The past few days have been spent trying to come up with some new locations for my new unnamed project (let’s call it Duncan Game 2). The player is introduced to the game’s world at a main hub town, and can explore from there, coming back to home base occasionally. My goal is to make the hub town someplace large but inviting, and so I jumped right into a concept piece:
Well, it’s a start I guess. There were things I liked about this concept; I liked the colors, and the thick borders as well. The game is likely to feature a cartoon/comic style, so that works pretty well. As far as the town itself, I think that it felt more like a small, unimportant town than a central town. Maybe if it were populated by people I would feel differently, but more concepts are definitely in order. Jackson suggested adding a large landmark to make the town feel more like HQ (The Imperial city’s tower, Clock Town’s giant clock, Banjo’s Spiral Mountain). This is something I’ll have to think about, and if I’m smart about it, I’ll make sure that the landmark has significance to the gameplay/story as well, like Majora’s Mask’s Clock Tower.
After a piece of concept art that took entirely too long, I decided to do some thumbnailing. This is a trick I learned about on a game development blog that works great for getting down lots of small ideas. The idea is that instead of doing a time-consuming, detailed concept (see above), you would do a lot of small thumbnails that focus on color rather than specific objects. I decided to set the town aside for the time being, and chart out some new locations. Here are my thumbs:
I probably won’t end up using more than half of these, but the point is that it doesn’t take much time to do them. This was probably more helpful than the large concept, although I’ll come back to that at some point. I’ve discovered that the areas which fit the game’s style best seem to be the ones with the most contrast in color (Row 2, Column 2, and the one below). Row 1, Column 3 wasn’t bad either, but I’m a sucker for forest environments.
Well, that was somewhat useful. I’ll want to hammer down a central town concept pretty soon, but I’m also interested in working on the gameplay design as well. Maybe I’ll expand upon my favorite thumbs, too.