//weakness of doing everything on a whiteboard

I love whiteboards. I don’t think it’s a secret.

In college, I had a large one I could use for teaching or other community projects, like club advertising. After college, in order to get my daily goals worked out, I’d often write everything down on a whiteboard and erase each thing as I got it done. Whiteboards helped me stay organized and make connections between things in a way that typing things in a word document never allowed.

And then I got into game development. My whiteboard addiction unabated, I wrote all my ideas for levels down and erased them as they were completed. I planned things out, daily, and organized my thoughts. Sometimes I’d make a sketch for something I’d go and make in Blender later.

The problem was: I always erased. Never kept anything. And now that I want to show my thought-process, it’s gone. All that potential concept art, gone.

That’s not entirely true, though. I do have some sketches, mostly from times I sent someone else an example of what I was doing. So, without further ado:

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This was the first level for “The Many Sides of Ball” I actually planned out. 
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This is how it ultimately ended up.
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This was one of my daily organizational outlines. The big task was to record some scratch voice overs. But, there’s also some ideas for how I want the levels to look. 1-1 is simple, 1-2 is a bit of a maze, 2-1 has a big open area, 2-2 has a climbing thing going on, 3-1 is a fast-moving downhill windy level, 3-2 is a lot of hills, 4-1 is a very vertical platforming level, 4-2 is super vertical, 5-1 has a lot of floating platforms, 5-2 is floating around one central building, and 6-1 and 6-2 deal with platforming around a moving ocean. 
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This happened after I determined that there would be multiple camera / gameplay perspectives to the levels, and I wanted to see how often the different perspectives were used, as well as how they were sandwiched between other perspectives. The line is 2D side scrolling, the square is top-down, and the cube is full 3D. Some of these are totally different than how the final game is ending up. 
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This was a simple concept I had for the world map. Wanted to remember it in case I could use it in the future, but I really needed to use the board for other purposes. In fact, the final world map does look similar to this sketch.
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When I was debating what the final level should entail, I started planning it out on the board. Not too intense, but sometimes just writing something down helps out, similar to just putting some writing on paper to get started on that blog post / essay you need to start.
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Thought about having the narrators have faces. Probably won’t go this route.
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This was level planning for a strategy RPG I’m working on. Ultimately, the number of enemy units ended up being too many and the final map had them pared down.
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This was the general world map for Pretty Concise, the simple RPG that I’ll hopefully get back to sometime. At the time of drawing this, the two blacked out areas were complete. At this point, four more of those blocks should be blacked out. Still have a ways to go.
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Working on the final area of The Many Sides of Ball, I needed a way to visualize what was needed for the final area. It’s a little abstract, but it made sense to me. The three groups of blocks are different sections of the map. The 3 and 4 dotted-line areas take place vertically above the section. The 4 vert and 6 horiz(ontal) are about whether or not the platforming has more of an upward focus or simple sideways flow to it.

But that’s it. Nothing more that I can find. Hard to make a portfolio of past design choices and the thought processes when so much of it has been poorly preserved.

In any case, there’s only one direction–forward. Onward. Time to keep better documentation.

Still going to use the whiteboard though.

 

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