Valley of Runes

Frederic Wendt

VALLEY OF RUNES is a level design concept with a focus on immersion which should be supported by environmental player guidance. In his project, Frederic Wendt deals with the question "How can player guidance of a level affect a player's immersive experiences?" from his bachelor thesis.
Apart from some missing content and unfinished areas due to lack of time, this project offers the player the possibility to be guided through the environment and reach his goal without HUD or similar interface elements.

Frederic Wendt

I'm a game developer who has focused on level design after starting in coding and exploring 3D art. This gives me basic knowledge in all three areas, which can help me significantly in level design.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I've since had a dream of myself working in a successful company and developing games that are great in terms of design, story, or preferably graphics. However, I have no idea where this company is located.

What is a good design for you?

Good design defines itself by not being realized by the players.

What was the most challenging experience during your studies?

Besides many deadlines we had to meet, it was also sometimes challenging to work within a team out of individuals that have different talents and different points of views.

Who or what inspires you?

I used to be inspired by story-rich and detailed games like Monkey Island and nowadays it's both games that are constantly being developed by their developers, like Phasmophobia, and graphically great works, like Horizon Zero Dawn.

How do you approach a new project?

In the beginning, if not already found, I try to find an interesting topic, idea for a game or USP that might be worth developing a game out of it. Once the first spark of an idea is born, I try to develop the basic mechanical concept and then start thinking about the art style and possible realization in an engine. Then I start to create the first concept for the project and, if necessary, a level.

What advice would you give to students who just started studying in your programme?

First of all, I would recommend not to focus on a certain area, but to collect the basics in the areas of art, design and code at the beginning. Also, I would recommend keeping the scope of a project low rather than setting it too high and then getting stressed out if the project doesn't finish as planned.

Have you changed during your studies? How?

When I started studying here, I was only familiar with the field of coding, but then I also got to know the areas of 3D art and design, which ultimately took me to the field of level design. I also learned how to create concepts and the importance of iterations.

Why did you choose to study in your programme?

When I was graduating from high school, I got more involved in programming and definitely wanted to work on a digital level. My passion for video games finally brought me to study game design.

What are you not going to miss in your studies?

Unfortunately, we students in the game design field have had negative experiences with university politics from time to time.

How are you going to celebrate your graduation?

Most likely I'll catch up on some sleep first and hopefully look forward to my subsequent master's degree.

Say hi!

Hariharan Anpalagan