Each game uses different terms for level sets- from zones and areas up to themes and worlds. In Pet Savers we use the term “Map” for these groupings. Our entire team, including non-artists works on creating the map from concept to final markup. Since involving large number of people usually creates mess, we have documented the process. By now the process is logical, clearly defined and simple in implementation. Obviously, it can be easily used for other games as well.
I would like to go through the process specifically introducing one of our maps- China Town.
Concept Development Stage
We start with concept development stage. First we brainstorm with the main theme and story that the map has to tell. The team gets inspiration from real-life objects, as well as scrolling around web and viewing items on Pinterest and Instagram. After all ideas are recorded, we are carefully choosing a topic and start working on large items for the map. The main items for our maps are buildings, so the team has to come up with up to 12 main constructions. The main rule here is that the building has to be realistic but creative.
So for the China Town we have come up with a mixed concept of an Eastern Culture and Chinese Symbolism. The following buildings and constructions were included here- Blacksmith, Dumpling Cafe, Sushi Bar, Tea House, Chinese Hotel, Mini Shop for Local Handcraft, Lantern Store, Buddhist Temple, Kung-Fu School. As a result our team learned a lot about China!