Layton Hawkes - Game Designer

UT3: Tanglewood Lost

Tanglewood Lost


Personal Work. I designed and built the level.


Unreal Engine


Unreal Tournament 3


6 Weeks


Multiplayer (Singleplayer w/ AI)


User specified.


Tanglewood Lost is a large 10 to 18 player Unreal Tournament 3 multiplayer warfare level. The level is set in a forest wetland with large twisted trees, the canopy almost blocking out the sky. Once inhabited by a great civilisation all that remains are scattered ruins and architecture built around the trees themselves. The two teams fight for control over the wetland and the Lightning Temple at its heart.

I developed this level to gain experience in building larger gameplay spaces in the Unreal Engine, as well as importing and using some of my own art assets. Many of the level’s internal goals fed into the choice to have multiple fronts on the battlefield, including an unlinked capture point (Node) in the middle of the level. The middle node, or the Lightning Temple, also provides an additional gameplay objective that is always active. The play space is symmetrical, but the environment that surrounds it is asymmetrical. This gives each area visual differences key for player navigation, whilst also providing gameplay that is as balanced as possible for multiplayer matches.

Design Goals

  • Create addictive and compelling multiplayer gameplay.
  • Reward the player for tactical thinking.
  • Foster the social multiplayer experience.
  • Provide wish fulfilment and reward exploration.
  • Immerse the player in the level and create a strong sense of place.

In Brief: Design & Gameplay


Tanglewood Lost pits two teams against each other in a symmetrical play space. Both the red and blue team's bases are inset into the mountains that border the northern-east and south-west edges of the level.

The level design uses branching links to create multiple 'fronts' at the north and south Tank Nodes, which create choke points at these edges of the level. This fosters the need for communication and social interaction in the multiplayer setting for success. This codependency on other players will help create a deep and rewarding experience. Additionally these multiple fronts create different tactical choices regarding which attack route each player takes, empowering the player and increasing the strategic depth of the level. In the centre of the level a large cave holds the Lightning Temple, a node that does not provide any links, however capturing it provides other bonuses. Namely, after a team holds this temple for 60 seconds lightning strikes down on the opposing team's Power Core, damaging it. The Lightning Temple further reinforces multiplayer coordination and adds an additional strategic focal point. At any given time for the player there will be many options on where to be within the level to make a positive impact towards overall victory.

Development Process