09 November, 2010

Little City Mega Update: Part 2, 2D map

The 2D map has undergone some changes and additions:
  • Greyboxing revealed spacing issues with the skyrails, which had to be moved and is now reflected in the map.
  • Based on feedback from potential artist team members, more environmental information has been added. Notably: the crash vector of the pod that brings the player here; traffic flow directions (so parked/crashed cars point the right way in concept art and in the level; the line indicating critical path has better coloring and is added to the map legend; news kiosk locations are added.
  • While greyboxing, I realized that a player might miss the police IFF completely and proceed through this intersection, figuring that they have to make a break for it (see this previous post about why stepping off the sidewalk is a bad idea.) Doing so would lead to being shot at and a locked door. For explorer-type players this probably won’t happen, but others will be frustrated by not knowing how to succeed at their current task.

    (Unclear path – Click image to enlarge)

    This can be fixed a number of ways: 1. move the IFF, 2. move the critical path, 3. provide better environmental cues indicating where to go. Number 1 is out, because I want explorer-type players to feel accomplished in discovering the police IFF and moving it closer might compromise that. Number 3 is out, because a primary goal of this project is to design a solid level without assuming an artist will be involved.

    So, Number 2 it is: I changed the critical path to go through a series of locked doors at the ground floor of the center building while fully blocking off the intersection (which is gated by an old car crash.)

    (Clear path – Click image to enlarge)

    The critical path is now more linear without changing the exploration difficulty, and as an added bonus the knowledge that the police IFF will open locked doors is reinforced.

With no further ado, here’s the latest map version. Enjoy!

(Updated map – Click image to enlarge)

The third and final Mega Update post will have video of the greyboxed level!

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