The Secret World: Hell Fallen
Hell Fallen is the fifth dungeon in the game, and the second in a trilogy set in Hell.
The game’s official site has a location page about it.
The larger story arc for the Wicker and the Hell dungeons had already been planned out by the creative director, and the rough sketches for this episode had some of the usual usual second-act problems. While the larger story beats couldn’t change (rescue Wicker, encounter his nemesis), I decided that the experience needed a strong central thread and settled on the idea of advancing through a desert towards a huge spire under siege. This would provide a strong central visual marker to gauge progress against, integrate some large-scale verticality, and let me play around with some of the environmental background of Hell that wasn’t being used in the other dungeons.
The sequence where you advance through a desert sandstorm, unable to fight in the driving winds except when you take shelter behind ruins and outcrops, creates as a nice dramatic opening, teaches a core mechanic in the final fight, and acts as a diagetic stat check before reaching the first major encounters.
Every fight felt important because there was a big guy with a unique mechanic involved. But even boss fights can often be boring in MMOs–TSW’s stood out to me as particularly fun, mostly due to their insistence on keeping you guessing and forcing you to work to accomplish your role.
I did all the AI scripting and greybox level design for the dungeon, as well as approved the voiceover script and implemented the dialogue pacing.
Hell Fallen was released with the launch of The Secret World, on July 3rd, 2012.
More work I did on The Secret World: