Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Storytelling LevelDesign Challenge #2: Winner and Top 5

  1. #1
    Administrator AlexG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Inside a Game Engine
    Posts
    1,562
    Post Thanks / Like

    Storytelling LevelDesign Challenge #2: Winner and Top 5




    Storytelling Level Design Challenge 2 top 5 final work. After much deliberation we have decided on the final winner of the challenge.

    We anonymously agreed on the first place but we had hard time picking 2nd and 3rd place. So we decided to make one top winner and the rest four entries were runner ups.

    All entries receive notes from us of what each entry did well and take always for each designer. We hope that the notes will help to improve your work. All notes are a compilation from me, Keith, Smog and Warren.

    Thank you to all who participated making the challenge a success as well as to Keith, Smog and Warren.
    "Fire takes what it wants and what it wants is usually what we hold most dear. But a little is always left behind - a new start."
    Written by: WarrenM

    WINNER:

    NightClucker (wip thread) (video)

    Our favorite entry.

    Really great work! Nightclucker took the story and did something totally unique with it! That doesn't always pay off but in this case it does. It's refreshing to see an art style that's different.

    The idea and style is beautifully simple.

    The viewer gets the story without reading the story criteria. Each panel is like moments frozen in time. We get the story from start to end, it flows and we really feel empathy for the bunny, there is emotion behind the scene.

    The 3 shots carry the story and theme wonderfully and the bunny at the end is almost heart warming.

    Good use of snow theme.

    Good wip thread with plenty of updates.

    The clever placement of the WoLD logo is subtle and fun to look for. The search is actually more fun than seeing it blatantly placed somewhere, subtlety preserves the scene.

    Excellent work, well done!










    RUNNER UPS:

    Burnill (wip thread) (video)

    Great interpretation of the theme! The burned down orphanage works well for the message and the flowers, while a little heavy handed, work well enough to convey the second part of the theme. Although the flower tends to get lost amidst the chaos and doesn't stand out very well.

    Good use of custom assets to create the scene.

    Lighting does not lead the eye and is neutral across each screenshot. The first shot demonstrates this with just a blast of pixels and other than the small orange fire in the middle. It fails the squint test - squint eyes and look at the shot. It is hard to tell what's going on or where the eye should be looking.

    Don't rely on your mesh placement alone. Granted this scene is on an overcast day and that tends to diffuse light and soften shadows, but it could still be improved from a composition standpoint.

    Spending more time on lighting the scene would have made this entry really stand out. Using lighting and more contrast would have been helpful to draw the eye. Right now, we don't know where to look.

    Fits very well with the winter theme.

    Great implementation of WoLD logo, it fits into the scene seamlessly.

    The wip thread is very good. There were plenty of progress updates and explanations.










    Duruk (wip thread) (video)

    Visually solid scene.

    Follows and captures the story very well.

    The idea for 9/11 is risky because it could be done poorly, or it could appear to be a pandering to the masses for votes. Neither of those things happened and the work turned out to be a legitimate recreation. We wish you'd gone outside the lines a little. It fits the narrative but it doesn't really bring anything new to the table.

    The WOLD logo, while there, could have been a little more creative.

    While the winter theme is apparent, it doesn't stick out quite as much.

    The scene captures a human feeling. It was very important to show people in the screenshot, it would not be effective without them. The second screenshot is liberating and powerful. People add to the emotional dynamic of the scene.

    There are two very similar screenshots. A different point of view would have been ideal.










    sarge mat (wip thread) (video)

    Nice lighting and contrast of the scene, draws attention to the important focal points of the environment.

    Earlier daylight version was also well done. Night version works well too as you allow yourself to have some fun with lighting.

    The orange fires really work well with the blue-ish ambient/sky light. The purple light on the horizon could have been omitted as it seems to fight with the other colors in the scene. It distracts from the focal points of the scene.

