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Level Summary

"Vertigo" is a Dying Light level of my creation that takes place on four abandoned high rise buildings. The player is tasked by Brecken to clear these rooftops out of zombies to repurpose the high rises as a new outpost for survivors.
Dying Light Developer Tools
Development Time:
12 weeks
Team Size:

Initial Concept

Production of this level was one of the best I've had so far. This is largely due to excellent planning up front. I kept much of the original design, but made some cuts such as the zipline leading back to the ground level. I changed this because players often missed the zipline and became frustrated with falling off the roof at the end of the mission. I believe this was a change for the better, but ideally I would've had time for an exciting end to the level.

Design Goals

Conveyance with Dynamic Objects

I wanted to utilize the Special FX within Dying Light Developer Tools to guide the player throughout the level. I used movement to attract the player and guide their sense of direction.

Circular Flow with Layered Verticality

Being a parkour game, Dying Light has a lot of fast flowing movement. For my combat encounters I focused on circular flow that moves between different elevations.

Conveyance with Dynamic Objects

Dynamic Objects and Effects

I use movement as a conveyance technique throughout my level. Whether through triggered Special FX (top) or moving props (bottom) I use dynamics to guide the player.

Circular Flow with Layered Verticality

Up & Down

During combat players need to be allowed to move fluidly. Whether that means climbing upward or falling downward. My combat arenas were designed with circular flow and multiple elevations in mind. Smoothly enabling players to traverse between them.


What Went Well

  • Conveyance with dynamic objects was effective. Players were seldom lost.
  • The level feels great for a Dying Light game, with lots of opportunities for free running.
  • Over 2,000 subscriptions on Steam!

What Went Wrong

  • I overestimated how my own velocity during production. I probably cut around fifteen percent of my original design.
  • My overall pacing is off during the last portions of my level. The ending does not feel climactic enough.

What I Learned

  • Making changes is an important part of the process, however, when making cuts I need to closely consider the pacing as a result.
  • Verticality is more than just separate floors, but an interwoven network of platforms with affordances between them players can take advantage of.


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