Violin town initial thoughts
The violin town is based on small Italian seaside towns and is located on the seafront. In semester 1 I whiteboxed the level and can already pre designed 3D concepts so creating the polished level was quite straightforward, as the houses are the bulk of the level I started by creating 4 house variations and then building the level from there. I decided to continue with the 3 layer level layout but I wanted to drop the stairs dividing them and instead even the terrain to create a smooth path.
I made another large change from the original layout, on the lower platform of the town it was set above the sea with a rocky wall separating the town from the sea, I decided that as a seaside town it would make more sense that it had a dock of some kind, naturally seaside towns make the most of their proximity to a food source and I decided this should be incorporated into the design. I also want to change the location of the player interaction from the lower level to the dock itself so that players have more to see on the way.
The modelling of the houses was designed around modularity and to match the style of the concept building, I created the main house as a single mesh and then added the tiles, window and door detail on top of that so that I could reuse and recycle them if I wanted to. This process allowed me to create 5-6 house variations without too much trouble.
Top down view of the violin town model
I wanted a mix of orange and blue houses with a pale yellow for stone. This pallet creates a friendly mediterranean feel that is inherently summary, as the first level this introduces the player to a friendly and colourful world.
Due to the nature of this level, the polycount is fairly high, this is primarily due to the detail of the houses such as the bricks and tiles, the camera will have to be placed to ensure that it’s not all rendered at once otherwise this could cause performance issues during the level.
During a conversation with Dean, we decided to use a bespoke collider system, a bespoke collider system is an actual 3D modelled world on top of the existing world that the player sees and this is used because the entire thing is modular and can easily be moved/changed. The system is also faster as it's a one-click apply for colliders rather than having to collide individual objects, this also gives me a better view of where players can go and where they can't
Collider map for violin town
Above, 3D software version of violin starting street, finished engine version below
What I learned
Violin town was the largest modelling task undertaken in the project, it’s polycount far exceeded any of the other levels and it took far more time to build, without concepts or outside input, the level was entirely from my semester 1 notes and so the entire level was created with nothing but my previous research and creative input, from start to finish, the level took almost 3 weeks of developing, iterating and polishing to create a working level that could run in the game.