Cyber Heist Level Design: “Anxiety”

Cyber Heist Level Design: “Anxiety”

About This Project

The Cyber Heist Team in our EAE Program, the other team working on publishing a game besides Vinyl, decided it would be good to allow other people not on their team to help with some level design for their game. I worked with an engineer in my Cohort, Chongze Yang, to design a level for their team. We called our level “Anxiety” to try to see if we could design a level that would cause a player to stress out a bit while playing the level.


Samples from the Level Design Document

Level Summary

This level is designed to explore an idea that branches off of for the game Cyber Heist. The main intent for this level is for the player to experience a sense of anxiety along with the previous intents Team Hack N Hide has already designed for all their previous levels: cooperation and exploration.
This level will be different than all the other Cyber Heist levels in multiple ways. The first thing will be the fact that the whole level will be dark for the THIEF. The second thing will be a FOG-OF-WAR mechanic that will be on the screen for the HACKER. This mechanic will only provide light and progression for the HACKER only when the THIEF has explored the same area of the corresponding room. So if the THIEF hasn’t explored an area of the level, the Hacker will be blocked by the fog-of-war and not be able to proceed forward to help the Thief.
Because the level will be more dark than normal for the THIEF, it will be hard for the player to see the guards until they get really close to them. This will force the Thief to get even more help from the HACKER to help reduce anxiety of being caught. There will be a lot of rooms so that the HACKER has to spend some time in almost complete darkness while simultaneously turning off the JAMMERS for the HACKER.
The thief will also have a new TACTICAL FLASHLIGHT (easy to add) that will emit a beam of light no larger than a 45 degree angle field of vision for the player. This TACTICAL FLASHLIGHT will have a battery life that will start at 100% and will constantly drain until it reaches 0%. Once it drains to 0%, the TACTICAL FLASHLIGHT’S light beam will turn off and the THIEF will be left in almost complete darkness.

Major Dramatic Question

Will working together become more necessary and important than all the other Cyber Heist levels if both the HACKER and the THIEF experience an added sense of anxiety?

Setting Overview

This level will take place in the server room of The Department of Education where there will be a lot of big objects called SERVERS that can be hacked by the THIEF to be turned off. Because this room is designed by the Department of Education to be inhabited by mega-computers and data storage, this room is very dark, cold and creepy for any human to be present in. Darkness covers the whole level which limits both the HACKER and the THIEF’S viewpoints without the use of the TACTICAL FLASHLIGHT. GUARDS and SECURITY CAMERAS are strategically scattered throughout the level to make both players more nervous and anxious than any other level in the game. Exploration will be very important for the THIEF because they will need to find and ping where all 4 of the KEYPOINTS on the SERVERS are located since only they will be able to see which SERVER BUTTONs are red or yellow. This will allow the HACKER to know where the KEYPOINTS are located before the THIEF turns off the GENERATOR and needs to be guided to the KEYPOINTS again. If the THIEF doesn’t ping the KEYPOINTS when they first find them, the HACKER will have a very hard time navigating the THIEF back to finding the 4 KEYPOINTS after the GENERATOR gets turned off. If they don’t reach the 4 KEYPOINTS in time and turn them to red before the GENERATOR turns back on, both the HACKER and the THIEF will fail the mission.

Story Details

This story of this level takes place at the end of Cyber Heist when the players finally reach the central floor of the Department of Education where all the hard drives for student loan debt is kept. The HACKER and the THEIF need to work together to hack all the SERVERS and turn them all off. This will corrupt the hard drives and erase all the student loan debt. But can it be done without getting caught? Everyone depends on this mission, Let’s do this!


Release Date: December, 2013

Engine/Dev Tools: Unity, Photoshop

Game Dev Cycle: 2 Weeks

Collaboration With:


Full Level Design Document

Anxiety – Level Design Document