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Looking for feedback on my iOS game level.

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#1   Members   -  Reputation: 107


Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:13 AM


I am creating a mine level for my next iOS platformer game. More assets will be added, but I feel that something needs to be modified, but dont know what.
What do you think?

Posted Image


Edited by Dreeka, 03 November 2012 - 03:44 AM.

#2   Members   -  Reputation: 107


Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:14 PM


I have modified the walls to give them a little curved look (it is hard to see, but the resoult is a little better), and added mine carts (empty version yes).
I have also changed the ground texture to a stone one. Currently, I have two versions, but dont know which is better.
Also, should I change the ceiling to stone as well?

Posted Image

Posted Image

What do you think?

#3   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 4375


Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

Hi. You already have a good looking scene. I prefer the cobble-stone ground instead of the square-tile one. It looks more natural (as if the ground in that place was naturally formed like that).

There's always room for improvement, of course.
What I'd add:
  • Vertex coloring. This is a very free resource that you have, and it makes a ton of difference. Go wild with this - you'll notice instant improvement when you start darkening some vertices. After this vertex color "lighting pass" you also want to add more color variety to the scene, even if to the detriment of realism (as in, "there's no colored light source for a certain corner to be colored like this, but still color it anyway"). Example from N64 - Rayman 2 (the scene is not uniformly lit, it has variation).
  • Decals. Add grit and grunge to those walls. You don't want to uniformly detail all walls together, but rather "splatter" grunge on some exclusive areas. You'd do this by placing textured quads that have alpha-blended textures around your scene, slightly offset from the walls they're adorning so you don't have flimmering \ z-fighting \ depth issues.

#4   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 24689


Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:50 PM

Agreed with the above, if you're able to do so without breaking your performance goals I think some variation -- even just a few minimal decals and some variations in lighting and shading -- could really make the level more interesting, especially if they player is going to see more terrain that is similar.

At the moment everything looks very pristine and new, while in a real mine there would be a lot of dirt, dust and soot, and some or all of the equipment would likely be older and perhaps a bit beaten up. You could do this with dents, smudges, some loose stones, damage to some of the woodwork, etc., or could even consider extra little details like some small cobwebs in upper corners, etc.

Obviously you're on a limited platform and don't want to go to overboard with this -- especially if players might not get to have a good look at it -- but I think more variety would really bring the scene to life.

I also prefer the cobble-stone version, and I wouldn't put them on the roof -- which would never be natural and would be unlikely to be something miners would bother installing.

#5   Members   -  Reputation: 107


Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:56 AM

Thanks for the replies!

I have updated the map with the following changes:
- Fixed the tiling issue between the floor and floor edges
- Made the level darker, and played a little with vertex coloring
- Added rail end segment
- Added elevator

Variety like spider web, smaller rocks, etc.. will be added in the next update.

Posted Image

What do you think?

Edited by Dreeka, 04 November 2012 - 12:59 PM.

#6   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 24689


Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

I think the lighting changes are a step in the right direction, although with the darker level I'm seeing something new you could improve -- the lanterns appear to be the only light-source I can see in the level, but most of them don't look like where the light is coming from. The one second from the left (just after the elevator) looks a bit better than the others, as I can see that the area immediately around it seems brighter than the wall is further away, but around the others this is less obvious. Perhaps concentrate your efforts with the vertex colouring to provide the look of brighter light around the lanterns and darker shadows further away from them.

It also still looks very clean -- you've said you're already planning to do so, but I'll just re-iterate that some rubble, and some damage and smudge decals could make a real difference in a realistic scene that could belong in a real, lived-in world.

The new additions (elevator and end-piece) add a bit more interest.

It's already a big improvement over the original, keep up the good work! Posted Image

#7   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13590


Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:57 AM

My two cent. You scene looks promising and you just to take it to the next leve, try to improve on a single aspect each iteration and you will improve the whole scene really quickly.

Start with your weakest point first, which is lighting the scene. As the others have already mentioned, vertex painting is a great way to add some basic, artistic shading. I call it artistic, because you don't want realistic lighting but a more game design centered lighting setup.

This is platformer and I can identify 4 important parts in your scene:
1. the plattform(ground)
2. the background(wall)
3. the separator(ceiling)
4. important game design features (lift)

The plattform is where the player will move on, therefore it needs a lot of attention. The background isn't important and should be used to help visualising the foreground (=player+ground). The separator should be clearly visible, but should not draw a lot of attention and the important game design features should be like a bonefire. Here are a few steps which might be helpful.

(use almost only vertex paint)
A. Tone down the whole scene:
Tone down the whole scene using vertex color (use a dark,brown tone like #401010).

B. Turn the 3 lantern off.
Turn off the 3 lantern to break the monotomy and to highlight the lift (see below).

C. Pimping the background:
Light up the walls around the left two lantern enough to hint a light fall off on the walls, dont touch the ground yet.

D. Pimp the ground:
Light up the whole ground, use a gradient from the wall (dark) to the foreground(light) and increase the light intensity where lantern are turned on (light fall off). Give the vertex paint a yellow/orange touch where the lights are brightest.

E. Pimp the ceiling:
Light up the ceiling (upper bar) only so much, that a clear constrast between wall and ceiling is visible.

F. Pimp the lift:
First you need to lighten the lift itself, you have a very dark texture, use either more metal to light it up or brighter wood. Then make the two lanterns left and right of the lift much brighter than the rest and use them to light the lift. Best to use a little more color in the light to draw more attentention.

When you watch the scene from the right to the left, the lighting should lead your eyes along the ground and finally to the lift.

Good luck :)



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