The battle of starcourt

A fan level based on the climax of Stranger Things Season 3


Starcourt Top Down

starcourt Run Through

Design Objectives

  1. Translate a film climax into a video game boss fight.
  2. Incorporate management mechanics into an exhilarating boss fight.
  3. Create a system of triggers to lure the boss to certain areas.
  4. Create a system of flanking routes to sneak to other switches.
  5. Create multidimensional play through verticality.
  6. Design a large play space that still feels traversable given the 3rd person movement mechanics.

Mission Overview

Dustin, Steve, and Robin have just emerged from the underground Soviet base beneath Starcourt Mall to find the rest of their friends cornered by the Mind Flayer. Using lights, noises, and other distractions, the trio distracts the Mind Flayer so their friends can escape.


The Battle for Starcourt Mall mixes stealth combat and puzzles. Using a system of lights, control panels, and other switches, the player must distract the Mind Flayer in order to save their friends.

The level begins as the player steps out of the mall’s elevator door into the main courtyard. On the second floor, the Mind Flayer is slowly searching different stores for the rest of the Stranger Things crew. The Mind Flayer is sniffing around the Gap looking for Mike El, and Max. Nancy, Jonathan, and Will are hiding near the Scoops Ahoy. Lucas is alone on the second floor, clean out of fireworks.

Gameplay Overview

The Battle for Starcourt Mall is a sneak mission at its core. The player must quietly and secretly move from area to area in order to distract the Mind Flayer. Different switches and operators exist at different points in the map and the player must explore the environment to find these switches. Different switches will operate different things. One switch may turn lights on and off while the other will turn on sounds or animatronics. The player needs to use the clues around them to determine the different types of switches.

The player will focus on rescuing one group at a time until there are no more groups in danger. The challenge of the level is determining the order in which the groups should escape as well as how daring the player should be. Total gameplay should be around ten minutes.

©2020 Bruce Evans

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