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LonelyBond #48 - Let's Share The Hurdles In Designing A School

Hello everyone! I hope you've had a fantastic week (:

Last week I've promised to make some progress - and some progress has been made indeed!

Other than dedicating some hours a day to the never-ending task of following up on GDC and PAX, I've put on my level designer's hat and set sail to design the level design of the school!

This is an exciting challenge to tackle, since the school will serve as an open world where you will have to go back and forth through your environment A LOT.

And all of it (well... most of it) is open from the get go.

That means we have all sorts of design goals:

  • Everything needs to be identifiable and memorable (that way the player has a clear image of where everything is)

  • Getting from any in the school to any other place in the school needs to be relatively fast (as to not annoy the player with walking back and forth through long hallways)

  • Preferably, creating it in a way that allows me to lock certain parts from the player when it is necessary

That is not a small task, but I've done my best in creating some solutions.

The first thing I thought about is "What and how many places does the school need", and organized them in a list. That least included stuff like classes, clubs and all sort of facilities.

I've marked what needs other rooms/facilities next to it, and then sorted out where everything goes in 2 dimensional drawings on papers.

You can see the main drawing in the first picture, indicating where the 'general areas are', but what is THIS picture you might ask...

Well, this is a single floor of the school.

Usually when designing a floor in a 2D platformer, you go with a long hallway that connects to other rooms / other long hallways, but since long hallways means long walks - especially from one side to the other, I thought about connecting the two ends of the hallway together will decrease that walk time significantly.

So I'm sketching the world as if it was in 3D, but I'm giving you a 2D view.

Another way of looking at it is just a 2D hallway that when you walk to the end of it you get to the start of it. And since it's waaaay easier to wrap your head around, I might never tell the player that I'm designing the school in this way, and just let them walk around like so.

This summarizes the technical part of what I did with the game this week.

I hoped to achieve more honestly, but.... Remember that I told you my PC broke down?

Well, I didn't get to fixing it and just worked on my laptop, until yesterday where it decided to die on me.

So I've spent an entire day going back and forth to try and fix the both of them. Right now the laptop is still not working, but I got my normal workstation back on it's feet.

Also, unity is not so kind to me lately, crashing a whole lot while I try to just open the project. I might need to spend some time looking into that as well since I think I spend way too much time just staring at unity while it decides to freeze on me.

Either way - It's been a long week, but hopefully I'll achieve more in the following one :P

Thank you for reading for this long, and I'll see you all in the next one (:

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