Development Log: Fantasy Town Day 4
Sorry I didn't upload this yesterday, like I should have, but I got busy very quickly with working on game design stuff for Space Scavengers and didn't get a chance to get this done. So Day 4 of this level design project and I still have plenty of steam to keep going. It's interesting, I get excited every time I think about this project because I think of all the neat things I could add, if I had an artist to request additional assets from and a programmer that I could work with to get features into the level.
Houses replace BSP
So, what did I do today, with all this excitement? I put all the houses in the world. Now, I'm sure that doesn't sound very exciting and you're probably thinking it should be done super quickly, especially with the blockout having been done in BSP. In theory? Yes, great, this takes an hour and I'm moving on to something else. But then reality checks in and I've got to make sure that these houses still look right once they are in the world, that nothing looks repetitive, and as I'm adding in this houses the terrain needs to be adjusted again. So, all of these things add up and I haven't even gotten to the fun part about working with these houses (but we will get there). So, going through section by section, I slowly started removing the BSP blocks and replacing them with the house models included in this asset pack. Now, I've only got two different styles of houses to choose from, so as I'm going through I have to figure out how to position and rotate these houses so they don't look dull and repetitive. Thankfully, this asset pack included some ways to help break that up, which is what took up the most time, in reality. So anyways, as I went through the sections and started adding in the house models, I also took time to think about the smaller assets that would be surrounding them, like trees and boxes. All this really serves to do is help me down the road, when I potentially get myself stumped. Dropping in these houses into the world really did only take about an hour or so, but it's the next part which ate away the remainder of my work time.
In the previous section, I mentioned that there were only two house models, but the asset pack included a way to help these houses from all looking the same. This help comes in the form of items known as "variety extras", which can be attached to the houses. For instance, there is a windmill that can be added to some, and full extensions of the house that can be added to others. Since these pieces are small, I can add on multiple extras to one house and make it look different from others of the some type, which is really handy and allows for better customization that I enjoyed. The problem is that lining up all these extras takes time, and over time that really adds up. The end result, however, is much better and keeps the scene looking fresh and exciting.
2nd blockout analyzation
If you've noticed, I only have just added in houses, with the exception of me cheating and adding in a bridge and some tree stumps. This, for me, is still a blockout that I am now analyzing to make sure everything is still how I envision it to be at the end. I took a little bit of time to stare at the world from different angles and imagine the smaller items that I would be adding in next, such as trees, carts, and fences. Staring at the world, I imagined how they would fall into place and how the world might look afterwards. If you notice, there is still no lighting in the world at this point. I'm now only just thinking about what basic lights I can add in next time, to start giving the world some more character. A lot of this stuff is going to come into play in the next development day, so thinking about it early and getting a chance to sleep on it helps.