When I was a kid my parents used to make me take out the garbage when we lived in these old apartment complexes. They ALL had creepy, damp underground lots and of course, the garbage room was always as far away from the entrance in the dankest, darkest corners as possible! Being a bad kid, I would always find other places to throw the garbage!
When I started work on the apartment map I naturally started with the underground lot first. I visited the old mod version to refresh myself and was surprised at how much garbage there was everywhere! Like, literal garbage! Piles of bags and so many dumpsters in non-sensical places the city garbage crew would have a really tough time collecting it every few days! It was all subconscious stuff I guess! It was totally unintentional.
I’m actually amazed that I can even get anything done in regards to level building. Though my workflow is much better than it used to be, I still don’t do a good job of laying it out on paper first. Take a look, this is 100% real…unfortunately:
I usually work just from imagination or referencing memories of places that I’ve seen or been to, like the creepy old apartment parking lots! Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this…
…eventually turns into this.
I’ve found that once I establish a basic layout and nail the atmosphere down, it just sort of…takes on a life of its own? I don’t know how else to explain it other than the flow and logic of the visuals just guides me to fill in whatever it needs next.
Does that make sense? Hmm…I might just be crazy.