If you've ever wondered how game designers create the instances and encounters faced by players, the latest Guild Wars 2 blog will be of interest. In it, the process of creating the Bastion of the Penitent raid is detailed, including how the brainstorm that it was similar to a game of chess came about.
During 'tabletop' meetings, the teams get together and use, believe it or not, Post-It notepads, dry erase mats and movable objects all come into play. Working together, devs identify the constraints for the encounter such as not realistically having enough artists available to create, for instance, more than one boss. Then it's teamwork through the final design.
In addition to the design notes, the post also has a number of cool facts about Bastion of the Penitent:
- The instance was originally themed around a tomb, not a prison.
- One iteration of the tomb idea had an entire room of statues that would come to life, evoking a similar visual to the terra-cotta army of Qin Shi Huang.
- Cairn the Indomitable’s Orbital Sweep was shown as a large, blue stick in early testing. Testers called it the “pool noodle” attack.
- The internal name for the Mursaat Overseer was originally the Corrections Officer. It was eventually shortened to the “Chess Boss.”
- The Mursaat Overseer took twice as long to design compared to other encounters because the designer spent a month leading a boot camp for new hires.
- There are 1,222 spears in the map, for a total of 1.1 million triangles in spears alone!
- There was no cinematic to introduce the shackled prisoner encounter—the cinematics team saw the model and asked us if they could make one.
- The initial concept for the final boss involved players fighting the shackled prisoner, but the team felt it would be more interesting to humanize that character and instead fight the fearsome demon that imprisoned him.
Check out the full post on the Guild Wars 2 site.