||09-16-2011 12:40 AM
Video: The Level Design Process
I was looking back through my files the other day and found an old town that I started for fun but never got around to finishing, but I thought it had promise, so I decided to finish it up and post the design process and finished result. I named this particular town "Gall'Ato," Elven for [The Spring of] Magic Waters. The idea was to have a central spring coming out of a giant Great Tree trunk, flowing into five rivers (haven't worked on the waterfalls yet). The town is on an island with a single bridge connecting it to the mainland.
And then coming from a theatrical lighting background, I've always been fascinated with the editor's lighting, and went totally overboard with this one by making it glow in all different colors using an adjustable lighting effect object.
I'll post screens and explain how I did some of the effects in this city once it's complete, but I uploaded a video so that you could see some of the steps that went into it. It may look funky at first, but it's all part of my personal design process. I knew I wanted the city to be circular and relatively symmetrical, so I started with a circular tent object that I flattened out and made the size of the desired city. I'm horrible at drawing circles, let alone forming them with wall segments, so this gave me a template to work off of. After that, I designed a single circular wall surrounded elevated grass - this was to be the foundation for the Great Trees in which the elven buildings are in. I then pasted six of these and a gate around even intervals of the flattened tent template. Next up, I designed a bigger and taller circle in the middle that I would fill with water for the base of the spring. I then resized wall pieces to make them really long to draw out where the five rivers would be - again, this gave me a symmetrical template for when I went in with the actual design.
And then after that initial work, the video should do a pretty good job showing the steps. I made a custom white stone tower with bricks and a tent roof and then pasted it around the city (and saved it as a template if anyone else would like to use it). Then I edited them individually with vines, banners, and stairs to make them unique. It's 100% custom, but perfectly usable in-game. Another custom object I made was the statue near the gate. Somewhere along the way, this town became enchanted and I just saw it full of wizards so I wanted to make a statue of a wizard staff. It's not polished yet, but I created the shaft with a small great tree, and then used dead oak trees to create the top and filled it in with an assortment of special effects. Next up, I adjusted and elevated a number of small rocks to create a hand grasping the staff, and surrounded it with magical lighting (http://reverieworld.com/departments/...lex/statue.jpg
So that's pretty much if for now - I'll post screens and more info on the editor once the town is finished. But I hope you enjoy this little faux-timelapse video and may it inspire your own creations! :)