Chrono-Drive Level Docs
When I started working with artists I needed a way to convey my crazy ideas into something tangible, but I was never really taught how to do that. I experimented with a few things, but I finally came up with something I call Level Docs, they are basically information packets that combine my initial ideas for a level with everything the art team would need to make that level look amazing.
I have had great success with these Design Docs with my previous teams. They are relatively quick to make and they allow artists to start work on concepting the environment as well as model props that will be placed in each room. This lets the artists have a steady flow of work while I white box the level.
The last, and probably most important reason for these was that I needed to design in a way that would fix some issues with the game. Before I was hired on to Blunderbuss there were some issues with the previous level design, this caused a delay in work from the art team as well as caused a sizeable lag in the frame rate. I set out to fix this by designing the level "in rooms." This solved the art problem, now each artist could work on a different room at a time as opposed to having to wait to work on their tasks (previously they all had to use the same file). We were now also able to load the level in chunks, unloading the assets we did not need from the previous rooms and only loading our current room; this design along with Jack's scene manager greatly helped to improve the frame rate.