In previous instalments of this tutorial series we planned the look and feel of our level, but other than the initial brief we don’t have any details of what our player will face, or the timings and location. We need to define the flow of the level.
First off we will need to create a bill of parts that can form the list of what assets need to be created for modelling and texturing. This might be the best place to decide where some savings could be made with regards to repeatable assets. Obviously we don’t want to make the level repetitive, but there may well be places where elements can be reused, saving precious system resources.
Secondly, and more importantly, this is where we start to define the player’s journey through the level and it’s where we will lay out the ebb and flow of threat vs progress, both vital to the playing experience. The key to balancing these factors is often thought of as the rule of seven, which is a way of visualising how to introduce varying amounts of jeopardy for the player to deal with. There are many things that could make it onto our flow plan, from items of terrain blocking the path, enemies waiting to attack or power-ups and loot chests, offering potential advantage. Using the rule of seven (or multiples of it) we can lay these out to generate the flow our player will take.
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