Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Drawn to Life: The Next Chaper design work

The images are side views of some of the level collision I built for Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter (Wii).  The different block colors are collision with different surface properties, such as a surface the character will slide on.

To speed up the level layout process we built the levels out of a collection of prefab collision block shapes.  This helped us keep the layouts clean and gameplay within the player metrics.  This was also a necessary process based on the pipeline our engine used for importing geometry for collision.

A rough paper map design for the Raposa village.  In the original DS game, the village was the only top-down viewed section of the game.  We decided to make it side-scrolling to match the rest of the game and fit within our functionality of our camera and movement system.

Raposa Village Model By Eric Kozlowsky
This design for the village was not used in the final game although it was built.  The final game used a flatter more linear design.  I still like the "X" shape of this design since it helps keep back tracking to a minimum and is also more fun for a player to traverse vertical elements.

Before building our levels we would make vignette drawings to figure out small sections of interesting gameplay.  We would create about 80 drawings per world.  Once we had a large collection of vignettes, we would divide them between the levels, making sure that we were introducing new level mechanics gradually, as well as doing our best to ramp difficulty.  With a tight deadline, this proved to be a good system for insuring the levels had a bit of planning and pure design time before jumping into implementing them directly into the game.  The design team would have ideally had 3 more months to polish the level gameplay and work out difficulty spikes etc...

If you finish the game you can see characters for everyone on the development team, this one is me

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