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April 16, 2017

Do you ever wonder what game developers are thinking about when they come up with the concepts for the characters, environments or mechanics?  One thing I’ve heard time and time again throughout my life is “Write what you know.”  This is a saying that doesn’t need to be taken literally, but rather as a generalization.  In my case, The Forbidden Arts is a representation of me.  It’s what I know, what I love and in many ways, what I’ve experienced.

When Shigeru Miaymoto created The Legend of Zelda series, a lot of the world he created was a representation of what he loved as a child, exploring the countryside of Japan.  J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, claims that the absence of any meaningful relationship with her father and the loss of her mother have been two of the most important influences on her writing.

The point is: stick to what you know and love.  When you create something without meaning, more than likely it will feel empty and dull.  When you have...

April 3, 2017

How the player navigates a game world is very important in game design.  The 90s are long gone, and so are the days of creating expansive game worlds where players must set out on foot with no way of speeding up their travel besides a horse or using a potion to increase run speed.  Open-World games have done a lot right when it comes to traveling within a game’s world.  I’m going to reference two modern masterpieces that really do a great job with traveling and exploration: The Witcher 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Both games are fantastic and I highly recommend playing them for both entertainment and/or honing your craft of game development, whatever that may be.  Each game focuses heavily on exploration, but I feel one game does a little better of a job than the other: Breath of The Wild.  In both games, once the player discovers a new area, they will then learn what places of interest are available within that area.  In the case of Witcher, discovering road maps, c...

March 26, 2017

In a previous blog, I discussed my thought process of level design. We thought it would be fun to take an in-depth look at what goes into building a scene. This past week I have been documenting the process of creating a scene.  After viewing the 3d environment art our team had created, I was very excited to start working on the scene The Desert of Marzule.  I loved the aesthetics and knew this would be a fun scene to put together.

Each scene is broken up into several parts that we call sections.  By splitting the scene into sections, this allows us a lot more customization for each section, as we tend to focus on one small portion of the scene at a time.  Also, from a performance standpoint: this allows us to limit the amount of 3d assets rendered on screen at any given time.  There is never more than 3 sections visible while playing the game.  This greatly helps to improve performance on some machines.  When building a scene I can deactivate and activate sections to work on whate...

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