Saturday, November 28, 2009

Area design part 2

Just wanted to show you some shots from another area I've been working on for Wyrin's White Plue M0untain-module. Forests are really difficult to create in my opinion. I you take a look at a real forest there's tons of bio-mass everywhere and you can often only see a couple of meters ahead. This doesn't really work when playing because it makes it impossible to navigate and pours syrup all over your graphics card's processors. And that was what made up the rules for this area. It should feel as a huge forest valley with high hills around. Lots of leafy trees so it takes a while to search through for goodies and encounters but still be somewhat easy to navigate. So I made it a bit sparse and had to use fog and a short far plane to keep the performance acceptable. That works fine when running around focused on other stuff but when looking at the screen shots it seems a bit flat because of the details fading out about 20 meters away from the PC. I also had a slight walkmesh challenge with the stairs and platforms around the abandoned tree houses, but they were very fun to make and turned out pretty well I think.

When going through taking those shots today I realized that I should ask Wyrin to let me go over this area again when he has populated it with the interesting stuff. I saw lots of small issues with hovering trees and grass. It really needs more grass and boulder piles too. Some strange textures and coloring that made my skin itch. Then it should be a really okay experience when it comes to looks and feel.

Thanks for reading


Starwars said...

I think it looks really nice from the screenshots. Can't wait to play this module.

I think using fog is pretty acceptable and in a really strange way it can enhance the feeling of a forest for some reason. Perhaps it really is the videogame medium of that "density" of a real-life forest. Sometimes abstractions are needed I suppose, not everything can be true to life.

Great work!

Wyrin said...

i loved the creative use of standard placeables to create the tree houses in this.

(i'd spotted a couple of floating trees and adjusted when placing triggers and encounters down. But happy to get your input once I'm testing this out more thoroughly. No qualms about the texturing tho!)

Josh said...

I think what this area really needs is a more attractive DayNightSetting. I think it really detracts from the work you put it into the area.

Amraphael said...

Yes that's correct and I'll look in to it. Too bad that the DayNightSettings don't have a visual editor and a copy/paste/clone function

Jclef said...

Wow man - neat idea with the stone pile - well done too. And great idea with the stairs leading up to the building - Looks really good, bud!

From playing ZORK, I've noticed you have a real eye for what looks natural. It's especially apparent in the forests. Those were definitely inspiring areas to walk through - a good thing too, because my stuff always ended up strewn about! :P

E.C.Patterson said...

Very nice job on that forest. Can't wait to climb the stairs to those tree houses.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

These are gorgeous! And the platforms are amazing!

Amraphael, you simply do some of the finest areas I have ever seen that easily compare to the professionals.

You have a great skill in area design.