In our previous post, we talked about the greyboxing of area x for Rogue Reaper: Awakening. With this post we’ll continue walking through the process that comes afterwards: how are we going to dress up this area?

We started this question off with another question: how can we make the borders of the area interesting? What is going to block the area off to create this square design and determine where the player can walk?

A quick way to check if something is interesting, or not, is making thumbnails and blockouts. They’re simple ways of visualising your thoughts and can therefore be done quickly, while still getting the rough idea across of how something is going to look.
Through this way of internal testing we tried several different things. Think about;
having a river at the edge, making you unable to cross it. Or having a bunch of trees clumped together or putting a bunch of houses down, things like that.
It’s important to think of as many different things during this process so you can really test the waters in terms of having an interesting picture of the area.

After a number of iterations we ended up picking the houses, as you can see in the image. Everyone quickly agreed that this was the best way of achieving our goal of making the edges of the area interesting. This made us go into the next step which was: the ground.

To make the area as interesting as possible we had to think of everything. The ground being a part of everything. We thought of ways to make it look less “flat”. Think about: trenches, bridges or blockades. We also tried to see if we could make the big, still to be determined, object in the middle of the area work together with the ground -. For example that a trench was somehow connected to the object, or that a piece of the object had fallen down and created a blockade.
The object in the middle is (of course) the centerpiece of the area and will therefore attract a lot of attention. So making that interesting is a very high priority as well.

For the process of making this aforementioned centerpiece, we used the same method: thumbnailing and blockouts. Only for this one we had to keep in mind how everything would eventually have to work together -. Think of a watermill needing water to work. We needed to think of unique things that we could add to the center of the area to really catch the players eye and to differentiate it from the rest of the area, making it stand out even more.

Having done the 2D visualisation of the area makes us able to continue on the next fun step of the process: the 3D visualisation. But that’s for next week’s post.