Thursday, 10 January 2013

XB3001: GAMES PROPOSAL #12: Professional Level Design Intro

So begins the third assignment for XB3001, Professional Level Design. As the name suggests, this task will revolve around creating a level based around our overall theme. Hopefully, I'll remember to update my blog more often with this one. Then again, given my current track record...

At the beginning of the lecture, Ben informed us that we would be handing in the following:-
  • 3-5 min Game Demo built in Unreal Development Kit
  • A clear Level Design Document, detailing the preproduction of the level
  • Any other source files
Fortunately, we won't be marked on the art and visual design for this assignment, so we'll probably all be using assets from within UDK. We also aren't required to use any UScript programming, which is a relief, since programming is NOT a strong suit of mine...

As usual, I've begun by creating a mind map of different ideas of ways of exploring morality through level design. You can see the result below:- 

At the moment, this is all I've got so far; I need to do some more research before I take this any further and I know that next week's lecture involves a lot of things we need to know going forward.
With that being said, I am currently interested in the idea of have the level composed on branching paths, i.e. having the player choose from multiple paths and having their experience change accordingly. A good example of this can be seen in the less-than-average Sonic spin-off Shadow the Hedgehog, where players could choose which missions they undertook and the game would take them to different levels as a result (granted in this case, this worked more as a level-to-level type of progression rather than as part of a single environment)

 In any case, I'll likely be spending the next couple of weeks learning how to use UDK (as of yet, my knowledge of the software is limited at best). Ben's already suggested World of Level Design as a good source for tutorials, so I'll probably rely on that. I'm also told that Unreal Developer Network and 3dBuzz are useful, and I already possess a 10-part tutorial to the basic s of the program.

That just about covers the first lecture for this assignment. Like I said, I'll try and update more this time around, but given my track record, that may end up being a hollow promise. Let's hope it isn't...

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