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|
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|