This Meet Your Maker Base Showed Me The Importance Of Artistry In Level Design
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Art is a subjective term. Paintings, sculptures, and drawings are where many people’s minds go when they think about it, but art is so broad that it can include pretty much anything, including video games and the user-generated content built using them.
Related: Meet Your Maker is a satisfying and endless loop of murderous maze building and body horror – Review
Meet Your Maker is a brutal game that asks players to design the most lethal bases possible, killing every potential raider before they can take the sweet, sweet Genmat within. The sinister traps are harsh and metallic, with spikes, spears, fire, explosives, and grotesque mutants all on the cards as potential threats. While that never truly goes away, I recently played through a base so beautiful that I actually didn’t want to succeed in stealing my quarry. Instead, I wanted to remain there exploring every nook and cranny, standing in awe of the jaw-dropping level design and artistry of the trap placement for hours.
Until I did this raid, it felt to me like something was missing from Meet Your Maker. Now I know what that was. Art.
Meet Your Maker brings out artistic base building
The game has dozens of decorations to place over blocks. You can craft something completely unique, but many players seem to choose not to. Opting instead for a bleak shell ravaged by time, just like the rest of the planet. If more bases looked and felt as good as this one, it would push Meet Your Maker to a new level with gameplay that could rival any modern first-person shooter. What makes this more impressive is that all these bases are built by users who are rewarded with in-game progression for making the best experiences possible for those engaging with their favorite game.
The base in question is named Kasota, created by Rat1nACage. From the outside, it’s a monolithic structure that looks like a series of pyramids. Something you’d expect to find in a fictional region of Earth where Myan and Egyptian architecture blended at one point in history. Every block is embossed with glorious gold as if to scoff at a raider’s poverty and show off the splendor of this builder. The entrance is the most luxurious, sporting clockwork moving parts that draw the eye as they move in unison, distracting you from the traps that might catch you out as you head inside.
As I entered this base, I was fully prepared to see ugly, rusted metal. On the contrary, that golden shine is spread throughout with barely any traps. I encountered maybe five as I made my way to the Genmat and was even directed to a Forsaken Tomb that netted me some additional resources. This was when it struck me that Rat1nACage built this base to be an enjoyable experience that reverses a raider’s expectations.
The only room that contrasted this golden visage is a chamber filled with a few mutant guards and carefully placed traps. These guards are armored, meaning they soak up your ammo and are hidden around corners, forcing you to trigger the traps around the room. Some even explode after death, adding another layer of paranoia and danger to the experience. Once you’re through, though, it’s back to calm, golden corridors to lull you back into a false sense of security.
The divine pathways that led me to my goal made me nervous because I knew there would likely be many traps triggered once the Genmat was in my hands. Sure enough, new traps appear near the Genmat, so they’ll trigger if you don’t destroy them quickly. This is when the base comes alive, and I’m not ashamed to say that I died multiple times after grabbing this treasured item.
Making my way out of the base was just as fun as it was going in. An exhilarating experience no other base has matched so far in my time with Meet Your Maker. There’s an incredibly hard balance to strike between spamming your base with traps and placing just enough in the right areas so that raiders can’t relax for a second. I could feel the effort expended building this base, akin to that I imagine level designers pour into games like Doom Eternal and Call of Duty campaigns.
I found myself hoping for more traps as I left the base. I wanted to get caught out and die. I desired to restart. Nothing, even bases I know to have been built by developers, has come close to the level of quality shown in this structure. It’s spurred me on to earn more resources so I can unlock more traps and decorations to build something that rivals it.
It’s clear that many builders in Meet Your Maker put a lot of time into their bases, but this is the first one I’ve seen that shows how important art is to your design. It’s not enough to make a lethal maze for every raider; you need to make something beautiful. Each base houses the most precious material in the world, so why wouldn’t they be just as stunning as the essence of life itself?