University Projects: Escape Environmental Design

Hey everybody!

This week I’ve been working on the environmental design for a game called Escape. This means that I’ve been working on created game spaces, where the character is supposed to interact with the dangers and objectives of our game.

We are in need of these rooms for our level editor to quickly be able to create our levels, these levels are supposed to be creating the difficulty of the game and as the player progresses the room design need to become more advanced.

So what are important when working on our level design, the first thing I’ve been thinking about is what our levels are supposed to symbolize. In this case our levels represent office areas where people work from day to day. Also the areas are used by different kind of people, secretaries, bosses, paper pushers. So the offices differentiate in both how many that work in them and their lay out. A boss’s office might have sofas and fancy carpets, while a standard worker might work in a room with 7 other people.

Office1  A boss’s office, With more luxary than the regular workers office. very open to let the player see trhough it easily

Office3 A standard office designed for later parts of the game, with obsuring bookshelves and more furniture.

So after I had abstracted what they were to symbolize I started working with how the rooms would flow. What would a room mean to the player, so I started by creating rooms that were easy to pass through, with almost no line of sight blockers. But as the player progresses he/she will encounter room with high bookshelves and obscuring objects. That will limit his or her line of sight, creating an even bigger challenge.

The reason I’ve been working on these are so that we can quickly create a level, as this streamlines our workflow and lets us as a group create interesting levels quicker than without them. Also every room can be modified easily, to allow for total customization if necessary.

I’ve been working in Photoshop to create these rooms, with props created by another person in our team, called Henrik Forsman in my team, I’ve also been researching a little bit by reading either New Riders Fundamentals of Game Design, 2nd Edition by Ernest Adams or scrambling around on the internet.

So to sum it up, I’ve been working on several different room drafts, each having a differentiating amount of furniture and line of sight blockers, these rooms are supposed to be used for designing the levels of our game, With Intent (for now).

So have a good one from a Van and a Game Designer!

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2 thoughts on “University Projects: Escape Environmental Design

  1. Hello Andreas Rodin.
    Great work on the work with Environmental Design, one thing I didn’t quite catch if you only designed the objects (furniture) in the levels or are you designing where they are going to be placed? I’m going to assume you’ve been doing both.
    I like and agree with your toughts about symbolizing who the room is belongs to, luxury for the bosses and mediocrity for the minions. An Idea would be to make even more differences for the different offices. I would love to see a mini-golf carpet in the bosses offices, making the boss even more separate from the rest of the crowd. Another idea is to put in Room Dividers within the rooms to give more line of sight blockers. If you are using collectibles in the game or different stuff to pick up you could add a private toilet into the boss office, if you’re looking for a way to create a feeling of really different areas of the offices. With the different types of props it creates a difference between the two.
    How are the maps implemented into the final game later, is the picture you’re making only simple mockups or are they implemented into the game another way?
    Just some small thoughts , I like what you’ve been doing and keep up with it.
    Over and Out.
    Adam

    • I’m basically finalizing the layout for different rooms, We are doing quick furniture models when needed and then I Place it inside the rooms. Most of these will be used inside the game, but will have some small changes to them. These rooms are then given to the level editor and the person working with it.The person adds objects of weight (such as doors and walls) When done we modify the picture, removing door pictures and key pictures 🙂

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