Working on Aliens versus Predator 2 (AvP2) was great experience with a great team! Because of Monolith’s project structure and technology at the time, I was able to take a basic story outline and completely build a level around it on my own. This included its layout, pacing, lighting, texturing (with a lot of help from the Texture Artists), and scripting scenario events. I placed some foundational enemy encounters, then the AI scripters jumped in later to add several layers and challenges to them.
The project didn’t have strong, unified concepts for the environments at first, however. Fox Interactive did little contribute source material or offer guidance. For example at one point, they thought the chestburster erupted from the neck and suggested we add jump pads to multiplayer (Quake III was big at the time).
My primarily responsibility was for the Forward Observation Pods setting. The initial lack of environment concept led to several different concurrent designs for the Pods during the first year. The overall game was re-evaluated in the final year of production. Team members were shuffled around, assigned to their strengths and interests, and some external Monolith people were brought in to help focus direction. During this time, I took a step back and reworked the Pod designs to match the flavor of the Nostromo ship interiors from the first Alien film. People liked the new direction and it become what you see today.
Despite being the most successful title at the time for Monolith, the AvP2 team was disbanded and absorbed into other projects with no release party.
I’ll post more articles and samples throughout this next year showcasing some of these changes and other ideas that didn’t make it into the final game.
More AvP2 details are on Wikipedia.
- November 1999 – September 2001
- LEVEL DESIGNER
- Lighting Artist
Designed tense gameplay, chilling encounters, and rewarding puzzles. Designed, modeled, and maintain inspiring and memorable levels. Scripted AI, missions, and interactive events. Responsible for environment lighting and gameplay mood. Contributed to prop models and environment textures. Spearheaded post-release programming support for public modding.
- 90% – Computer Gaming World magazine
- 95% – Game Informer magazine
- 87% – Gamespot
- 82% – IGN
- 85% – Metacritic Score
- 86% – PC Gamer magazine
- 90% – TechTV’s Extended Play (G4TV)