Block 2 – Days 21 & 22

Sup interwebs! Another block is soon over, so it’s time for a short little wrap-up here.

I haven’t got much to write about in terms of reflecting back upon my work, since the points I wrote on the day 15 entry are still very relevant. I will, however, reflect upon how my work has grown during the course of the block.

When I started studying guidance methods in level design, after I had narrowed down my question formulation for the work plan, I noticed that there seemed to be a lack of documentation on the matter. There were a few tutorials and articles on the matter online, but I found that they were very spread out. There didn’t seem to be anything in terms of a common terminology, not even an attempt at one.

So, when I started documenting the methods that I found through playing different games, I decided to determine a template to follow for the documentation. This way, I could compile a guide on all the methods I found and then distribute it online for others interested in the subject. After all, what use is all this information if I don’t share it, opening up the possibility for further discussion?

At first, I had my mind set on discovering as many subtle methods as I could find. This turned out to be a fairly easy task, though all the findings that went into the guide are based on my impressions of them. Some may be more interpretative than others, but I feel that most of them are pretty clear with their purpose. With my mind so set on finding all those subtle methods, I almost forgot about some of the most obvious ones. Luckily, I didn’t forget about them completely, so they’re in the guide too!

After reading a research paper on how the brain reacts to temporally regular and irregular visual patterns, I documented my thoughts on how it might be related to how some of these visual guidance methods work. This, along with a study of the imagery of 2001: A Space Odyssey, gave me a wider perspective on how it all works and why and where it is used. Just as I decided that I would share the finished guide, I decided to share these two posts as well, as they were an important part of my work as well.

Overall, I’d say that my tutor’s recommendation to spend the block solely on theory was a very wise idea. As such, I’ve got a strong foundation for testing my theories during the next block and I’ll have plenty of time to do so, since I’ve already done the theoretical part of it. Most of it, anyway.

I believe that the final result, the Level Design Guidance Guide, along with the documentation I’ve done on here, will provide a sufficient answer to the question in my work plan. The question, for reference, was “what methods are there, in level design, for guiding the player?” The guide is ready for distribution, but I’ll make a separate post for it as to not clutter this one even further. There’s enough text doing that already!

These last two days have been spent on polishing the guide, adding a last method to it, sending it to some people for proof-reading and general feedback and rendering the front page of the guide, which took longer than it should, but it turned out alright in the end!

That’ll be all for now. See you all later!

Marcus out.