Today I give a peek at how I approach level designs.
Also, someone joined in to help me with the level designs! Stay tuned to see who is helping me out…
No game-play fragments this time. Next blog will probably have one again.
I always start out with drawing stuff on my whiteboards. Level 1 (mansion) is from the ‘original’ Find the Gnome. As is level 4 (village). But I want some levels in between that fit the vibe. And to get more usage out of my models of course. So that is why I came up with a farm level and a log cabin level.
The farm level was the easiest to draw. My parents in law live in the Dutch country side and we visit them often, so I have a lot of memories of scenery during the travel to draw inspiration from.
Next is to get it into the scenes using a few raw shapes. The model of the farm house is a re-use of the one in level 4 (village), so that’s an easy start.
But for this level to really come to life, I do need a few models I don’t have yet. I need a wire fence and something to emphasize the dirt field.
Then I moved in a lot of the more detailed models to get a better feel of the level size and its potential:
I hoped to have this level finished by here. But this sadly far from ready.
- I have to add a lot (more) of interactive elements like hiding places.
- I want to model a new fitting fence door for the wire fence.
- I want cows that walk around as mobile ‘obfuscation’ spots.
- I want to add gnomes that work with ‘obfuscation’ spots instead of ‘real hiding’.
- I have to split the level up in sections that unlock in an interesting pattern.
- And of course the ‘default’ stuff as in: the objectives and the gnome placements.
So yeah, that is me being a perfectionist. I want the levels to be fun to do, to come back to trying out new strategies, or just to enjoy the scenery. And that requires multiple iterations (and always more time than anticipated).
You probably guessed it right: Roan (my son) is helping me out.
He already likes to create custom levels for the games he plays. He is my main tester. And he wants to have more things to test (I basically have to up the pacing lol)
So 1 and 1 is 3 is this instance. Here he is working alongside me:
That was it folks. Thanks for the read and: See you again in 2 weeks!