During the development time, there were many version of level ideas, they were blocked out, constructed, polished, but then we find that they didn't really fit with the game story, or didn't offer enough of entertaining gameplay, so in the end they were all tossed out of the window. The screenshot below, are the final version we came up with (and shipped with).
First, I was put onto "the village team". The village is the first level the game, Where the player crash landed onto the island Katorga-12 and begin his journey to stop the singularity. I was honored to be given the task to work on the first area of the game. I was really excited, I mean, how often do you get the chance to make the first environment that the player ever going to see in a game? As the player wake up from the crash, they will see this crashing side on an abandoned harbor, covered in beautiful fire effects done by Tim Elek.
I am responsible the level construction and some lighting. Layout, modeling, and texturing are made by my fellow teammates.
As the player progress, they enter the building area, only to find themselves surrounded by E99 infected mutants. I started constructing this level by recycling an old building we no longer use in the game. It was originally clean and empty, so I added destructions and grungy decals to give it an abandon look. Once the setdressing was completed, I passed the level to Shane Daley to finish the lighting.
After Escaping the building filled with mutants, the player and his partner has to get to the radio tower to send out an distress signal. This area is a big challenge, since that the designers would like to have a big open view to make sure the goal is very clear, we had a very difficult time to keep a smooth frame rate. But with the help from Todd Foster we were able to optimize the level down by:
- turn the far away models into vista models and matte painting
- constructed buildings and objects to strategically block off far away objects for distance culling.
- makes some shader cheaper