(This is a document that I created on behalf of the Lead Level Designer's instructions, and that I handed out to the level artists.)

Level Distance Standards

We will define path widths and battle area sizes by defining the navmesh first, once that is established then we put in our game play elements, such as cover points, playable buildings, ect.  Then we place our line of sight blocks for cell and portaling, and finally worry about background elements last.  This too should be our production flow standard for white boxes going forward, which should save us time and headache. Important note: While determining your paths and battle areas, it is very important to place some static enemies and or vehicles in the at the start of development, so that the designers have a sense of scale as they review a white box in progress.

Hold position static distances - from MG to enemy cover

The spawn distance of the enemy is not the critical issue, it’s the distance of the cover they are going to engage you from.  Optimal range is:

Minimum: 5 meters

Maximum: 15 meters

Far: 30 meters

Medium: 20 meters

Close: 10 meters

These are suggested, but seem to feel pretty good so far.

Take position distances - from line to line

Close encounter: 8-10 meters (best for machine guns)

Long encounter: 15-20 meters(best for rifles)

Sniper Distances

minimum: 25 meters

Maximum: 35 meters

Kill Armour

 (very context dependant, please use tank stand ins in white box)

near:        6 meters

medium:   22 meters

far:          40 meters

average start distance to Armour: 20 meters

panzer Faust effect firing distance: maximum 40 meters

Escort

Escort lengths will very quiet a bit and will be determined by surrounding game play and level design, since escort can be a small portion of the level or it can be the majority of the level.  Use other game mechanic to determine distances on a case by case bases.

Clear Room

small: 6 meters by 8 meters

medium: 10 meters by 12 meters

large: 16 meters by 18 meters

minimum ceiling height: 3.5 meters

average ceiling height: 4 meters

maximum ceiling heights: 6 meters

Doorways

minimum width:  1.75 meters

minimum height: 2.5 meters

Hallways

minimum width: 3 meters (sparingly used in for short distances with out cover, otherwise, player will not be able to get through)

4 meters is the ideal in most cases

maximum width: 5 meters

Streets

drivable surfaces

main street: 10 meters

side street: 6 meters

road shoulders / sidewalks

sidewalks: 2-3 meters

small shoulder: 0 to .5 meters

large shoulder: 3 meters (example: country road between player and fences)

Alleys

minimum 3 meter (sparingly used in for short distances with out cover, otherwise, player will not be able to get through)

ideal size in most cases: 4 meters

maximum 5 meters

(This is a document that outlines a production pipeline I devised, based on the producers tracking needs, and that I handed out to the level artists.)

 

Stages of level progression for tracking progress

First pass whitebox - this consists of the initial components created in the triage meeting, that is cleaned up just enough to create a continuously connected playable terrain from start to finish with reflecting elevation changes and first pass cell breakup, portal alignments, and a working navmesh.

First pass cover placement - rudimentary placeholder primitives are placed along playable areas to define allied and axis lines of engagement. (this can actually be initially blocked out by scripter  during his first pass of the scripting or under the direction of the scripter since they are more familiar with what spatial compositions among the cover works best for the game mechanics.)

Cell and portal revisions - the artist has checked and identified using debug tools, portal alignment problems.  Geometry and cell breakups and portal angles are adjusted to resolve cells turning on and off when there not suppose to.  At this point, line of sight blocks to prevent the player from being able to see outside of what they are suppose to see, have been blocked in.

Whitebox changes for gameplay - after rough scripting and the designers have reviewed the level gameplay artist implements change requests.

Art pass 1 - all whitebox geometry has been refined or replaced with art assets with textures and texture blending where needed, and a basic lighting consisting of a directional and an ambient.

Art pass 2 - all effects are in the game, strategically placed tesselation for lighting, final lighting with key lighting for highlights, hand painted ground shadows, and all props are in.

Level Name  Artist  Stage 1  Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6
               
01 Justin            
03 Justin            
               
02 Bryan            
23 Bryan            
               
18 Kham            
19 Kham            
               
16 Nathan            
25 Nathan            
               
04 Les            
31 Les            
               
28 Curtis            
35 Curtis            
               
27 Marcus            
36 Forrest            

 

(Below is a one visual diagram of many, complete with labels, outlining the file content structure standards that I defined for the level artists, some info was omitted for proprietary information.  Click on the image to enlarge it)

 

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