1. Lesson 23: Static Perspectives

      written by Ray Benefield
      Today's lesson is a wee bit late, but hey... Halo: Reach is out so you can't really blame me now can you :P. Anyways, remember to keep applying these principles to your creations in progress. Also the Forge Lessons BNet thread has reached the status of Top Threads and is now on the sidebar of the Halo Reach Forums. Feel free to continue to support them and provide your testimonials and help draw people over here to RP. Also if you haven't seen it yet, I published my first batch of content. If you haven't played Flatline or haven't downloaded it then please do so. Also please take the time to head over to BNet to tag it, like it, and comment on it if you please. Spread the word to other sites as well. Also Conquest is nearly done and will be posted this week with a new variant that we are calling Armorquest. I hope you guys enjoy the new Conquest. We all think it is MUCH better than H3. Stay tuned tomorrow for a full blown guide to making a Conquest map in Reach with guidelines, weapons, etc. Spread the word that Conquest is coming. Cuz it is going to be big. ;) Next forge lesson will probably be Wednesday/Thursday again. Keep reading RP and keep showing people the site. Enjoy the lesson... it has to do with loadout cameras, screenshots, and films.

      Sometimes when a player experiences a map for the first time they don’t start with a spawn perspective. Sometimes they get an overview of the map that allows them to make decisions and gain a first impression before they start playing or have any sort of control of what they are seeing. Sometimes a player doesn’t have control over what they see during cinematic sequences and where they look next. These perspectives that players do not have control over are what we call static perspectives.

      Your terms

      Static perspectives are a powerful tool in a designer’s toolbox for creating the experience the designer envisions. The designer has full control over static perspectives. They are something that are fully owned by a designer and are very predictable experience-wise when compared to other design theories that rely on hypothesizing what players will see and do. However, with great power comes great responsibility. When things don’t go a player’s way while traversing a map they have the chance to blame themselves because they control their own perspective. However they have no control over static perspectives like map overviews so if they have a bad map overview or see a bad screenshot the fault falls on you as the designer. Don’t ever give your player’s a reason to doubt your credibility as a designer. Remember how important those first impressions are.

      Painting a picture

      When preparing a static perspective, always remember that you are painting a picture or film that your players are witnessing. Remember that you are an artist trying to sell your work to your audience. Use whatever techniques you can think of to make your static perspectives as pleasing as possible. Take note of the color contrast that exists in your picture. Remember your eye catching techniques to draw attention to things. Remember the rule of thirds and place important landmarks, incentives, and deterrents on the focus points of the static perspective. Remember the importance of teaching your players your map to provide them the knowledge they need to have a full and enjoyable experience. Static perspectives are also a great tool for area introduction. Remember that level design is a smooth cohesive process, not just a bunch of individual parts. Everything works together as one and learning to combine and mix and match techniques is a delicate but powerful skill.


      Static perspectives can be many things. Screenshots of your map in a thread on a level design forum are a great example of static perspectives. Sometimes a camera exists that is used to give an overview of a map while players select their weapons. Maybe there is a security camera that players have access to but can’t control and can see the map in the camera’s perspective. Perhaps you created a film to show off your map. In the case of batches of perspectives, remember the perspective variance concept when using various techniques. Games have used many static perspectives throughout the ages and learning to see them as pieces of art will allow you to adjust them and plant a particular opinion or impression on your customers. That. Is. Power.


      Noklu said...

      In the 'your terms' paragraph, near the end, there is a reference to 'first impressions.' Add a link to that lesson, perhaps?

      So this would include the spawn cameras that you can look through while dead?

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Why does said "Candy Mountain" look like a d***?

      Hmmm, some foreshadowing? I don't know. I am getting off that topic, I just disturbed myself.

      Anyways, nice lesson Godly. This lesson is more about getting good screenshots/views of a map in order to create a good first impression on you buyers (players), am I right?

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Yes and also on how to place loadout cameras as well. It isn't always about first impression it is also about smooth presentation.

      And Noklu there is already a link to first impressions in the first paragraph. I only do one link for each lesson.

      Noklu said...

      Oh, my bad. Didn't see that.