pacing, and combat balancing. I also developed a 68 LEVEL DESIGN and how different factors within the game I decided upon this topic because I have always wanted to create characters that players can feel a strong emotional connection towards, and creating a companion that players develop gameplay synergy with helps create that connection. Many developers aspire to give players memorable companion characters to interact with, and I believe that thoroughly iterating on best practices and design scenarios on this front gives me the tools needed to fulfill these creative visions.