The level and technology designer for Mass Effect Andromeda, Jos Hendriks, was recently talking about the processes involved in level design. While he did not specifically mention Andromeda, that is the primary game Bioware is working on so we can connect the dots here.
Talking of, Hendriks was primarily discussing how connecting the dots between different missions and levels is equally important as “setpiece” scenes. Trying to explain the importance he posed questions like “what if you need to be in a type A environment for scene 1 to work, but scene 2 requires a different kind of space? How do you connect them?”
The connective tissue of a mission or level is almost just as important as the “setpiece” moments and scenes. It needs to be convincing.
He then talked about how using a top down rough sketch layout helps visualize things in a better way:
I have found that it’s actually pretty handy to try and draw out a mission in top-down rough layout sketch to break down story beats. Not only does it help me actively visualize what spaces the player will be going through, but also everyone working with me.
You can check up on the rest of the tweets from the Mass Effect Andromeda level designer by going here.
Mass Effect Andromeda releases in the last quarter of 2016.