Aeolwyn's Legacy Updates and Level Design!
If you aren't subscribed to our mailing list and haven't seen the update there, here's some updates for you!
We're still working on a lot of big changes. Shorre, our engineer is close to wrapping up his initial revamp work on the 'RPG Engine' (we're using Unity, but there's a lot of custom stuff we've added for the game). So we will be releasing a new, better-performing version of the demo when that's done.
We're also hard at work on Chapter 1. Most of the cities and towns and outdoor elements have been laid out in the outdoor maps, and we've moved to constructing a new element - indoor cities! These are cities that are larger than the villages you've already seen in the demo. Large enough to require their own level load. In Chapter 1, Tambryne City is the only one of its type, but as the game progresses, there will be many more.
We're also hard at work on designing and building the dungeons for Chapter 1, and I thought it would be a good time to talk about my own procedure in designing and building the game levels.
Level Design in AL
I'm old school when it comes to my level design. I love me some pencil and paper. This was how we did all the levels at New World when we were working on MIght and Magic. It's a classic and outdated method by today's standards, but it still works for me.
I usually start with a text description of the dungeon. Depending on who's building it, and how clear of a vision I have of the level, the text description may be a short paragraph, or an in-depth description of each element, down to the puzzles.
Moving on from that will be a paper map like the one above. They're usually fairly simple, and sometimes are just blobs when I don't need that level of detail in a paper map. Some people use other programs for this like adobe illustrator, photoshop, or even visio. Whatever works for you is great. This works for me because it's faster than designing it out on the computer.
Once that's done comes the building of the level. I usually start with a single room that's hooked up to the world (entrance and exits) so I know that stuff works. then I'll move on to floors and basic walls/ceilings to get a sense of the size and scale. Then I'll either build out prefabs for a building that will have a lot of similarly shaped rooms, or just build out the entire floor, again to get a sense of the size. Then I'll move on to framing the whole level, then add details like doors, decorations, and monsters.
Finally will be anything custom, like puzzles, quest items, scripts, etc. Those can be pretty time-consuming, and usually require a fully complete level so it makes sense to save them for last.
That's it for now! if you want to talk about Aeolwyn's Legacy, or hang out with me and a bunch of blobber/Might and Magic fans, come join our Discord where you'll always get the first updates on how the game is going!