Broken Steps is an exploration of tiered play spaces on a single island. Drawing from my experience in multiplayer shooter environments I focused on providing a high degree of mobility both on and around the island providing several routes of access, including players using ship cannons to gain access to higher parts of the island from their ships.
This approach helps create more in depth island engagements against both players and hostile AI without impacting on the core game mechanics. Care was taken to focus on and include callout locations and large areas in which chests might be buried.
The rough form of the island was informed by real world geographic features and erosion patterns. I used this to help inform the placement of flow elements such as bridges and platforms that aid in movement; this also helps form a narrative around the island.