Preparations for the first Presentation

In preparation for my first presentation, I finalised my vision statement:

I want to look at level design in the context of horror levels. How can you approach level design to facilitate a scary game?

Planning out the presentation, I decided a good way to open it would be to explain the field I was researching – What actually is level design?

A common misconception is that level design is “just” drawing out a level, and then have it implemented by a programmer. The truth is level design is a long process centred around iteration. It begins with a concept – What sounds like it’d be fun? Once a concept’s been settled on, the level designer would then create various designs, incorporating level design theory and considerations for flow.

Once a design has been agreed on, the level designer would then talk with artists on the team and discuss the assets needed to build the level. Once the artists finalise the assets, they’d pass them on to the level designer who’d then begin constructing the level within the game engine.

Following on from that, I’d then go into the specifics of what I’ll be investigating (The usage of lighting, layout, pacing, ambient effects and sounds), how I’d investigate it (By playing and watching gameplay of select acclaimed games, and noting down the elements I mentioned prior) and the games I’d be investigating.

I’d also demonstrate some concept levels I made as an example, as I’d create various levels on paper as part of the project before building a playable prototype.

Finally, I’ll explain what I hope my final product will be – A playable level capable of evoking fear in the player, incorporating elements from my research findings.

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