Mega Man’s basic abilities are pretty much set in stone, so how do the development team take advantage of this to make a good stage? The latest video detailing the development of Mega Man 11 goes into detail.
Development on a stage first starts off with deciding what sort of actions the development team wants players to do. Themes in this regard focus on Mega Man’s abilities, including the Charge Shot, sliding, as well as the new Double Gear system in Mega Man 11. This is done for every one of the eight main stages, and prepares players for the gauntlet at the end of the game.
Next comes the stage theme, which are based on the eight Robot Masters. Obviously, a Robot Master with a fire theme wouldn’t be in a water stage, so theming comes from the look and powers of the boss. This is consistent across the series.
Next comes the actual making and visualization of the stage. The development team first considered using the stage size used in the NES Mega Man games, except extended to fit widescreen, but it ended up feeling too empty and boring running from side to side.
They zoomed in the camera a bit, lowered the ceiling, and widened the sections just a little bit to achieve a more desirable result.
The development team also fiddled with the perspective of the stages. At the start there was no perspective to the stages, and they were completely flat. Putting too much perspective would just confuse players as to where platforms started and ended, and they finally decided on the third version, which maintains the best of both worlds.
Next are the enemies and where they are placed. The new Double Gear system became the basis of the new enemy designs, and most new enemies are designed to make the player take advantage of the system.
The development team also takes note of the theming of the stage, and whether there are any enemies from prior entries which fit the theme and the gameplay they want to fit in. If there aren’t, then new ones are made. How many new enemies and how many older enemies are used are decided stage by stage.
The level designer also revealed that, no, enemies aren’t placed based on feeling, and are planned out. That means, yes, enemies with annoying placement are planned out specifically to annoy players. However, the dev team obviously want people to beat the stages and clear the game, so they do prioritize making the process of beating a level enjoyable.
You can find the full video below:
Mega Man 11 releases on October 2, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. You can check out our previous report on how Mega Man’s current 3D model was finalized here.