    Great composition in the first shot with the lit path leading to the ruins. The street lights on the left feel like they're trying to do the same thing as the path lights and don't feel necessary. You could leave them out and center the camera on the path.

    Nice detail in the rocks and snow. It works well and looks very organic and natural. Fits well with the winter theme.

    Close up shot of the fire and picture begins to tell a story and lets us fill in the gaps of a story (someone lost, picture is hope). There is a narrative begins to emerge. But the story isn't clear. We are not sure who the two people are and why there is a fire. There are missing pieces that diminish the communication and because of that it is hard to connect it to the world. Far away establishing shots #1 and #3 don't do much to tell a story of the scene.

    The wip had plenty of updates. It would have been nice to read more detailed explanations of what was being done to create the scene.










    xpldrox (wip thread)

    Overall impression is that it looks great! The alien ship/creature in the sky looks convincing and interesting. Beautiful landscape and magnitude captured.

    The alien is a great center piece and it was framed well in the shots. The eye is drawn there immediately and then you begin to explore the rest of the scene to see what's happening.

    Daylight shot is a great showcase screenshot as the sun hitting the rocks, the close rock formation gives the alien a good sense of depth in the scene. A criticism here would be that the rock closest to the camera needs a better texture - it's pretty blurry and it distracts the eye.

    If the alien is meant to be causing the volcano to erupt (from the WIP thread), it would have been nice to see some indication of that. Beams shooting out from it and into the mouth of the volcano or something like that.

    The world is really magnificent on so many levels. However it does miss the point of the story. It has the fire and destruction but no obvious message of hope or new beginnings. Just death and destruction.

    Very good wip thread. A lot of effort was put in to it with updates and explanations of what was being done.

    We would have liked to see some of the other points of interest in the screenshots. Such as the ruins.

    We really enjoyed your work xpldrox and hope to see more from you.





    Last edited by AlexG; 03-02-2012 at 13:07.
    AlexG
    Alex Galuzin Blog: My personal blog and work
    World of Level Design.com: Creative Toolset to Becoming a Level Designer and Game Env Artist

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like
    Congratulations guys, especially NightClucker, your work is the most original between the fives

    This was a hard challenge, i've learned alot with it, every work here was good and i'm waiting for the next.

    Thanks wold team. =)

  3. #3
    Senior Member sarge mat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stafford, Staffordshire and Ireland
    Posts
    607
    Post Thanks / Like
    Agreed NightClucker your work was very original. Congrats to all, very pleased to have made the top five!


    Thanks to Alex, Keith, Smog and Warren you guys always do a great job, looking forward to the next one.

    Thanks for the feedback guys it was very useful.

  4. #4
    Senior Member keithgarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Behind you.
    Posts
    1,045
    Post Thanks / Like
    Congrats guys. It's always a blast reviewing these things. If you're looking for a bit more perspective and personal critique here's my veneration for the top 5:

    Burnill
    -lighting does not lead the eye and is neutral across each screenshot
    -flat level with objects thrown around
    -textures are low res and instantly lower the quality of work
    +WoLD Teddy bear
    +Follows criteria

    The idea is solid with a lot of backstory to wonder about and imagine. The level was not effectively created, but itís good to see more levels being completed and submitted. The WoLD Teddy is seriously awesome and I want one. Try to look for concept art that will provide more engaging scenery. Here are some concept screens to get you moving in the right direction. A ceiling could give you the contrast in lighting youíre looking for. Also notice the debris stacking up in the Z direction that leads the eye.






    Sarge mat

    Great work as always. The problem with this scene is the ambiguity of it all. Iím not sure who the two people are, why there is a fire, nor why Iíve been plunged into it. There are missing pieces that diminish the communication and because of that I couldnít connect to the world; it felt more like a test level. Iím also wondering what the purpose of the first screenshot and the third screenshot is. After looking through the challenges, itís clear that each of the three screenshots is vital and necessary for telling a good story. Like scarce resource they should be planned carefully and made full use of.


    xpldrox

    +Excellent job logging progress
    +Beautiful landscape and magnitude captured
    +Snow
    -wold logo seems out of place
    -story deviates from the challenge criteria


    This world is really magnificent on so many levels. However, given that the entrťe missing the point of the story completely, I canít give it a passing grade as much as Iíd love to.

