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In this third article about the creation of Krismahlo Island, it’s time to create the decorative elements and build the area with the Level Design team!

In this new area, we started with a simple foundational idea: The Theater. It seemed a natural choice for us, because we wanted to give life to a true, archetypal villain: a deeply manipulative individual consumed with resolute egomaniacal fervor, two of the necessary ingredients for dominating the world! This is how we created Dramak the Schemer.
 

Dramak is actually an old enemy of Captain Amakna. He was defeated by the Captain and faked his own death in an attempt to hide himself from scrutiny as he worked from the shadows to seize power.
He moved his base of operations to a small island that he was able to conceal from prying eyes… until today.
You can learn more about this dramatic origin story by completing quests in 2.15, but in the meanwhile, back to the sketches!
 
For starters, we needed a way to send adventurers to this uncharted island. We decided that, based on other major activities in the World of Twelve this year, there was a perfectly plausible way to have the island discovered by chance. The Wabbits have been developing drilling technology in order to increase their underground warrens and they stumbled upon Krismahlo while using these new “dwills.” Ben Pirate designed these new Wabbit drills that allowed Wabbit-kind to quietly expand their territory.
 

Most of these graphic elements were already developed for update 2.14, I only needed to develop the scene of the drill crash that would allow players access to Krismahlo Island.


Drillin' through the mine...


... but wound up backstage!

Then, we started to develop Dramak’s base of operations. We decided on an island halfway between Amakna and Moon Island. The island was previously protected from the curiosity of passing sailors by an ingenious system of movable scenery. As you explore the island, you’ll find that some of these sets are still standing, while others collapsed due to the collision with the drill.

Pirate Ben sketches out some ideas, which are then traced and vectorized in Flash to make the elements we’ll use in the map editor. He begins by creating the main building with Emilie along with parts of the décor.
 

We won’t spoil you too much, and we won’t reveal most of the maps in this area just yet. The hardest part is yet to come, because now it’s time to build the interior of the dungeon!
 
Dramak’s base is both a dungeon and a functional theater. This means that it must have both the comfort and luxury of a theater, as well as the mechanisms that operate the scenery… and we mustn’t forget the backstage area.

Here’s some of the development sketches we used as a foundation:
 

Based on these sketches, the designers make a series of assets for building the maps. Here are some examples:

Once the assets are created, I (Aasimar), design and assemble the maps of the dungeon. Here’s two examples:


Here’s the first map of the dungeon


And, oh, hello, this seems to be a backstage area… Can you work out how to get here?

And speaking of the backstage... As a player, I've always been a fan of hidden areas and puzzles that break up the monotony of a PvM session. I really wanted to incorporate something like this in this dungeon! Especially since the idea of a theater really lends itself to the concept, with a manipulative villain and moveable sets...

I wanted a puzzle that would require a bit of thought, but would still be fun and easy for the players. So I submitted my idea to two of the developers. In the end, Sili, with her eyes full of 0s and 1s, was able to extract the features of the mechanism from my head, give it structure, and bring it to life! Then, it was up to me to integrate it into the game...


Oops, spoiler !

Finally, just like the other articles, here’s a video of me assembling two maps from the Krismahlo area in real-time (lol).
 
The first map is from the inside of the theater, but the structure seemed too “simple” so I decided to also shoot a second map with the drill, which is much more complex
 

Well, we’ve come to the end of this series of articles. I hope you found it interesting and that you enjoyed being able to discover these hidden facets of our work. Have fun on the island and good luck finding all of the secrets we’ve hidden there!
 

Category: Community - Game design