Duration October 2019 - August 2020
My Role(s) Designer
Platform PC, PS4, Xbox One
Engine Fusion (H13 in-house)
Status Released

Project Description

Mafia Definitive Edition is a recreation of the original Mafia developed with Hangar 13's in-house Engine "Fusion".

My Contribution

At Climax Studios, I assisted Hangar 13 in developing the game as part of the co-development team.

My tasks on this project included:
  • Designed and scripted the Church Shootout in Mission 8
  • Designed and scripted the Final Mission
  • Implementing the "Skip Drive" feature in various missions
  • Bugfixing and polishing for release


Mission 8/9: Church Shootout

I was responsible for designing and scripting the Combat for the Church Shootout in Mission 8.

Besides scripting various enemy encounters I also got to work on a story-relevant enemy that the player has to hunt down. Something like this hadn't been done before in the engine so I researched the tools and tested different methods of managing that particular NPC. Additionally I had to consider different edge cases based on the player behaviour. During this process I got feedback from my leads to ensure the NPC behaved natural and created awesome moments during the encounter.

Of course, I also had to make sure that Gameplay transitioned nicely with the cinematics before and after to give it that AAA polish.

Kill Sam

Fighting Sam in the Art Gallery Rotunda. This was one of the most complicated sections to script.

Mission 21: The Art Gallery

The Lead Mission Designer and Director at Hangar 13 were impressed with my work on the Church and due to the experienced in managing NPCs I got the chance to create the final showdown of the game which features (Spoileralert!) Sam as the main opponent. The brief from the Design Director and Lead Mission Designer was exciting and if some parts of the Design were less defined I used the opportunity to get creative and propose fitting Designs.

To communicate my Design ideas I created a combat proposal laying out the combat moments and player experience on high-level view. I started by using the more defined moments from my Director and lead and looked for sections during which the player could use a break or an increased challenge.

The Mission was a step up from my previous tasks and required to apply all my previously gained knowledge in order to create a cinematic yet interactive experience for the player.


Combat & Level Design with locked layouts

Due to the realistic environments and Climax joining during Production the combat Design was largely constrained by the Available spaces. This meant I had to rely less on the geometry and find ways to craft satisfying combat experiences without manipulating the level (or only manipulating it slightly).

My solution was the following:
  1. 1. Research articles and GDC talks about Combat Design
  2. 2. Identify the level constraints
  3. 3. Create a high-level plan including the macro difficulty in order to receive feedback early
  4. 4. Adjust Difficulty by layering or adding enemies, considering visibility and available cover for the enemies and player, and scripting enemies if necessary to make micro changes to the difficulty.

Handling a custom Engine

Obviously switching Engine comes with the inherent problem of re-learning tools and processes. And due to the engine not being public like Unity or UE4 the documentation and knowledge were more scattered than I was used to. However, each time I asked for help and advice, I learned more about the engine and who to go to for specific issues.

Communication in a Multi-Studio Environment

In addition to working on the project as co-dev, Hangar 13 had 3 internal Studios split across 3 different time zones while this added a challenge at first, the team at Hangar 13 pro-actively integrated us into their team and thanks to regular reviews we were able to adapt swiftly when design changes were needed.