Designing a Dungeon, Part 2

Quick Warning: These posts will feature details on what the Temple of Seasons could (and probably will) look like. If you want to experience the dungeon without knowing the layout beforehand, you should probably only read this post after it has been implemented and you've actually had a chance to play it!

First version of the final design!
Yesterday we ended up with a very basic sketch of what we wanted the dungeon to look like. We had a couple of rooms decided, and some places where we knew we needed some basic battle rooms, puzzle rooms or a combination of rooms where you have to use your season change skill.

Today we went on to decide what we wanted in those undecided rooms. We brainstormed puzzles and ways to use the season change skill that would be challenging and interesting for the player.

Now, we didn't come up with all of this in one day. Some of the puzzles and challenges are stuff we came up with weeks or even months ago - ideas that came to us when we were thinking about something else, but didn't quite fit what we were working on then.

(On that note, I encourage anyone who works with game design, writing or any other creative job to save your ideas! Even if the idea or design doesn't work with what you currently have, it might be a perfect fit for a later project - so write it down somewhere and save it for later!)

Puzzle ideas in the making.
After making some minor changes to the initial design so it would better fit our puzzle and challenge ideas, we finally settled for a room-by-room sketch that we'd like to work with.

Next step: bring the sketch into the computer and clean it up!
The line art version.

At this point, I don't take proportions into consideration - all I want is to be able to see the rooms and how they connect clearly. Once we're making the actual rooms for the game, we have to test and tweak each and every one of them individually so we know they're the right size and don't feel weird, so that's for a later stage. For now, it's all about the line art.

Once I have it in place, I go over each room again and put out all the height differences, chests, obstacles and any other stuff we may have decided on when we made the more detailed sketches. Again, this is just to create a very basic map of which room goes where, and how to get from one room to another - the details and proportions are saved for later.

This is what we have in the end:

Temple of Seasons interior design (so far!)
Tomorrow it's time to start looking at each individual room, sketch decorations, and prepare to give it all a test run!
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  1. Always appreciate the time and effort that goes into clever dungeon design. Especially when I was playing La Mulana... that game is basically one MASSIVE dungeon.

    Anyways, looking forward to when the Winterland and its dungeons are all finally complete! Hopefully Sept... early Oct. >8D