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". I joined the project as a Game Designer through co-development at Climax Studios.

On the project I worked on various parts of the game but my personal highlights were designing and scripting the combat of the Church Shootout in Mission 8 and most of the Final Mission.


Mission 8/9: Church Shootout

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

Besides scripting normal various enemies 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 on the project so I had to research the tools of the engine and test different methods of managing that particular NPC while making him look as natural as possible. Of course, I also had to make sure that Gameplay transitioned nicely with the cinematics before and after.

Kill Sam

Fighting Sam in the Art Gallery Rotunda. This was one of the complicatest 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 (Spoiler!) 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.


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 Enigne 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 was more scattered than I was used to. However, with 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.