The Light of Dreams
The Light of Dreams is a walking simulator game where the player explores light in space as an art form. The space is heavily inspired by James Turrell's art. In the game player will move through four levels, ranging from outdoor to indoor. The goal of the game is to make the player feel in awe of a dream like state in a world filling with unique combinations of space and light.
Role: Level Designer
Project Leader: Avery Holmes
The game is designed as an one time experience and not for replay-ability in mind, so there are no modular blocks other than walls and some doors. I want to go over the environmental storytelling and texturing process on this project. The reading of ‘Environmental storytelling’ has the most impact on the game along with lighting. Right before we got to this reading, we already broken down what we want the player experience and feel to be in the three levels. After the reading, we understood how important a narrative context can be. We added more details to the story of what had happened and what is going to happen in the simplified space. We know that with an abstracted visual, it would be difficult to communicate to the player a story of the place. It was only because of going through this process that we realize that there are core concepts that can be translated even when we have an simplified visual. For example, the hallway in the first indoor area where we want the player to feel like they are in an office space. A long extended hallway with typical doors on both sides really capture the feel of an office space. We added the arch ceiling and lighting panels to add a touch of dream like feel that the game wants to capture. We believe that the arch works here because it gives a nostalgia feeling of the past and at the same time, a grand atmosphere like in Roman structures. The light also acts as ‘telegraphing’ medium in the world, to lead player to hero pros as well as guide them through the level.
The reading ‘Texturing Values For Environments’ affects our process in making the game. We would take screenshots of the game and export it into Photoshop and desaturate it in order to check if all the surfaces work together to form a good range grays. This is to make sure that every details we put in the game will be visually readable easily by the player. We made sure to keep the texture toward the brighter side as suggested in the reading that there are no physical world materials that would go below a 50% gray scale value. It is true that we did apply texture heavily in the game, but we carefully choose where we applied them. First is the wall, we want to keep the feel of a simplified abstract world so we mainly tweak with the reflectivity of the material over giving a surface. The main texture that is clearly visible is more of the flooring like rugs in one of the room in the first indoor level.
This is where colors come into play. They fill the lack of details and add story to the environment as well. We carefully went through many color variations before concluding on the palette in order to capture each moment in the game that fits the experience that we planned. Overall, The Light of Dreams achieved to take the player from a world that feels like an everyday place to a abstract dream like world where space and light is the only language.