Hard Knock Life
Uppdaterad: apr 6
This is my first of future mid-week updates about Song of the Bardbarians. And perhaps some more stuff, we'll see.
Overall, this week has so far been going by so fast! I could be in a discussion with another designer about yet another thing that we hadn't considererd and suddenly three hours have passed. For instance, today was one of those days. It felt like I had done practically nothing even though so much progress had been done.
For now, my focus has been on combat, level design and UX. I finished a mock-up this tuesday for a meeting we were having that day which focused on level design. I had finished an example level in Unity (once more using ProBuilder and ProGrids) which I later discussed with the lead designer, another level designer as well as the producer.
We discussed what kind of general design approach we wanted and eventually went from a linear level with branching paths that lead back to a main path to a more focused linear level design.
The reason behind this choice was that none of us could argue properly why branching paths actually had a positive impact on the player experience. So we did the hard thing and cut the branches off. I think we will have way more time to make the new level even better now that we don't have to consider additional paths for the player to take!
I have also been continuing my work on the GDD a lot more today, since the level design part needed to be drastically updated since the meeting yesterday and even before then as well. For instance, this morning on my way to school I was wondering about level design structure and wondered if we could define the different rooms a bit more.
Before today we had three types of rooms: combat rooms where enemies spawn, calm rooms where enemies are not spawned and finally checkpoint rooms. The areas consisted of little more than this. I suggested to the lead designer that the combat rooms could have three types of difficulty (different numbers and types of enemies). I believed that it would be easier to design an area if I had three types of combat rooms to work with rather than one with a loose definition.
To put it into practice, in the beginning of the game I can now know that I should focus on adding low tier combat rooms (and I know what they consist of). When a greater challenge seems fitting, I already have somewhat of a blueprint for a mid- and high tier combat room. I just hope that it will be as fluent as it sounds in theory.
This conversation about the combat rooms led to further discussion about the other two rooms and I updated them as well based on what we decided upon.
And suddenly it was 5 PM.