[project1dev] Re: Re-useable peices used when building a map?

  • From: Chris Riccobono <crysalim@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 16:18:07 -0700

I think we'll have to reuse a lot of models and textures for sure, but
one point I wanted to put out there is that we probably should not do
this at the start of the game.

Hellgate London suffered a lot from repetition in levels very early in
the game, despite how many unique sets and areas they had later on.  I
know a lot of other games do this unintentionally as well, and we
should try to avoid it early on.

It is okay to do it later in the game, because the player enjoys more
of a sense of familiarity as the game progresses - but while they just
start playing, the feeling of "newness" is part of the thrill, and as
soon as they come across something repeated they believe it will be
like that the entire game (even if that's not true!)

To partially alleviate the stress of having to make everything unique
near the start of the game, we can make the first areas shorter.  This
also helps take care of impatient players, and lets us "hook" them
with short and sweet plot and enemy bursts.

Also to be more specific, we should not replicate the same room more
than once in an early area, and static models (like scenery of trees
and rocks, enemies, etc.) should be laid out in different patterns in
each room so as to not evoke a feeling of repetition.

Walls and floors obviously need to repeat though.

I also wanted to note that lighting should be prominent in level
design, because even the same textures can have a whole new look with
just a differently colored/angled light.  Our engine has a great
lightning system, so lets take full advantage of that.

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 10:48 AM, Alan Wolfe <alan.wolfe@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> What I meant by re-useable peices is for instance in this cave level we
> would have a "straight cooridor" cave section, an "elbow" cave section, an
> "open area" cave section etc and just re-used them to build an area.
> That would make it so the artists only had to decorate a few peices instead
> of having to decorate one large level, it would make it so that builders
> wouldn't have to build a lot of temp art for the terrain, and it would mean
> the engine would have to keep less models in memory which results in less
> memory usage and faster rendering times (but so far are rendering times are
> fine).
> After the builders make a map and make it functional with the pre-defined
> peices, the enemies added in, etc, then someone would go through and
> decorate the level with props, and then it would get a lighting pass on top
> of that.
> To me this makes the most sense, but what makes sense to the coder doesnt
> always make sense to the artist or scripter.  I talked to eric and he liked
> the idea but thougth a hybrid for this would be best since sometimes you
> dont want to stick to the strict peices already made, which completely makes
> sense.
> What do you think Kent?  Do you think that would work well for building?

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