Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lights, Camera, and Level Polish

This week's build is up here!

No super-visible upgrades this week, except I've made tweaks to a few of the earliest 5 levels (Most notably, levels 3 and 5). I wanted more of the levels in Pierce to have the kind of composition that the later levels have. Visual balance and focus are important, to me. I was going to revise them more drastically, but I held myself back. I think the existing designs still hold merit, and I'll see if I want to trash them later.

In the case of level 5, I think bringing the wrap walls inwards, detaching the bounce wall, and evenly spacing the linked nodes makes each element easier to observe and learn about. I think the following is a bit more visually intuitive than the previous design:

I particularly went back and forth on level 4, which is the introduction to linked goal nodes. I wanted to redo the level so that it matched the layout of level 3, but with linked goal nodes instead of normal goals. This is a technique I use later in the game to teach boost nodes and switches.

On the left, level 14 introduces Warp Walls. On the right, level 15 introduces Boost Plates

I use a level the player has already solved as an environment to introduce a new mechanic. It doesn't seem to work as well for linked goal nodes. I think I want as little noise as possible in levels in which I introduce new goal types...

I made the main camera and directional light which appear in each scene into prefabs. This was something I've been meaning to do for a while. This way, I can make lighting and camera adjustments once, and not have to adjust them by hand in every scene. I've never needed to, until now. I've adjusted the light intensity down in each level by 40%. It's difficult to get a sense of how bright the levels are going to be after they're built. And lights don't build from scene to scene in-engine, so I'm often playing with un-built lighting while I'm working. We'l see how this looks.

Oh and as always, the charging-up noise is by Javier Zumer. It's being used under this license. I've modified it.

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