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Next stop: Malmö Central station

This is a 3rd person shooter experience in a post-apocalyptic setting, where you need to sneak through Malmö Central station which has been overtaken by bandits and zombies, and get out alive.


Your supplies are almost empty and the city is crawling with infected and bandits. You just got to get to the other side of the station, and you could leave this place. You know it's occupied by bandits, but it's the only way you can get away. You'll have to sneak your way through, because you're not strong enough to take them all at once. 

  • Blockout a 1:1 replica of Malmö Central station to refined blockout stage

  • Create a stealth driven experience, with opportunity for combat if player chooses to.

  • Multiple paths towards end goal.

  • Create a clean and readable blockout.

  • Individual portfolio project

  • 7 weeks half-time

  • Created using Unreal Engine 5

  • Template used: "IWALS v2.5.2 UE5" by Jakub Wos.

  • All materials, meshes and functionality are from the template.

Planing, collecting references and setting up the level flow.

I started with setting up a PureRef where I collected reference pictures, notes and my general thoughts of what I wanted to create with this piece. Since I was creating an already existing place, I also went to the station and took countless of pictures, to use as references.

Secondly, I set up a project list for myself to make sure I was keeping to schedule through out the whole project.

For this project, I decided that I was going to build a replica of a place in the city I grew up in. I chose Malmö Central station, since a lot of people would recognize it, and it felt like an interesting place to design combat scenarios around. So I started by taking a screenshot from Google Earth to use as my reference. I also used the measuring tool Google Earth provides to get the right measurements. I also found a few blueprints of the station online which I used quite a lot. 

Overview of the ground level and the underground level

Building the level
Building process from blockout to final


Refined Blockout

My goal was to create a 1:1 replica of the whole station and taking it to a refined blockout stage. Making sure that it was clean, readable and recognizable. Even if I couldn't change the general layout of the area, I could (and did) iterate a lot on the player path and the combat spaces.

Level Showcase
Pacing and implementation of 3-act structure
Level Pacing
3-act structure

Since this is a linear experience, I wanted to follow a 3-act structure for this piece, to keep the pacing of the level balanced. The piece being about stealth and combat, the act structure focuses on the difficulty of traversing through the area, the number of guards, loot and how easy/hard it is to hide/take cover. Here the player gets a lot of full-covers to use for stealth and potential combat.

1st act

The first act starts off very slow. It's there to teach the player all the elements that exist in the level. You encounter infected, you find ammunition and you have to sneak past two guards patrolling. The whole first act takes place outside. I'm also trying to give the player a hard reveal of the train station by starting in a street behind a corner and then walking forward to the area opening up and you see the whole station. 

This is the first view of the area and you can see the road towards the station.

You find ammunition right away, and short there after, you encounter the first infected. 

After getting past infected and the first guards just by the entrance, you finish the first act and the second act can begin.

2nd act

This map shows enemy movement patterns

This map shows potential player paths

The second act start when you enter the station. I give the player a lot different of covers to start with, trying to avoid "the door problem", and make sure they feel safe enough to enter. You can already see three diferent paths to take right away as you enter, but they all pose different problems/opportunities. I want to ecourage the player to take the stealthy approach, but still give them the option to run and gun if they want. The coloured lines are potential player paths. The blue and purple are the best for stealthy paths, whilst green and orange are more assult paths.


The difficulty ramps up from act 1 to act 2. This is to keep the player alert and make it harder for them to just blindly run through everything. I want the player to plan ahead and be aware of their surroundings before they proceed. I also give the player many opportunites to run and hide if the bandits would notice you, making sure that it doesn't feel hopeless if discovored.  

Here we are hiding from alerted bandits in the 2nd act area.

An example of a stealthy approach after the blue player path.

An example of a stealthy approach after the purple player path.

3rd act

This map shows enemy movement patterns

This map shows potential player paths

This is the very end part in the tunnel system underground after entering the elevator.

In the third act the player starts getting close to the end, which is getting down the elevator and escaping through the underground train track. Here it's quite difficult to reach the goal without being seen at least once. This is an intentional design choice, since I want the player to use what they've learnt before about finding cover and hiding after being seen.


 There are more enemies, less covers and if you take the purple route, (which is the safest route) you also encounter infected which can also trigger the bandits to go in alert mode if they see them. In this act, the player has less time to plan and less covers to hide behind on a smaller space.

The end of the glass corridor where the elevator is, that's where the narrative curve peaks in this experience. Once you get in the elevator, there are just a few infected at the bottom you need to get past, but they are very easy to defeat. Bringing the tension down, right before the level ends. 

Here we are hiding from alerted bandits in the 2nd act area.

An example of a stealthy approach after the blue player path.

An example of a stealthy approach after the purple player path.

Designing the combat areas with stealth elements
Design intentions
Inside example

Here you can see one of the areas in the beginning of act 3. Blue areas are designed for taking cover or hiding and the red areas you are in plain sight. I tried to create cover islands for the player to be able and use effectively for combat or stealth, depending on the situation. 

Outside example

Most of the gameplay takes place inside, but I did have dedicated combat areas outside as well. These we designed with the intention for easier combat and harder stealth. Big space to lure enemies out in the open and they have to run quite far to reach the player. On the other hand, it becomes harder for the player to stealth through this area for the same reason, it's a big open area and you are spotted very easily trying to cross over. 

What I took with me from working on this piece

Now that this piece is completed, let me share some of my closing thoughts and reflections that I took with me.


My biggest mistake by far with this piece was that I grossly underestimated the size of the station and the time it would take to get all the measurements right. From the start, I had plans of letting the player be able to roam way more freely around the station in more areas, but I quickly realised that I had to cut that down by a lot. For the future, if I'm making a place that actually exists, I'll be more careful with the size of the area and how accurate I actually want it to be.

I also ended up wasting a lot of time on getting the measurements exactly right for places the player would never see. From that I'm taking with me that it's okay to use "smoke and mirrors", as long as it feels right for the player. 

Something I learnt from making this piece (which wasn't necessarily a problem, just not expected) was how hard it is to design a fun and interesting combat space which also works for stealth in corridors. Most of the spaces inside are long and quite narrow, which made it difficult to make it stealth friendly, especially in the glass corridor. It was definitely a challenge that I learnt a lot from. 

Something I'm very proud of with this piece is that I feel that I kind of nailed building the station the way I wanted it to. Correct measurements and recognisable.

I think I managed making a readable blockout which is easy to understand when looking at it. 

These are my closing thoughts! I hope you found something interesting to take with you.

Below are a few pictures from my piece in its finished state, and if you scroll all the way down, you'll find a sneak peak into my personal inspiration and motivation throughout the making of this piece!

Classics and bangers that I listened to frequently during the building of this piece,
to keep the design juices flowing.
Source of motivation and inspiration

The Last of Us Original Soundtrack (full album)

Sonic Adventure 2 Original Soundtrack (2001)

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