So this week I've mostly been working on level design ideas! Ever since we decided to try to build puzzles out as separate rooms during this phase of the project, I've been trying to figure out a good workflow for coming up with puzzles.
I'm finding that this top-down map style of design doesn't really work that well for our project. I want this game to have a lot of exploration, but in forming levels this way, I usually end up with something really simplified and boxy, and it's hard to really visualize the space. I've found that a more effective way of making the puzzles is to start to block something out and get it into game as soon as possible - then I can walk around in it and figure out what makes the most sense. In fact, my most recent puzzle came from me realizing that I'd built the level in such a way that the player could easily get stuck.
That said, after brainstorming a bit on the Frog Temple, I started thinking about stacking structures and playing with different heights, which is something top-down design really doesn't allow for - so now I want to see what I can do to start thinking about them more dimensionally. I think the best way to design might be to just start in Max, and see what happens.
Some (probably) Chameleon Temple level brainstorming:
Thinking about trees and how they can mix things up. Starting to get into some Frog Temple stuff at the bottom (lily pads).
Some Octopus and Arctic Fox Temple ideas.
Frog Temple ideas, thinking about stacking.
Here are the new puzzles I blocked out this week. Only the middle one is currently "complete" as a puzzle. The other 2 are in a place where I want to start playing with them.
Here's what Miles has been doing!: