Level-design pipeline

Level-design pipeline

One of my achievements at Freejam was the development of a new pipeline for creating levels, allowing for quicker gameplay iterations.
I was in charge of the complete development process and reported to the Creative Director.

The problem

The previous pipeline required artists to edit and paint the terrain by hand when updating levels. This time consuming process blocked the game-designers and reduced available development iterations. It also made it difficult to quickly try out a new idea since the designers had to rely on the artists.

The solution

The new pipeline gives the control to the designers, without any dependency on artists. Gameplay and art can now also be worked on simultaneously, freeing up time for both art and design, resulting in a much better map on release.

The process

  1. The game designers block out a whitebox and test it with the QA team.
  2. The whitebox is imported in Worldmachine
  3. Create a 2D-mask for the gameplay areas to give level-designers exact control over the playable area.
  4. Draw splines for roads and landmarks, this will be used during the texturing pass.
  5. Run our custom node-setup to enhance the visual look of the terrain and generate textures.
  6. The final output is a heightmap and splatmap, which we input in Unity’s terrain.

Sketchfab tutorial

After developing Robocrafts leveldesign-pipeline in WorldMachine , I published a “intro to WorldMachine” for Sketchfab which can be seen HERE. This is a tutorial that shows you how to create a simplified version of our in-house pipeline.