I’ve decided to do away with the 3-floor rotating part of my design as it proved to be too difficult to manage, and was taking far too long to try to even plan, so instead my maze is simply based on the time travel aspect and interacting with plants.
I spent a while today sketching out vines and doors, and how they will affect the path you take through the maze by covering holes, blocking doors, allowing climbing etc. I will still need to make some perspective drawings of these for model sheets for modelling. I have also begun to block out the maze in 3DS Max to get a basic perspective on how things look and the scale of the maze.
Am I ready to make a game?
At the moment, no. I still have to make some model sheets for my assets and tweak my level plants as I have come across a few issues with my pathing. I still also need to finish my flow chart for my maze, to help me plan mechanics and objectives. After that, I also need to design some puzzles for obstacles and figure out what needs to be modelled from those.
I managed to finally solidify my theme in to something interesting, and even come up with a few ideas for mechanics out of it – a plant theme with a time mechanic to allow moving back and forth between different versions of the maze to access newer areas, with multiple floors that rotate. I managed to get a new plan out in the form of a Gantt Chart to help with the rest of my project and make sure I don’t fall behind.
I managed to get one of the floor maps for my maze done, but I will need to adjust it slightly to make use of the newer mechanics, and create sketches and concepts of the different assets I plan to have for the different puzzles of the maze.
For the rest of the week, I will need to make sure I get the rest of the maze layouts finished and ready for blocking out in 3DS Max, so I can then move it and assets in to unreal to finish building the level.
I have a few possible ideas I could use for the theme of my project. My initial idea was a Limbo type theme, a place between life and death where everything would be dark, with an emphasis on the lack of knowledge and heavily influenced by shadows and the lack of light.
The second idea was a hell theme, pools of lava flowing amongst walls of dark brimstone highlighting the entire level in a red glow. The lava acts as a very dangerous obstacle for the play to get by, and could help design some mechanics for the maze as well as the levels themselves.
Another one was a theme that would purposefully be scary or creepy, maybe disturbing. The theme would have an emphasis on death and decay, with skeletons lying around and strange things appearing in the vision or hearing sudden distant noises. Insects could be a strong part of the theme, emphasising the death aspect of the theme.
The final theme, and the one I decided to use is a plant based theme, with vines and roots overgrowing much of the environment, with large trunks jutting out of the ground. Branches of trees can be used to create new paths and movement throughout the maze, and vines can be used to reach higher levels by climbing.
Time restraints and unfortunate circumstances has left me falling behind on my schedule, so a reworked plan is crucial to the success of this project.
The first thing I’ll need to do is to solidify the theme and identity of the project, as this will be the entire basis for the rest of the project – I’ll need to make sure every aspect of the project can be tied in to the theme, and nothing seems to fall apart.
After that, I’ll need to consider the mechanics of the maze itself, what obstacles are in the way and how to solve it. I already have an idea of this, but it is very basic and I would like to add more to it, things such as puzzles and locked and secret doors.
I’ll need to then plan the floor, and block out the base floor in 3DS Max, and get a perspective on the maze. From that I’ll need to decide what view to use and adjust the mechanics accordingly, as well as adjusting wall sizes and distances as well as background detail if parts of the level that shouldn’t be visible are.
After that I can start building the assets and moving everything in to Unreal, and do concept art along the way where I feel appropriate.