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Storytelling LevelDesign Challenge #2: Winner and Top 5

Category: Challenges
March 02, 2012

Storytelling Level Design Challenge 2 top 5 final work. After much deliberation we have decided on the final winner of the challenge.

We anonymously agreed on the first place but we had hard time picking 2nd and 3rd place. So we decided to make one top winner and the rest four entries were runner ups.

All entries receive notes from us of what each entry did well and take always for each designer. We hope that the notes will help to improve your work. All notes are a compilation from me, Keith, Smog and Warren.

Thank you to all who participated making the challenge a success as well as to Keith, Smog and Warren.

"Fire takes what it wants and what it wants is usually what we hold most dear. But a little is always left behind - a new start." - Written by: WarrenM



Our favorite entry.

Really great work! Nightclucker took the story and did something totally unique with it! That doesn't always pay off but in this case it does. It's refreshing to see an art style that's different.

The idea and style is beautifully simple.

The viewer gets the story without reading the story criteria. Each panel is like moments frozen in time. We get the story from start to end, it flows and we really feel empathy for the bunny, there is emotion behind the scene.

The 3 shots carry the story and theme wonderfully and the bunny at the end is almost heart warming.

Good use of snow theme.

Good wip thread with plenty of updates.

The clever placement of the WoLD logo is subtle and fun to look for. The search is actually more fun than seeing it blatantly placed somewhere, subtlety preserves the scene.

Excellent work, well done!



Great interpretation of the theme! The burned down orphanage works well for the message and the flowers, while a little heavy handed, work well enough to convey the second part of the theme. Although the flower tends to get lost amidst the chaos and doesn't stand out very well.

Good use of custom assets to create the scene.

Lighting does not lead the eye and is neutral across each screenshot. The first shot demonstrates this with just a blast of pixels and other than the small orange fire in the middle. It fails the squint test - squint eyes and look at the shot. It is hard to tell what's going on or where the eye should be looking.

Don't rely on your mesh placement alone. Granted this scene is on an overcast day and that tends to diffuse light and soften shadows, but it could still be improved from a composition standpoint.

Spending more time on lighting the scene would have made this entry really stand out. Using lighting and more contrast would have been helpful to draw the eye. Right now, we don't know where to look.

Fits very well with the winter theme.

Great implementation of WoLD logo, it fits into the scene seamlessly.

The wip thread is very good. There were plenty of progress updates and explanations.



Visually solid scene.

Follows and captures the story very well.

The idea for 9/11 is risky because it could be done poorly, or it could appear to be a pandering to the masses for votes. Neither of those things happened and the work turned out to be a legitimate recreation. We wish you'd gone outside the lines a little. It fits the narrative but it doesn't really bring anything new to the table.

The WOLD logo, while there, could have been a little more creative.

While the winter theme is apparent, it doesn't stick out quite as much.

The scene captures a human feeling. It was very important to show people in the screenshot, it would not be effective without them. The second screenshot is liberating and powerful. People add to the emotional dynamic of the scene.

There are two very similar screenshots. A different point of view would have been ideal.

sarge mat

Nice lighting and contrast of the scene, draws attention to the important focal points of the environment.

Earlier daylight version was also well done. Night version works well too as you allow yourself to have some fun with lighting.

The orange fires really work well with the blue-ish ambient/sky light. The purple light on the horizon could have been omitted as it seems to fight with the other colors in the scene. It distracts from the focal points of the scene.

Great composition in the first shot with the lit path leading to the ruins. The street lights on the left feel like they're trying to do the same thing as the path lights and don't feel necessary. You could leave them out and center the camera on the path.

Nice detail in the rocks and snow. It works well and looks very organic and natural. Fits well with the winter theme.

Close up shot of the fire and picture begins to tell a story and lets us fill in the gaps of a story (someone lost, picture is hope). There is a narrative begins to emerge. But the story isn't clear. We are not sure who the two people are and why there is a fire. There are missing pieces that diminish the communication and because of that it is hard to connect it to the world. Far away establishing shots #1 and #3 don't do much to tell a story of the scene.

The wip had plenty of updates. It would have been nice to read more detailed explanations of what was being done to create the scene.



Overall impression is that it looks great! The alien ship/creature in the sky looks convincing and interesting. Beautiful landscape and magnitude captured.

The alien is a great center piece and it was framed well in the shots. The eye is drawn there immediately and then you begin to explore the rest of the scene to see what's happening.

Daylight shot is a great showcase screenshot as the sun hitting the rocks, the close rock formation gives the alien a good sense of depth in the scene. A criticism here would be that the rock closest to the camera needs a better texture - it's pretty blurry and it distracts the eye.

If the alien is meant to be causing the volcano to erupt (from the WIP thread), it would have been nice to see some indication of that. Beams shooting out from it and into the mouth of the volcano or something like that.

The world is really magnificent on so many levels. However it does miss the point of the story. It has the fire and destruction but no obvious message of hope or new beginnings. Just death and destruction.

Very good wip thread. A lot of effort was put in to it with updates and explanations of what was being done.

We would have liked to see some of the other points of interest in the screenshots. Such as the ruins.

We really enjoyed your work xpldrox and hope to see more from you.


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