How to plan Levels Designs and Games environments in 11 steps.
The website shows the key processes used within a level and environment design.
There are two ways to come up with ideas “Spontaneous” and “Deliberate”, the difference between the two is that Spontaneous is coming up with level design suddenly, whereas Deliberate is to research multiple ideas before choosing a game environment on what you may be interested in.
Ideas are constant and can usually fit in the category of “Spontaneous” and “Deliberate”, having a sketchbook or a notepad is handy when you randomly think of ideas whilst you are away from your workstation.To generate different ideas you can look at real-world environments.
Where is the game location going to be set? industrial or an abandoned town?Research on the location of your game to gain a better understanding and knowledge of your chosen surrounding. The picture you are shown is set in an industrial estate based within the city, when it comes to reflecting on this image I can see abandoned cars, stained walls and rusty metal support beams were the rain is beginning to corrode the metal over a period of time. There is a total of 3 sets that I have listed below.
The environment is a physical location that your game is based upon, To determine or break down an environment, you can use the Deliberate method to gain more knowledge of different environments, if you use the photo-bash method you can bring two physical environments to make one unique environment.
Location, where is your games/ Environment based?Depending on your research, you will have a rough idea of what type of environment you want to make. for example, If you were to make an Industrial environment you Location will be set in a factory or an industrialist estate.
The theme is what brings your environment together.When you are talking about the theme you are asking yourself “what time period set is my environment?” Or what style would I choose?
Step 3 -Project purpose
When creating an environment there is a variety of things you may want to take into consideration. What is your main motivation to help you pursue completing this project?
- Aim to get a job at a Pacific studio
- To create an online portfolio for freelance work or self-pleasure
Set 4- Features
Having a focal point within your environment will give you something to work on, it will also add a unique look to your environment making it different. Every game released has a set of features to help it sell that game to you, in your project you will want to do the same thing.
Step 5 -Referencing
You cannot create a realistic environment without using reference images. To be accurate with your environment, a study by using images or blog post or even visit your local museum depending on your setting. When you have your research, you can start to sketches multiple environment/ props by using the Pareidolia method.
Having Narrative in an environment is a key element that will bring your project together. without narrative, your environment would have no place of being realistic. What is the player doing in this environment? there are multiple ways you can interpret Narrative in your environment.
Step 7- objective
What is the objective of your environment? what goal would you like to achieve?
Implementing an Easter egg can be a vital role in your environment, The element gives the player a sense of adventure and the ability to take part in a fully immersive world. the best way to come up with different roles and ideas is to come up with a mind-map, coming up with a mind map will open new doors to different ideas.
Step 8- focal points
Focal point serves a visual purpose of helping your environment stand out, this gives the player a better chance remembering your environment.Your main focal point doesn’t need to be large, it can be very small, a small object in your environment that is your main focal point add sound or change the lighting around that specific area to draw the players attention.
Step 9-Top-down layout
Top down layout is a schematic drawing or design that gives a first insight on what your environment will look like. Top down layout starts with a few drafts drawn with pen or pencil that are roughly sketched to visualize routes and different locations on your map.
Layouts can show detail or early planning of flow, pacing, cover, a player starts, AI position, important locations, and focal points.
Step 10- Visual Development
when it comes to games design you have to define visual art style that you want your game to be themed upon. if you are working on a game that has just entered the development stage you will be guided by the concepts your team has created, But if you’re adding an extra level to your project, you will already have a style as a reference. The development stage does include concept art, if your art skills are a bit rusty, you can research already created concept art to help you define a visual style.
Step 11-Making Lists
The final step is creating a working list.
the list will help you as a guide to help you organize a series of task throughout your project. when coming up with a new idea it is recommended your wright it down and not keep it in your head. The list will commonly be broken down in categories, Assets list, production list, project management and concept art.The list can also include a set timetable on what projects you will be working on each day.