Jul
17

Level Production

5 years, 6 months ago 0
Posted in: Projects, Samples

Alpha

To become Alpha, all final models representing floors, walls, ceilings, and other architecture will have 1st-pass textures. 1st-pass lighting representing direction in terms of color and mood is complete. The level can be played from beginning to end. Gameplay is completed (linear and non-linear), while the final script is not required. Other levels might factor in to the final script. Cinematics or Cineractives can be absent. Audio and FX is being finalized. When a level reaches Alpha, it’s put aside until all other levels have passed Alpha.

The next series of tasks run in tandem groups….

Art Vision

Owners: Environment Artists, Lighting Artist

Art has been providing support up to this point. This is the first time Art has the task and responsibility to improve the level. All known art assets should be placed in the level. They don’t have to be pretty and perfect, but they do have to be identified and properly stored as a proxy.

  • Convert all layout assets to official art proxy models or prefabs.
  • Improving placement of key lights and/or fog.

Gameplay Metric

Owner: Scripter

Fill-in adjacent, non-linear encounters, and refine the “Critical Path”. With final models being added, the Scripters return to the level to tune, balance, and bug-fix gameplay. NO NEW SCENARIOS ARE ADDED.

  • All encounter branching and conditions added.
  • All combat playable:
  • Valid pathing networks through all intended gameplay areas.
  • All valid cover objects functioning and placed to metric.
  • Appropriate DataNode assignments (i.e. Idle, Alert, Patrol Nodes).
  • Spawn refinement:
  • Timing and proper placement of all intended AI.
  • Specific starting animations.
  • Re-enforcements if required (alarms).
  • Interactive objects functioning:
  • Destructibles, Degradables, or Dynamic.
  • Doors & Switches.
  • All key pick-ups placed and functioning:
  • Weapons & Ammo.
  • Story objects.
  • Mission Objectives set and defined.
  • Advanced scripting of key dialogue/cinema/moments.

Review

It’s now gorgeous and exciting – does it perform?

Participants:

  • Project Lead
  • Art – Lead, Environment
  • Audio (formal introduction)
  • Design – Lead Level, Scripters, Writer
  • Tech – (Lead?)
  • Producer

If successful:

  • Everyone agrees on the art direction and gameplay details, signing off on these stages.
  • Any changes to the Blueprint or Flowchart are noted in the Level Doc.
  • The level is given to Audio for the first time (officially).
  • (optional) Art continues refining Concept Art.

If unsuccessful:

  • 2 days are given to incorporate feedback the re-reviewed.

Art Metric

Owners: FX & Lighting Artists, Environment Artists

  • Refine and polish all art assets to fit within performance
  • Technical adjustments to gameplay are allowed

Audio Vision

Owner: Audio

Start work on adding basic audio to the level and building sounds for placement during the Audio Metric phase.

  • Add key ambient sounds.
  • Add placeholder audio for major events.
  • Add placeholder dialogue for encounters.
  • Verify all audio requirements for the level.

Review

Are all the major sound events present in some form? Is all Environment Art accounted for?

Participants:

  • Project Lead
  • Audio
  • Design – Scripters, Writer
  • Producer

If successful:

  • Everyone agrees on the final look.
  • Everyone agrees on the audio direction and signs-off on the Audio Vision.
  • Any changes to the Blueprint or Flowchart are noted in the Level Doc.
  • The level is handed to the Writer to incorporate any changes and finalize dialogue.
  • (optional) Art continues refining Concept Art.

If unsuccessful:

  • 2 days are given to incorporate feedback then re-reviewed.

Lighting & FX

Owners: Writer, Scripters, Audio, Animation

Final story decisions are made and dialogue is added.

Audio Metric

Owners: Level & World Artists, FX & Lighting Artists

Fine-tune all art to fit within performance and make adjustments for gameplay. The level is assigned to FX Artists, Lighters, and Sound Designers.

Review

It’s now gorgeous and exciting – does it perform?

Participants:

  • Design – Scripter
  • Art – Lead, Environment Artists
  • Tech – (Lead?)
  • Producer

If successful:

  • Alpha complete!
  • Everyone agrees on the final touches, signing off on these stages.
  • The Level Doc becomes a reference or walkthrough document, with no major updates.
  • Production is halted on this level until all other levels are Alpha Complete.

If unsuccessful:

  • 2 days are given to incorporate feedback then re-reviewed.

 

Alpha Complete!

 

STOP on current level – START another level
until all are Alpha-Complete.

 

Leave a Reply

twitter