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EliTheWolfe

Dungeon Advice

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Hey everyone. I'm still interested in becoming part of the team here but I still need something to show my work so I wanted to share what I've completed of Privateer's Hold from Daggerfall. The esp is attached in a .zip.

I wanted to get some advice from other level designers preferably who know what they're doing just to make sure I'm headed in the right direction and not doing anything obviously wrong. I could really use a general idea of what I have left to do after the structure / clutter is 100% finished. Thanks in advance for your help.

In game use coc privateershold01 (Though I haven't finished the rooms / portals as I sort of need help with those too)

Daggerfall.zip

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Just took a stroll through it. 

First thing I'll recommend is to not base it entirely off of the original in Daggerfall. Daggerfall's dungeons were randomly generated. While this made for a lot of replayability, it also made for very large boring dungeons that were easy to get lost in. Instead, build a design that follows the idea of Privateer's Hold. Use the same landmarks, but make shorter and fewer hallways. In my opinion, you should only have a room or hallway if you can really justify its existence. 

Also, try to make the individual rooms and halls more interestingly styled. There are a lot of room and halls that are just squares, which gets repetitive after a while. Break it up with pillars, broken walls, rubble, balconies, or any other features you can think of. 

I'm not sure at what stage of the cluttering you're at, but it's very barebones. It worked in Daggerfall, but you'll need a ton more stuff to bring it up to Skyrim's standard of clutter. You'll also want to match up the clutter to the tileset you've used better. There are a number of Nordic-style tables that clash badly with the walls. 

Lastly, there are a few technical issues. Some objects such as lights and sections of the floor pop in and out a lot. Not sure what causes that. Maybe room portals that aren't set up correctly? There are also some bits that appear to be missing entirely, such as the sides of the staircases in the largest room. Also, you have a lot of z-fighting in places. This is where there are two planes that intersect at the same level, making the texture flicker. Be sure to offset the models so they can't do that. There's also one ramp that's at about a 50 degree angle, which is too steep for a player to be logically able to climb it. 

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Thank you for the complete review, clearly it's finished... I asked for a general idea of the steps involved in level design for Skyrim specifically. I'll give an example below of what I mean.

  1. build structures and populate with clutter
  2. make rooms / portals
  3. add monsters / npcs
  4. (what else should I take into account when building from where I'm at)

I don't intend to change the layout at this point. This is quite accurate to the original so far and I'd rather keep it that way given the nostalgia people likely feel for it. As for clutter I agree there will have to be significantly more closer to Skyrim's standard clutter but again, it's a wip. btw there's only two nordic tables and they're at the start of the map. Few tables in the game will be able to match what the original looked like, again nostalgia. I'll admit it's a bit unorthodox but it really bothered you? hmm. During 4E they're tons of witches in high rock if I'm not mistaken, altars seem necessary. The holes in the stairs are because they aren't done silly. The 50 degree angle is actually in daggerfall. there were inclines you could walk up (slowly) if you had certain climbing skill. of course in skyrim's case all you should have to do is jump. Given that I stated it was unfinished, spare me the obvious details.

This is the ONLY dungeon in daggerfall I feel would be unfair to redesign

Edited by EliTheWolfe
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Thank you for the complete review, clearly it's finished... I asked for a general idea of the steps involved in level design for Skyrim specifically. I'll give an example below of what I mean.

  1. build structures and populate with clutter
  2. make rooms / portals
  3. add monsters / npcs
  4. (what else should I take into account when building from where I'm at)

I don't intend to change the layout at this point. This is quite accurate to the original so far and I'd rather keep it that way given the nostalgia people likely feel for it. As for clutter I agree there will have to be significantly more closer to Skyrim's standard clutter but again, it's a wip. btw there's only two nordic tables and they're at the start of the map. Few tables in the game will be able to match what the original looked like, again nostalgia. I'll admit it's a bit unorthodox but it really bothered you? hmm. During 4E they're tons of witches in high rock if I'm not mistaken, altars seem necessary. The holes in the stairs are because they aren't done silly. The 50 degree angle is actually in daggerfall. there were inclines you could walk up (slowly) if you had certain climbing skill. of course in skyrim's case all you should have to do is jump. Given that I stated it was unfinished, spare me the obvious details.

This is the ONLY dungeon in daggerfall I feel would be unfair to redesign

​A more complete list:

  1. Figure out what the dungeon is used for, by, and who else used it in the past in the ES universe. This should govern every bit of the following steps.
  2. Figure out any memorable moments for the dungeon.
  3. Build the shell of the dungeon
  4. Clutter the dungeon. Clutter should be placed realistically and in an amount that makes sense for the situation. A well established bandit camp will have more and different clutter than, say, a newly moved into one.
  5. Roombound and portals.
  6. Design your lighting templates. Remember you can use a roombound to change the lighting template of a specific room.
  7. Navmesh (must be done before placing NPC's
  8. Place NPC's. Remember to either give them an idle radius or to make them patrol.

Consider this thread your teaching thread, I will take you on as a student! I will take a look at your esp in the next few days.

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Much better list. Thanks for taking the time to actually help me. I'll have some work up later today following this structure. Happy bday btw (saw the thread below)

​Any progress on that updated work?

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