    "Fire takes what it wants and what it wants is usually what we hold most dear. But a little is always left behind - a new start."

    Imagine a game director asking for ďanything that fits this ideaĒ and he/she is handed a completely different, but cool, thing. Where is ďa new startĒ in these pictures? Why was it left out? Regardless of how breath taking and eye catching the scene is, it still misses the entire point of what the director was looking for. This is why listening is such an important aspect in team work and game design. I really love your work xpldrox and I hope to see more from you soon. These are the levels that I look forward to seeing, the ones that I can pull my friends over and say ďcheck this outĒ.


    Duruk

    -Snow theme barely used
    -WoLD image could have been placed more effectively
    -wasted a screenshot on the same area twice.

    +Relied more on the theme of cold, which is fine
    +Documented well
    +Good video


    The idea for 9/11 is risky because it could be done poorly, or it could appear to be a pandering to the masses for votes. Luckily neither of those things happened and the work turned out to be a legitimate recreation. It was good revisiting my past. This scene evoked some of the thoughts and emotions I felt back then. Two of the screenshots are of the same scene; this is a lost opportunity to me. Regarding the two different screenshots: the first is the most powerful in that it captures a human feeling. It was very important to show people in the screenshot, it would not be effective without them. The patches of snow barely ties in with the criteria at a surface level, but the shivering of the person goes a lot deeper to the message the scene implies. The second screenshot is liberating and powerful.

    See, the thing is, I donít care for recreations like this no matter how well they are done-- especially in a contest. The reason is becauseÖ where are the authors ideas? Where are the new ideas? How much of it is the author and how much relies on what already happened? The entire scene is heavy handed in that the author has decided to play the violin of tragic past, with little or no innovation. This is why the project was doomed from the start. Powerful scenes like this exploit us emotionally because weíve already experienced it, where as the entire aspect of story telling in games is to allude to past experiences, not shove them back in our faces.



    Nightclucker
    +Interesting art style
    +Textures done by hand
    +Documented project thoroughly
    +Follows criteria to the T
    +Good use of snow theme
    +Simple story telling element
    +Effectively gets across the idea
    +Clever placement of WoLD sign

    -no animations except for ember effect


    Itís refreshing to see an art style thatís different. It reminds me of the Secret of Kells. The story is simple but effective. The relationship between the tree and the rabbit is touching and effectively communicated with the images. The clever placement of the WoLD logo is subtle and fun to look for. The search is actually more fun than seeing it blatantly placed somewhere-- subtlety preserves the scene without standing out like an elephant in the room. WoLD isnít an evil corporation that demands its logo eclipse the authorís work. No, itís an evil corporation that demands optical illusions and slights of hand, dammit. Because the criteria was met, and the level is outstanding, this one gets my vote. Each piece synergizes with the other, and they all form to make something worth sharing.
    AlexG carries Thor hammer; moderators sit and muse.
    releasing the level > video > pictures > text > nothing
    Inspiration Beat This

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    46
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for the feedback keithgarry, it's really helpfull for the future

    This was an well done judgment!

  6. #6
    Member Burnill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    UK, Leeds
    Posts
    99
    Post Thanks / Like
    A roof is such a good idea, man something so simple and thinking about it being in the scene has opened up so much more ideas I could have used!
    Cheers for the feedback lads!
    And well played by everyone else!]

    I'll be back for the next one

  7. #7
    Senior Member White Paper Games's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    725
    Post Thanks / Like
    Good job guys! Awesome work!

  8. #8
    Senior Member FRAG69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tavistock, UK
    Posts
    165
    Post Thanks / Like