Nearing the completion of level 1 design and it’s BIG

The amount of detail that goes into a single level is extensive, far more than a traditional RPG’s hand-drawn level for a night’s session. Gambit levels must be carefully tuned for 2-4 player characters. Rules change when the player count changes. Every single item and piece of treasure must be identified, positioned, and balanced between players and enemy encounters.

Level 1 has approximately 142 level tiles. That’s 426 square inches, though a good third of that is comprised of walls. The number of level objects and loot items have yet to be counted. Each area of significance within the level has detailed notes for the Game Master that specify the potential opportunities and outcomes available to players. As stated before, Game Masters will be able to run Gambit sessions with very little prep.

This is a significant milestone because it has established a few things between myself and Caleb:

  • We now have a rhythm for how to write story and design levels in tandem. Before, this process was unclear.
  • We have a much better idea of how large the average level will be (much bigger than anticipated).
  • We have a much better idea of how long it takes to design a level and now there’s momentum behind the process.
  • We are getting closer to hosting an online-play test.

I’ve spent extra time loading digital assets into Miro, which has significantly helped speed up level design. The Miro tool allows us to quickly manipulate tiles and diagram tiles that relate to each other. We are still weeks away from hosting a play test, but getting closer. It definitely feels like the first 80% of the vision came together relatively fast, but the final 20% that comprises all the nitty gritty details will take a LOT of extra time. When we host the play test, we want to make sure we’ve thought through as much as possible in order to simulate a proper gaming experience as best we can.

Leave a comment if you’re interested in joining one of our future play tests.

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