Week 10 was focused on thinking about what to include in terms of art and design assets and documentations for the pre-production package and adding upon, accordingly, what the team has already accomplished. Feedback from playtest sessions have been very helpful in enlightening aspects of the project where the team might have overlooked.
With not much time remaining until softs, the design team decided to clean up all aspects of the design and formalize them into the first draft of the GDD (game design document). The meeting with former level designer at Blizzard Joshua Kurtz helped the design team see clearly issues that still needed to be addressed in a typical level. For example:
- Our demo of the Core level/gameplay loop needs to showcase the main character bringing happiness to the community.
- Levels should achieve balance between sandboxy exploration and representing nature settings in a cartoony style.
- Levels, as of right now, lack a holistic/unforced conversation with the areal codes system the team proposed. If the system is to stay, levels should be built having the codes system in mind.
- Levels currently miss checkpoints. They should be strategically placed along the golden path to encourage progression, but not frustrate.
- Especially for the early tutorial levels: teaching players how to play the game is the key. Levels should be split into section/little chunks with each section’s tutorial goals in-sight. Tutorials should cover all the basic mechanics of the game.
- What does the natural transition between biomes look like?
Looking at the art side, the team is taking in the feedback from playtest sessions and iterating on the final look of character, props and environment. We want to make sure all finalized art is clear and easily scalable for the next team. For example, our main character’s color palette should Stay away from purples. We need to invert vibrancy on the face and body. We need to answer the question: “ How many of the props concepts will be used by players vs how many are meant to ground the world up?” “How are the textures going to look like? What level of detail?”