Life's a Beach is a 5-level campaign featuring new Survivors, Special Infected, music and much more!
The team has been hard at work building levels, environment models, character models, textures and music.
Posted by Andrew_Bennison on Nov 16th, 2011
Work has stepped up for Prospect since we gained more team members. Last month has seen a huge boost in assets being created. Modding often takes so long due to small teams taking on a variety of responsibilities. My methodology is to find talented people who you can efficiently work with, ensuring content can be produced quicker and to a higher standard than if you were to simply do it all yourself.
With three designers we have been able to work on 3 levels simultaneously which has been very positive for the quality of the campaign. Our new environment artists Rosie Coleman and Rhys Brailsford have also been busy concepting and designing models and textures for level 1
In terms of overall design, L1 is finished and we are focusing on the more nuanced aspects. The main section of the game is the Club, as you enter music starts playing and the survivors are forced to hold out against a massive onslaught of infected.
Above you can an in-game version of the club. While it is coming along, there is still a lot of placeholders assets along with a lot of refining required (lights, fog etc.). However you can get a feel for the environment and how dangerous an onslaught will be to deal with.
Here are some custom assets for the club built by Rhys Brailsford. We are building tables, chairs, railings and an entire bar out of models. We want the club to play well and show off our art skills.
The Cormorant has been ravaged by infected, with some sections completely destroyed as chaos broke out. A theme running throughout LaB is these picture perfect, holiday locations being completely ripped apart. It's a fun contrast to work with, building nice clean cabins and bright pastel buildings then applying a layer of grit and horror on-top.
For the design team this is the first major mod project we have worked on, as a result we have been continuously learning from our mistakes. Level 2 was designed early on by me at a time when I simply didn't know enough about L4D's structure and flow, something that is vital in order to build a level that plays well and runs efficiently.
Level 2 continued to be developed on my, what I would describe now as, faulty design. After a lot of research, analysis and discussion we came to the conclusion that the level would have to be massively revamped to play well.
While this sounds bad, it's one of the best actions we have taken on this project, our re-design, even in its most basic form, plays much better. We would rather have a campaign where every level is enjoyable as opposed to continuing with a borderline broken design. I'm mentioning this because I think it's important to highlight your errors for yourself and others. I would like to at some point demonstrate how the level has progressed so that other mappers, modders and anyone with a passing interest can possibly learn from our mistakes.
Since learning more about L4D's structure my work on Level 3 has so far been very promising. As with Level 2 I think it would worth doing a feature showing the iterative designs it has gone through.
Our music man Griff has been working on finalising some of our tracks for L1 & 2, I will posting some of these soon to help give you guys the feeling and vibe of the campaign.
Work on the 3D survivor models has finally begun! Our modeller pappaskurtz has started on the Prisoner model, as he nears a presentable form we will post screenshots. As with other sections of the game I plan to do features on how we came up with the survivors and took them from concepts to fleshed out working models.
I would like to post more frequently and with more art, music and design work being produced every week I think that is possible (I just need to sleep less!). I will be updating our team / vacancy page so if you would like to contribute to the project and become part of the team you can email me at email@example.com .
We also have a Facebook page and will soon be setting up a L4DMaps and twitter account.
Thanks for reading and look out for more content soon!
- Andrew Bennison