Thursday, July 29, 2010

Open World Layouts and Design

The images below are from prepro planning for Skate 3. The
First three are high level world maps that I presented to producers and game designers. Everyone has different pictures in their heads for what their game world could be like and sometimes is great just putting down different layouts.  I also took into account having parts of the map set aside for DLC or downloadable content.  This part is similar to urban planning, to make a city feel real the geography needs to tell a story, e.g if it is a ocean town vs a mining town. 

The image below goes now into the maps above and is a layout of a individual district within the game world. With these gameplay flow through the district is key as well as spreading out contests or challenges. I brainstorm a lot with google earth and collage pics together this sketch is the outcome of that. And usually think of natural terrain that the city grew around first. In this case the river and mountains were there first then the city grew around the university and freeways.
The next two images go farther into the map, showing large lots or areas within a district these are now able to show actual gameplay and detailed game design. I usually bring these to area kickoff meetings. It is great to come to a meeting with ideas going, it can get people pumped up and I keep these loose so that they are not looked at as a final but as part of the brainstorming.