3ds Max

Sometimes it pays to be able to test and demonstrate things in production software like 3ds max, for example if you are building your levels with modelers instead of modular. In this scenario it is important to be able to demonstrate the use of space in three dimensions instead of simply two as you would with a drawing. This is a prototype level made for a hypothetical mass mob hack and slash type game. (Gauntlet, God of War, etc)

The Level walkthough presented is a demonstration of the path though the level along with the relative position of a directed camera, including several in game scenes where the camera is taken away from the player in order to show them in engine cinematic sequences. This would be used as a base for an art team to model the level and for scripting purposes later as a base template of unit and event placement.


The story I use in this level is a basic “fantasy” setting with a technology level similar to the 1890′s. It is set in 2 locations, The first being a desert city atop a cliff. Imagine sand in the street’s short clay buildings with colored awnings and markets. The second area is a more European setting a small castle on an island with terraces and hills leading from a lower town/market square up into a housing district and lastly a castle on top.

The story is the players are to stop the sand city’s “King” From invading their home “the European city” They fight their way though the enemy city, using what they can find to fight though till they reach the ocean tower (rumored location of enemy king) only to find its a trap and face a summoned kraken. After falling into the ocean they use the fallen tower (avoiding the kraken, troops, and other sea monsters) as a makeshift doc to board a near by invasion ship. They fight on the deck of the ship as it makes its voyage across the ocean however they are too late the city has already been invaded. They now fight their way though the enemy troops who have invaded making their way to the castle where they can confront the enemy “king” before he causes any more trouble.

Unit Key:

NPC Library

NPC “Flee-er”

Yellow with White Cap

A non-combat
unit that will run away from players.

Enemy “Slasher”

Red with Blue Cap.

A melee enemy, a basic “charge
and hack” AI.


Enemy “Grenadier”

Red with Green Cap.

A medium range enemy who throws
explosive projectiles. Normally they will be position overhead.

Enemy “Shooter”

Red with Black Cap

A long range enemy who uses a
projectile attack

Enemy “Shock Wave Commander”


Black Pillar with Red Cap

A long range unit that shoots a crescent
shaped pattern in either a direct blast or a split blast. This
challenges the player to react, dodge, and attack to win. This is
a more difficult unit that has more health than standard enemies.

Boss Enemy “Tentacle”

Green Spring

This boss will knock segments out of the bridge
while the players are attacked with ground based units. The
players will have to balance killing adds to stay alive short term
with attacking the boss in order to kill it before they run out of
land to stand on in the long run. Ultimately the tentacle will win
resulting in another transitional cinematic.



Grey Pillar

The elephant is a objective in the level that
opens a path forward via a in game cinematic.

Boss Enemy “Commander”

White with Black Cap

The final boss of the level. Mixing a
combination of attacks that need avoided (shock wave/charge) and
defensive abilities (shield/dodge)



While no weapons are directly depicted in the animation 4 basic weapons the player would likely have available to them are…

  • Shotgun, 45degree attack, 9m range.
  • Arrow (or other laser like attack) A straight line 80m that may penetrate enemies.
  • Missile(magic or not) a medium range attack 40m with a blast radius 7m on contact.
  • Harpoon Gun (can shoot but also grapple items)



NOTICE: The entire animation is slightly accelerated and serves as a walk-though, actual game-play would include combat and additional spawning units in addition to more scenery and more cinematic speech and event segments. Overall play time would likely be 15+ minutes.


  • Frame(F) 0-300: The player(s) enter the level and encounter a town square filled with merchants and guards. There is a vendor with an elephant in the corner that can be used to provide a path forward.
  • F301-515: The now free elephant charges though the gate smashing the gate and bridge.
  • F516-1639: The player progresses though a residential and confined space requiring them to climb on roof tops to find gate switches.
  • F1640-1700: A above cinematic shot for dramatic effect shows the player enemy movements on a large scale into the market district.
  • F1701-1900 The player fights though the market district triggering the next area to open.
  • F1901-2470 Not fully animated. but what happens in this particular area is that the the player is tasked to open a gate by dragging one block to another. Waves of reinforcements from over the near by fence jump in to stop them, if they fail to defend the block the enemies will push them off, stunning them and begin dragging the block back to its original orientation. Once the block is pushed into place and the gate is open a large wave of troops will jump in over the fence to reinforce the ones killed in the lower street when the player first made contact from the market segment. Since I never “killed” the ones in the street in my animation I didn’t bother animating this troop movement.
  • F2471-2990 The tower is attacked by a kraken, the player must balance fighting off waves of lesser troops to stay alive with fighting the tentacle before they run out of bridge space. After the tentacle has taken enough damage it retreats into the ocean destroying the base of the tower causing collapse. The player also suffers a scripted defeat where they fall into the ocean.
  • F2991-3560 They player uses the fallen tower as a make shift dock, enemy troops climb out of the windows on the sides and attack as well as lesser sea monsters and troops climb aboard chunks of tower impeding the player as well. The tentacle also returns to Finnish the job and will systematically eliminate tower segments causing the player to make haste to the boat at the end.
  • F3560-3770 Not fully animated. In this segment the player(s) are on a boat and would fight off units while on the deck, the boat would likely be much bigger, feature unit spawns, may encounter the Kraken, its own mini-boss, and take a lot more than the 5 seconds depicted to reach its destination. However for the sake of this walk-though it was cut short.
  • F3771-3815 The players arrive in their town too late, a brief cinematic shows cannons being shot at the town from the boat and villagers fleeing.
  • F3816-7000 Not fully animated. In this section the player(s) explore the town to open the gates. While they are depicted as buttons in this animation they could be other mechanic’s mini games or even low level boss encounters. Also during this part the city is still under seige which originally I was going to animate but frankly was taking too long and I did not want to keep you waiting. So in game there would be further degradation of the town over time. Eventually the players gain access to the castle where dialogue with the dieing king, the enemy king, and finally boss encounter with the enemy king all play out and conclude the level.

Download the 3ds max 8 file: max.zip

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