Designing a Dungeon, Part 4

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!

The last post ended just as we were about to jump into the game. Teddy had implemented each room-sketch and connected them the way they're supposed to connect, so when we run though the dungeon, we get the 'correct' experience (except for the fact that everything is simple sketches and there are no enemies or things to interact with, of course).

Here we are, running around in the lobby room:

Running around in sketch-land!

Many different things become apparent when we run through the rooms this way. Sometimes I've overestimated (or underestimated!) how much space is needed, sometimes we come up with new layout ideas that are cooler than the old ones. Sometimes an entire design just feels wrong, and has to be scrapped!

With the lobby, there was one major thing I hadn't considered when I made the sketch. In the room you're supposed to change the season a few times times in order to open up new paths. Thing is, when I made the design, I didn't take into consideration that it's probably a good idea to be able to see what change you make (which new path open, and which one closes) when using the season change-orbs.

If we take a look at the original sketch, using the camera mockup to aid us, it becomes clear that you're not gonna be able to see all changes when interacting with certain orbs (the red x shows where the changes will happen):

Camera mockup to the rescue!
To correct this, I shrank and edited the sketch a bit so you'd be able to see everything. Teddy put the new sketch into the game and tried running around the room again:

Version 2

Well, now there's a new problem - the room feels too small and boring! Time to return to the sketching table. After several iterations adjusting both size and layout, we finally came up with a version we were happy with. Here it is in the game:

Finally, it feels alright (if only Naniva could get away from my face).
This is just one example of how we iterate rooms before actually making graphics for them. In order to know how big props and set pieces need to be, we need to know how large the room is gonna be and how much space the prop/set piece should take up within it. Either that or we'd have to guess or randomize sizes, which I'm sure would lead to less desirable rooms overall.

So basically, this is how we spent this day. Fine-tuning and adjusting rooms until they all felt nice. There are still two rooms we haven't decided on yet (we'll save them for later, not quite sure exactly will happen in them yet), but aside from those we're more or less ready to start making actual sprites for the dungeon! Wohoo!

Bonus: Another before and after on a room we changed!
And so, this ends the final part of the 'Designing a dungeon' series. Now you know our approach to the process!
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1 comment:

  1. These posts make for great reads... looking forward to more content!