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Hey folks! Kayleigh here!
I thought I'd give you lovely people a wee sneak peek at some of the aesthetic work I've been doing for 2.0. I hope you folk like lots of pictures and screenshots pictures, if not you're in for a bumpy ride!
Alright, initially this level was very closed in and compact, this worked as it being one of the initial levels you play through but I felt that the pacing was a smidge off and as such basically expanded the whole thing. I tried to break the level up with a few more manageable sections which more intervals between puzzles, allowing the players to view the environment and brace themselves for the next puzzle. Although as this is one of the initial levels I wanted to keep it fairly simple and not overwhelm the player with lots of platforming sections, especially as this is an aspect that, during playtesting, a lot of people struggled with. The main struggle was finding a balance between platforming and bridged sections so that it wasn't boring.
The other levels aesthetics have gone with a very distinct theme and this level is no different, although for I have opted for a cleaner and simpler overall visual aesthetic. Taking a lot of inspiration from more modern architecture designs. I kept the decorative trim fairly simple with a few key features in the level for added interest. These key features helped give additional interest to sections where there was less puzzles or platforms.
As this is a rather dark level I took this opportunity to play with light wherever I could, in particular using the main level light and level geometry.
Sometimes playing with the geometry just didn't work and areas were consistently stripped back and redone such as the section below. This is one of the reasons this was such a big workload for me as it was important that we were able to finalise on something that felt right with the rest of the game and we wanted to get it right.
On top of this I've also been working towards designing the lights for the game (random spot lights with no apparent source wasn't the greatest look).
The lights went through many iterations till we decided on something that worked well.
The strip light look worked nicely for some aspects of the levels but it ran the risk of looking too clichéd sci-fi so had to be used sparingly if at all. They also didn't quite have the same effect of light as the others did and left rooms still rather dull, which was undesirable.
This was a more accidental modern look that left our level looking more like a hotel hallway than the abstract and mysterious world we're used to! So naturally, these lights were scrapped.
Finally we moved more towards the sunken floor lights. Now these take some tweaking but overall they don't get in the way by cluttering up the level and manage to give out a good amount of light so that you're not lost in a sea of purple gloom.
Although we've settled on these lights for now we will probably be expanding on our array of various light sources, to keep things interesting. Lemmie know what you folk think!
That's me for this weeks folks, I hope you enjoyed my tale of aesthetics and lights. Till next time,
Hi Guys, Graham here.
I've been part of the Space Budgie team now for just under one month and what a crazy month its been! Getting up to speed with a product mid development can be an exhausting task. I must have played through Glitchspace almost a dozen times in my first week alone.
My specialty is in level design, however with almost all of the design for 2.0 nailed down and solidified, small tweaks here and there were all that was needed. Attention has instead been directed towards the aesthetics of the levels; audio, detail, lighting - all the fun parts of level design that you have to resist doing until sufficient testing and iteration has been done.
Whilst detailing the levels, it was suggested that each level could have a “theme” to help create a little variation in the environment (because let's face it; Regardless of how engaging the puzzles are, staring at the same arrangement of blue colored blocks for hours might get a little fatiguing). With this in mind, we've started experimenting with various themes for each of the levels. Numerous play testers had made comments in the past on the Aztec vibe they received from the Collisions level, and through some experimentation, a Gothic theme emerged for Forces. This opens up the opportunity to create narrative set pieces to build around the puzzles that are memorable to the player. Whilst I've been darting back and forth between various levels, (and even prototyping some brand new stuff!) most of my focus has been on the Forces level and one such set piece that has emerged is what I've grown to call “The Courtyard”.
Its built up around the first three puzzles the player encounters in Forces and resembles a manor garden (water feature and all! – sorry I get a little excited over the water feature). Whilst building it up, I found myself subconsciously making up a narrative ; “what would people have done in this section?”, “where would this staircase have led?”, “why is there a nice water feature inside?!” We want to imply a narrative in these environments, to immerse the player into the world and let their imagination run.
That's all for this week, best be getting back to work!
“Glitchspace could become one of the more inventive puzzle games to arrive on the PC in some time.”
“Even with other programming-based puzzlers on the horizon Glitchspace still looks unique, bewildering and promising.”
“As someone with the programming knowledge of a log this is immediately challenging stuff, even if at first you can only make very minor changes. But then, it’s all the more satisfying to make a platform bouncy when it wasn’t before.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
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