Instead of working on more test levels for Overgrowth (which you can preorder here), I decided to work on trying to make a "real" level. While it may not appear in the final game, it uses a lot of the ideas I have been working out lately about structering a level to make playing through it more interesting. The other major difference is trying to include a level of visual fidelity that makes the level interesting to look at.
Be sure to watch it in HD!
I think making a visually interesting level requires a few things. For starters, the level has to be nice to look at, with interesting vistas that change as you navigate it -- but looking cool will only get you so far. The next important thing is to engage the player's attention through gameplay-relevent visuals. A scene is much more interesting if you know that you will be able to interact with it in an interesting way. Finally, it's good to include as much visual storytelling as possible by giving the space a sense of history, and showing evidence of past events. I have only scratched the surface on that aspect, but expect to see more of it in next week's video!
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