This part of the process is when I do three specific things. First, I will apply a basic, development placeholder material to all surface. Second, I will tighten up the geometry and by the end of this pass, hopefully will never have to touch geometry again. Finally, I am creating all of the needed pieces/props to make functional navigation and context to locations.
Here I placed in a fence prop to foreshadow the alleyway the player would later enter, this also helped to give context to what was stopping the player from proceeding as opposed to a flat wall of dev material. I also added a player clip so that, even if a player managed to glitch themselves over this fence, they wouldn’t be able to skip parts of the map, acting as an invisible wall.
Some areas will need a textured piece of geometry that is neither a tool (such as a trigger box or player clip) nor a dev texture. For example: These windows would not read well if they were not transparent.
This is what a completed space looks. It has a trigger function for the gameplay elements, some details to give context to the boarded-up windows, prop doors, and a real texture down at the end for elevator doors. This is about the detail required to give a sense of context without doing environment art.
I just finished my first playthrough of the first half of the map, testing its mechanics to make sure it all works. For the most part it’s okay, but there are a few problems that have to be addressed. The issues in order are: lobby doors open before blown up, vents are too large, vent ladder dismount gets player stuck, elevator doors close before player can get in, lobby door opens wrong way on explosion, combine gate material not showing on road, combine console invisible, APC does not move (stuck in ground?), wire doesn’t break, trigger box for button shows, No ladder to magnum roof, invisible wall for combine gate doesn’t go away.
The playthrough can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ8H5TC_WdA&t=5s
Here is the courtyard again with all of the props, puzzles, and geometry needed. The only thing it has to have now is combat.
I’ve completed this pass of the level. I am able to play from beginning to end with no issues. The puzzle solving is included, and all of the rooms, doors, ladders, etc. are in place. After this video a made a few fixes to the optimization and tweaked some of the puzzles slightly, but those were very minor changes. With this in place, I am confident to begin my work on the combat and make the level play the way I would like it to.
You can watch this playthrough here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzX3rAC6kVI&t=70s