The second level is shaping up to be mechanically complete. More peer testing sessions of the block-out are being arranged, and are more important than ever, given that a very basic lighting pass has been completed. This pass can play a large part in how coherent the player’s objectives are. This basic compositional pass can make or break the player’s informed navigation of the level, the artistic cohesiveness, and most importantly: its enjoyability.
Approaching The Art Pass.
While the level was designed, it was always done so with art in mind. I started each level with a few mood boards, each with interesting shapes, themes, and spaces. I feel this plays a large part in how the level will be experienced. In each image, I am looking for a combination of how lighting is used, how the shapes could be traversed, and also how the spaces could frame a particular piece of game-play.
With this method, every single space in my level has a significant purpose, be it to contribute to the player’s game-play experience, or to set a mood, but usually both. Instead of creating a purely functional space and putting art in at the end “Because it needs art in it”.
My next Move.
Before too ambitiously advancing on to the art pass stage of the level, I am going to start looking towards the bigger picture visually. Using large amounts of reference and my blueprints for the base of the level, I am slowly building a picture that I feel will compliment the world.
I want every corner of the map to have its own identity, whilst still remaining consistent with the theme, as to not stray too far from the original idea, or worse; be ill put together, and be a messy conglomeration of too many different ideas.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself and dive into set dressing too quickly, as I want to make sure the level is properly tested and adjusted to feedback. Otherwise the level will be at conflict with itself, while art and game-play fight for dominance when both elements need to come together in harmony to achieve the game’s goal.