The Warrens

Description:

The Warrens have existed since long before mankind. The evil presence of the deity has created unnaturally large caverns, even though they still appear to be naturally formed. What little light there is comes from the surface far above, streaming in through holes in the ceiling of the caverns and as reflected bounce-light. Bioluminescent fungi provide low lighting in certain areas. An underground river and lake create barriers that must be passed by the player as well as dodging the attacks of the stalking Evolved Cultists. The Evolved Cultists were once normal cultists who have had their heads removed and replaced by insectoid controllers. Their new bestial nature allows them to scale the many floor-to-ceiling pillars of stone in The Warrens and ambush the player.

Gameplay:

In this area the player must often utilize the lighter in order to see and it become a careful balancing act between using the lighter to navigate through some areas and dousing it to avoid the unwanted attention of the Evolved Cultists.

Setup:

After finding the passageway down from the church, the player enters into The Warrens. The real action starts after the player has a slippery fall into the massive cavern with the deep precipe where Evolved Cultists stalk the player.

The Warrens Top-Down

 

The player starts off on the bottom floor of the church and enters into a torture chamber. There is a cultist-created stairwell leading into an ancient oubliette that has been expanded into a passage to The Warrens.

The next area is where cultists sleep and perform rituals. As the player sneaks past the main ritual hall, the cultists notice and chase the player down the Rocky Slide.

A Cutscene starts where the player nearly slides off the edge of the Deep Precipice. As the character's eyes adjust to the darkness, he notices what appears to be a pile of pale stone. The stones move, revealing it is actually a pale cultist with a bug head, it turns 180 degrees, snarls, and jumps into the darkness.

The player continues along the narrow pass along the precipe until a fast running river blocks the path. Heading up a side passage leads to the source of the river. The player can then shove several large rocks in the river's path to slow down the river to a safer speed. The rocks also allow the player to cross back to the area where the river originally blocked.

The player continues to descend into a series of dark caverns lit by bioluminescent fungi. Evolved Cultists stalk this area and the player must either fight or avoid them.

Eventually the player reaches the Pillar Cavern. In a side passage are a bunch of old construction supplies that have fallen down from the surface. There are boards that can be placed across the tops of the pillars to reach the boss cavern's entrance across the way. If any board is misplaced and falls, the player can walk down the side passage to reclaim them.

The boss cavern itself is incomplete, as the type of boss creature has yet to be decided on.

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The Warrens Center Revision

 

I created several alternate encounter areas for the central portion of the map with the bioluminescent fungi.

"Runaround" is primarily a stealth approach. The player can use the varying elevation of the cavern and the many rocks and pillars to hide from swarms of bug-like creatures patrolling the air.

"Detour" is a standard fight or flee option. The creatures push the player towards a bottomless drop with a bridge - however the bridge collapses forcing the player to find the alternate route across a small lake with naturally formed rock tables to walk on.

"Head On" is a combat oriented revision and was chosen as the final design. Evolved Cultists scale down from the many floor-to-ceiling pillars in the room, forcing the player to either fight them or run. The player must eventually hop across an underground lake using naturally formed tables while avoiding pursuing swarms of insects coming from the many hives in the area.