Video game enthusiasts rarely get to see games in anything other than finished, sent condition – or something very close. I’m sure I do not need to tell you this, but video games do not come out of the console completely rendered and ready to use; there are many unseen steps to development that players simply do not see.
On Twitter on Saturday, Respawn Entertainment senior game designer Alexa Kim pulled back the curtain on part of the development she had a hand in for the recently released virtual reality game Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. In particular, Kim called out the prototype plan for level design, which is meant to lay out the “function”
In the thread, Kim said she was responsible for posting the prototypes to block, and then adding games. From there, adjustments are made: “In my case, this was a shooter, so it was about player movement against AI movement, lines of sight, covers, etc.,” Kim said on Twitter. “This level can be played in this state, but not polished to the eyes.”
When the level works in terms of games, art is added. The art at Kim’s levels, she said, is from the development studio Virtuos Games, which has been involved in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Dark Souls: Remastered, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It handles everything from game development to art production, according to the website. Kim said she “polished the game” through a back-and-forth collaboration between the artists and her team.
Kim followed up his Twitter thread with a YouTube video posted Sunday, with developer comments above Medal of Honor: Above and beyond‘s “Back on the Ground” level. (You can see it built-in above.) She goes through the level with the player and describes the process behind decisions made during development. For those looking for more information, Kim has another video on YouTube, where she talks about another Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond level called “Welcome to Norway.”