After doing a bit of research I found that the perfect location and time for the game’s story is New York, early 90’s. As a drone pilot I am accustomed to scouting my filming location beforehand in Google Earth. So To get a better idea of what I was about to get myself into I launched it on my iPad Pro.
Oh. Come on now! This totally feels like cheating! There I had the full shoreline of New York 100% in the correct camera angle for me to scroll trough at my leisure! Simply breezing past any port or harbour gave me a hundred assets to evaluate: how their shapes work in parallax depth, what objects are near each other, how is the empty space utilized? My brain went full tilt just thinking about all the level design I basically had for free right here!
In reality, ports are wide, open areas with different functions usually spread really far apart, not even on the same lot. I will try to condense all of the different areas into one ”open world location”. I have been thinking of having the full game take part in pretty much one vast location with no teleporting or traditional load screens in between. I think that this would be a cool fresh angle for a point and click game.
The best part about this is that I (and you) can export meshes directly from Maps and use them as scale reference in my 3D modelling process. This will save a ton of time as I can create an asset library from real world locations and buildings and merge them together to form the base for my world.
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c “SET RENDERDOC_HOOK_EGL=0 && START “” ^”C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe^” –disable-gpu-sandbox –gpu-startup-dialog”
Simply getting the raw, unmodified meshes to Unity will allow be to plan my scale and walking distances and spatial relations for different points of interest. It will be very easy for me to try out different alternatives and leave room for happy accidents without making any content myself. After I have kit bashed the location using Google Maps sourced meshes I can move on to actually crafting the final assets and duplicate the location in the game style.
Looking back at this I am not sure why I was so surprised about how amazing Google Earth was for scouting and planning the locations for an isometric game! Luckily there will still be plenty of work left for me planning the interiors…
Any tips on Google Earth for floor-plans?