Environment Design – Spaces have Character

Hello and Happy Monday!

I’m Mary, and I’ve been working on developing the environments for Umbrella Mondays. When making a game so heavily based in narrative and atmosphere, crafting an environment that sets the proper tone and facilitates storytelling is paramount.  Thus, the design of these environments, naturally, must undergo a multi-step process in order to be the most successful.

As with most visual elements in Umbrella Mondays, we began with concepts.  The two primary areas of focus up to this point have been the town–which is where the player interacts with most NPCs and passes through each day–and the first cabin level, which constitutes the first section of puzzle platforming gameplay.  Since these areas have different functions, they are designed with different priorities in mind.  The town is easy to navigate, has a logical space for NPCs to inhabit, and visually reflects the culture of the townsfolk.  In contrast, the first level twists and turns, follows a linear path, and represents a space that is ancient, abandoned, and slightly mystical.

level1

After we develop floor plans and decide on the locations of important elements, we can move into greyboxing them– creating a sample layout in 3D.  This is a rough representation of how the final game will look in terms of scale and navigation.

Top_View_Level_1

Once we have a greybox, creating more detailed orthographic sketches of interior spaces becomes easier.  Through these, we begin to realize how the rooms will look in the final game once refined 3D models, colors, and textures have been implemented.

At the current point in development, we’re beginning to move into 3D models.  The world of Umbrella Mondays is beginning to come to life.  Keep checking this blog or our Twitter page for continued updates on our progress!

Best wishes,

Mary

cropped-umbrellaforweb.png

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