Sunday, 22 February 2015

Alice and Concepting

When we were discussing our game plan, we decided we wanted to play out the story from the opening in the canal down through the garden. Despite this, most of our team concepted almost exclusively for the corridor, leaving us an abundance of hallway designs to choose from. The standouts tended to be ones that referenced architecture from relevant iconic places as well as smart designs like using the floral patter on the front cover of the book as a wallpaper design. Meanwhile this left me with almost complete creative control of the forest area. I'm not a particularly strong painter, but I did have some solid ideas on the direction I wanted to take the level, so I used photobashing to put a layout of the level together.

I wanted a strong sense of how magical wonderland was, and also the scale of Alice and how that would effect her perception of the world around her. I thought a lot of the picturesque background pieces could be done as graphic planes, with the foreground being modeled- for both effect and to reduce the amount of unique assets we need to decorate a level, as I was aware of the complexity of the scenes. But I wanted to embrace that business and cluster.  

My next job was to make it work as a cohesive level, I made a speculative route plan -that would be far more stretched out and spaced in the actual rendition of the level- trying to inlcude as much verticality as possible to try and improve some of the linearity that is often attributed to side scrolling games. I also considered game play mechanics as I went along- like a house of cards that fall down and has two different consequential routes depends on if you manage to jump onto the next platform before it falls, of if you tumble down with the rest of the cards. Also things like pushing a boulder to make a stepping stone to get across the 'river of tears'. Besides this I also added the 'theater planes' as the form of the oxford roof top landscape that's being engulfed in the river. 
A small but I feel nice addition is also the checkerboard sky, as the checkered patter is commonly associated with Alice and Wonderland and it aided the dream like atmosphere I was going for. On reflection though, it does look far to busy, I think the oxford towers could do with being lowered because they block out too much of the path Alice travels on, instead of just parts of it like I intended. 

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