The first lesson I learned from this test is that my camera zoom really does not go back far enough! Games are usually not made in real world scale it seems! but I am going to. This for sure has an effect in the game-design. First I will for sure need to add a map screen to the game: it is so easy to get lost in the location.
The thing I like the most about using photoscanned, real locations mashed up together to make game levels is that I do not need to imitate life. I will get so many layers of storytelling for free! The world I will end up will feel lived in and realistic no matter what! All the little details and life that has gone imto the world being as it is is really hard to design from scratch. Being able to simply pick up elements from anywhere on earth and use them to create the ultimate location is amazing!
After building the location from crappy Google meshes I will need to create everything myself to transform the lowres scans into tasteful, final lowpoly art, but that is just polish!
I outlined the process of exporting Google Maps data in more detail in my previous blog post, you should read that if you are interested in this!
It will be really interesting to see how my decision to use photo-scanned real world data for location design will affect the game-play. Immediately it feels really unique to me! It will also bring it’s limitations: things will be really far apart, so the location might have to be a little more compact. Like I may not be able to cram in a hospital and a movie theater and a park and a carnival, but perhaps the game needs to be more localized to a single location (that will just be HUGE). Also I can introduce fast-travel points that you can always teleport to once found for the first time, maybe.
Whatever the final decisions will be, this sure is an interesting design to work on!