Second survey – Atmosphere

For the third section, I want to put what I’ve been reading up on to do with level design, focal points, lighting and more to the test and see how people react to certain scenes I’ve assembled with the tools I’ll be using to create my final level.


Photo 1 – This is a photo I presented informally to others earlier, touched up slightly to emphasize danger lies to the right. The same question I asked in an earlier iteration of this scene will be asked, however I’ll make clear that you can go through the door. “You come across this intersection. Which way do you go?” With the options being “Through the door” and “Right”.

I’ll then offer an optional “Why?” section, in case people want to elaborate their thoughts.


Photo 2 – This is a new scene I created. I was trying to create an environment that’d cause the player to feel anxious, especially due to the lighting, with the bright light coming out the window. I was then hoping that with the murky water, It’d help make the scene feel more claustrophobic and dangerous. For this photo, I’ll ask: “How does this scene make you feel?” With the possible answers being: Indifferent, Anxious, Scared or Other. And again, I’ll be providing a “Why?” option.

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Photos 3 & 4 – This scene was created specifically to see if people feel water adds anything to an environment. It’s the exact same scene, just one has water and the other doesn’t. For these photos, I’ll ask what people feel when they see this scene, like the previous photo, and then I’ll ask them if they feel the water adds to the scene and why they think that.


Photo 5 – This is a scene I created to try and evoke anxiety and fear in the player. My reasoning for this is the long, dark hallway with a lone light at the back, and the silhouette of a figure, with no indication of whether it may be hostile or not. The unknown can be a powerful tool, and I wanted to put it to use here. For this screenshot, I’ll ask “You walk down a hallway and suddenly this comes into view. How do you feel?” With the same options the previous photos have. However, on top of that, I’ll ask what the player’s reaction would be, with the choices being:

  • Run towards the figure
  • Run away from the figure
  • Hold still
  • Other

I’ll present the usual “Why?” option in case those who answer want to elaborate on their choice, and at the very end I’ll offer an optional “Any other comments you want to share?”

I feel like these questions and scenes will give good feedback on the level design techniques I’ve been experimenting with.