My first map created with the modding tools for the 3D Platformer game, "A Hat in Time". The player traverses an obstacle course (known in-game as a "Blue Time Rift") that takes place within an industrial freezer in order to reach the time piece at the end. This map was built purely for the purpose of learning the modding tool set and becoming familiar with the basics of the Unreal Development Kit.
The theme idea originated from one particular mechanic that the player has from the beginning of the game: the ability to dive and slide down sloped surfaces. The ability to slide led to the idea of using greasy metal or ice as slippery surfaces, which, in turn, led to the idea of using an industrial freezer as the setting. This was accomplished through the careful application materials, decals, and world lighting and fog, while using obstacles that encouraged continuous, fluid movement, placing an emphasis on the dive-and-slide mechanic. For additional decorative finish, I placed food-related meshes throughout the level, with the end goal resting on a desirable tub of ice cream.
While the level is intended to be an obstacle course, I aimed to place players into a flow state by spacing out obstacles, placing static platforms or walkways in between them. This creates a fluctuation between continuous movement and moments of respite, keeping the player focused without exhausting them.
While the focus of the level was on the dive-and-slide mechanic, a few other obstacles were also used in the level, including grapple hooks, spinning gear-shaped platforms, rotating cube platforms, and rotating pie-shaped platforms. Each of these obstacles were placed in the level multiple times, each in a way that increased in difficulty as the player got closer to the goal. For example, the pie-shaped platforms would be missing pieces, or grapple hooks would appear at the bottom of slides rather than on more level ground.