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God of War Ragnarök: Valhalla

Valhalla is a story driven rouge-lite DLC released a year after the the launch of God of War Ragnarök. Players navigate a gauntlet choosing between rooms that offer different rewards. Containing new storylines, bosses, and items, it provides an epilogue to Ragnarök.

Valhalla represents a major departure from Santa Monica Studio's traditional approach to layout and design. My contributions include all-new exploration spaces, combat arenas, and managing collision/metrics through the game.

Chamber Split.png
Chamber Steps.png

Valhalla's aggressive development cycle meant that rapid iteration of levels was required. To that end, Many of the combat arenas were copied wholesale from the original game, while others were remixed to better suit the new encounter types for a roguelite.

I was responsible for two of these drastically altered spaces. In both cases, what were originally large, open boss arenas were modified for tighter and more dynamic fronts, pushing the player to leverage positioning and line of sight.

Towards the middle of the early design period, a desire was expressed by the directors for a special space that would rarely appear, representing a surprise reward. These eventually became the "chambers," which function as mini exploration spaces.

The reward chambers I designed pay special attention to line of sight and verticality. Despite existing within a small footprint, they capture the curious feeling of wandering a much larger space in pursuit of encounters, puzzles, and loot.

As the game transitioned out of early design and into production, I took on the additional responsibility of overseeing the collision and traversal metrics throughout the entire project.

This including optimizing player collision for the smoothest possible gameplay, keeping in touch with art changes for aesthetic collision, adjusting traversal to prevent clipping and escaping the world, and assigning material tags for correct mfx and sfx.

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