Today’s post is by our Level designer, Klas, and is a short introduction to how we go about designing levels for Shadow Puppeteer.
Once we know what new gameplay elements we want to introduce to the player in a level, the creative work can start. The first step is often the hardest one, yet it is probably the most important: The idea phase. Members of the team bring their thoughts to the table, discuss them, and sketch out basic concepts. These are often scribbled on paper and contain possible layouts and/or abstract interactions.
When the idea and rough layout is agreed upon, it is taken into the game engine for a 3D sketch.
Level propositions are set up using basic shapes such as boxes. The basic interactions are also implemented. This way we can see what works and what doesn’t without producing a single custom 3d model. In the end this saves us alot of time.
and then passed on to the 3D modelers. A modeler uses the boxed level as a base, and the visual concepts as a guideline for the look and feel of the area and objects.
Once this is done the final 3D models are added to the game, replacing any box or basic shape that was used in the first place. Textures and materials are also added during this time, to ensure a wholesome colour scheme and general look.
After testing the level to see if player objectives are clear and easy to understand, this is the part where we get someone to try and break the level while playing. And they will. In all sorts of ways. Once kinks and bugs both technical and in gameplay/flow are sorted out, our work is done…
…until someone break it again.