Sun Haven DevBlog 09 - Map Making Process
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Welcome back, friends and family! There’s probably more friends than family here, but I’m just making sure everyone feels included.
This week we’re breaking down our map making process, especially in the context of the major cities. As you well know, Sun Haven is going to have three main cities: Sun Haven, Withergate, and Nel’Vari. Each of these towns underwent the same design process led by our level designer John. Buckle up and we’ll dive into the process!
To begin, we scope out a section of the map and try to get this section as “finished” as possible. This gives us a Source of Truth (SOT) area that we use as reference for the entirety of the remaining map.
In Withergate, the SOT area was one L-shaped alleyway - that’s right, literally just one alleyway provided the SOT for the whole town. A lot of work goes into the “asset placement tech,” which refers to various techniques we rely on when placing assets (buildings, town decorations, etc.) to create a deliberate player experience.
As you might imagine, this process is heavily involved with our Art discipline. We typically assign one or two artists to assist in building a clear, strong vision for the SOT area. When it came to Nel’Vari, a big part of finding our Source of Truth was figuring out how to blend nature and civilization in a way that is balanced yet aesthetically pleasing. To find this balance, we simply played around with the area and the assets until we found something that felt good.
After we finally have a section of the map that is finished to a large degree of polish, we gather an understanding of the implementation process and address any technical limitations. And from there, we expand the polished aesthetic outwards into the rest of the map.
Bingo bongo, we’ve got a map! Of course, the entire map doesn’t come out at a high degree of polish like the SOT area, so we continue to iterate and clean things up from there.
Thanks for catching this week’s update! Be sure to stay tuned for more as we march steadily toward Sun Haven’s release on May 28th.
Stay happy, everyone!
- Michael, Sun Haven Writer