A Day in the Museum
Role: Level designer, Programmer, Artist (Forest Hall)
Team: 3 total
Time: 2 months
Tech: Unreal Engine, Blueprint, 3dMax
A Day in the Museum is the final project for Level Design Studio class at the NYU Game Center taught by Robert Yang. Made by Rachel, Yiren, and Suyi.
A Day in the Museum is a short 3D level about meeting up with your friend in a natural history museum.Your goal is to reach certain spots and find certain exhibition items inside the museum with the information given to you by your friend via text messages.
This level is inspired by Rachel’s experience of visiting The American Museum of Natural History. There, she found an amazing collection and specimens, but wasn’t able to go through all of them because she spent most of her time trying to navigate around the museum due to the lack of guidance and organization of the space. Therefore, for this project we wish to create a visually stunning but also confusing level that can be both enjoyable and an overwhelming experience for the player.
The layout of the space is also based on the The American Museum of Natural History, as well as other similar museums and references from other 3D games such as Grand Theft Auto and Bioshock.
This level started off as a class assignment in which we are asked to design a level based on studies of an existing architecture. My subject of choice is The American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Throughout the process we were asked to do research, draw parti and layout diagrams of the level, and level blockouts for playtesting.
Designing the level
Keywords: Compact, Confusing, Busy, forest-like, disorienting, interesting, lack of focus
Once the layout is drafted out, I went through multiple iterations and playtesting to refine the level flow and pacing.
For the final project I decided to work with Suyi and Yiren to continue polish the art and visual design of the level. We were able to use other elements in the game to guide the players, such as NPC movements, lighting design, signs, and UI animations. Due to time constraint we had to cut out some of the rooms from the earlier design, but that allowed us more time to better polish the remaining ones.
In this part of the process I worked on the environment art in the forest hall. I slightly adjusted the level to better represent the layout of a museum, such as including a hero prop in each room as the center of attention. Other details such as posters, display cases, and animal models also helped create more visual interest for the players and better achieve our design goal of creating an overwhelming yet satisfying experience.