Giving sequence to the series of posts about the Tsar Project, today the subject is Level Design which is the development of the game’s setting and background from the most wide scope (location) to the most specific details (desk positioning).
The Level Design of Tsar Project was conceived after a thorough research of the Moscow Kremlin architecture circa XVI century, done mainly by our Art Director, Maperns. The continuous drive for accurate textual and pictorial information to compose our historical fiction made us reach a russian architect and historian, Julia Tarabarina. With her kind support we managed to gather information about the building layout and structure, and architectural blueprints of that century and posterior ones.
Building from this knowledge we started the development of the Level Design properly, designing the necessary modifications to make game interesting but always trying to preserve the historical accuracy. The first step was to gather all information that we had collected by drawing blueprints of all floors of all of the Kremlin main palaces, in order to create a better understanding of the game space. These blueprints then were simplified to help the work of the game designers and programmers.
After this, we started to work on the game events, placing them on the game space. We also designed a huge mind map with all rooms and their connections, NPC placement, item placement and guard routes and routines. Both were also tested on our software prototype and Lego mock-ups. These maps also helped the development of the first background concepts which Maperns is doing directly on Paint Tool SAI, a very powerful (and cheap) japanese painting software which he will present on his next post.
I’ve been silent for a while now, but now I’m here. My name is Thiago, but you can call me Beto, and I am Aduge’s game designer. I will try to be more present on this distinct blog from now on.