As our first level design assignment at Futuregames we were to create a level for the game The Ball using existing assets. It was going to be a standalone level in the same style with the same design approach as the original levels.
The first puzzle. This room controls the electricity that powers the magnet arm puzzle. Placing an object on the “power pad” (blue highlight) will close the circuit and active the door leading to the Lava room. From the Lava room the player retrieves a cube that can first be used to get the Ball back and then replace it. Now the player can go back to the Magnet Room that is now powered up and functional.
What the player needs to retrieve in the Lava room is a cube that is suspended from rope in the middle of the room. The trick is to swing it using your “Gravity Gun”-esque weapon. When the cube gets enough momentum the rope touches one of the torches that attached in the ceiling. The entire contraption will fall down and shatter when touching the ground. The cube is now freed and at the players disposal.
Magnet Arm Room
The goal is to transport the ball from the first floor to the second.
Stepping on the pressure plate will activate the magnet arm and grab the ball if its close enough. When activated the arm will also move into a vertical position.
This is a non-linear puzzle that involves turning two pipes that controls the flow of steam. The steam is responsible for controlling two things. The huge gate separating the two rooms and the smaller gates found in the second room (picture below).
Each pipe can either be on or off. For each pipe turned on, the door moves one step down. When both are active the gate is levelled with the floor. The trick is that each smaller gate only opens when an attached pipe is turned off.
The issue with the original concept was that there were just 4 different possible solutions to the problem and would thereby be too easy. That is why the pipe controller to the left also controls a set of stairs leading up to the second pipe controller. So you can only activate the second pipe by activating the first. A delay is also applied to every action making the solution less obvious.