Week 1: Getting Started
Week 1 was a basic introduction to the course and getting us familiarized with the tools we'll be using for this course. We are required to use Unity when exporting our blockouts but we may use Maya or Unity's ProBuilder when building our scenes. I decided to use Maya as it is a more standardized industry tool across multiple studios and game engines.
The focus for this week was understanding the mindset of not just a level designer, but more broadly as a game developer.
Boundaries - Setting physical and mental boundaries are one of the biggest rules of game design as they define the limits of what players can/can't do; If boundaries are not clearly communicated to the player, they will feel unclear about what the solutions to a problem are and even the extent of the problems they might face.
Utility/Denial - Essentially, this is every action that a player can utilize the environment for; A box can be used as cover from projectiles, or they can be pushed/pulled to help traverse into different areas.
Language - A simple sentence can define the Possibility Space of a level. A Possibility Space is the variety of possible actions a player performs within the boundaries of a game. A sentence like "The player runs across the barren backyard, climbs over the rusted metal fence, and vehemently runs away into the dried aqueduct" defines the actions the player can do down to the verb, adverbs, and adjectives.
The assignment for this week was to use Henri Matisee's painting of Streets of Arcueil to create a blockout. I had to refamiliarize myself with my Maya workflow so I took a more direct approach when working on the composition. I then took the extra time to flesh out the extra spaces not shown in the painting.