Here’s a little behind the scenes look at how this latest level for Hidden Paws Mystery came to be.
It starts with a few rough sketches (by my sister or me) to get an idea of what the level is about. Then some additional sketches of key elements are made and photo references collected.
From there a rough mockup of the level is made in Unity using Probuilder and/or Blender. This is when I figure out the scale of everything and rough placement.
Once I’m happy with the grey boxes I start preparing rough assets (where new ones are needed) with textures slapped on, just so I can start seeing how it will all fit together. This phase continues as I work on assets and place them in the level even while they’re unfinished.
I keep adjusting textures, models and their placement until I’m satisfied with how the level feels. This is also when I play with lighting, color grading and post-processing stuff, to arive at the mood I want, based on the references gathered at the very beginning, but also on the current look of the level.
In this case the early concepts didn’t specify what kind of trees would be placed, and early on I assumed they would be some generic thin type with rich branch structures, but later on we arrived at the conclusion that knotted willows would work better both for the feel of the area and from the gameplay perspective, as their wide semi-hollow trunks would provide many hiding places for cats.
It’s not finished yet, some assets need touch-ups and some are still missing, but the look and feel is now pretty well established.
And now back to painting those textures.