Exterior TileSet

The Exterior TileSet Tool was designed to quickly create massive amounts of game content without the traditional bottlenecks of hand-building levels. With it designers could draw out cities in minutes, complete with elevation changes, waterfronts, piazzas, trees, parked cars, phone booths, and statues, etc.

I created the street-system for how Tiles connected, the building measurement and placement systems to balance perf with aestehtics, modeled all the Tile geometry, and placed all the proxy-buildings that were later swapped out for final art.

TileSet Levels had to be made from modular pieces while still creating unique city spaces, stay within the PS3's memory limits, and have a quick work-flow for designers. As a comparison, levels that took several months to make by hand were recreated with the TileSet in a matter of hours.

Below is a top-down diagram of all the street configurations for the TileSet. The black lines are the streets and each square is a full city block (tile).

This top-down diagram shows a single Tile. Streets could connect Tiles through one of the connection points per side.

In this top-down diagram, the colored areas were the spaces buildings eventually occupied. Using this diagram I determined building sizes, how often buildings repeated, and the street angles the buildings needed to accommodate.

The image below shows the player's field of view, both horizontally (left) and vertically (right). The buildings needed to restrict the player's view enough to stream content in and out during gameplay.

We also needed to balance gameplay both in the streets and indoors. The gray buildings were enterable for indoor gameplay, while the colored buildings were not. Colored buildings acted as bookends to keep the gray, enterable buildings lined up.