Level 1 is the first level I began working on and I really wanted it to feel open and unthreatening, with players more curious than anxious about the plot. The worry comes later with the foreshadowing and set dressing inside, but here the player is free to explore. I added narrative content on the main stretch, being the warnings in chalk and blood near the entrance, and the plinth with text data.
I wanted it to feel like when the player explores, their curiosity would pay off. In the far corner I set up a roadblock for the train, which would show that the residents either wanted to keep people out, or something in. That is unclear but that’s what I want. If a player questions what it is he is seeing, he will want answers and they come in the next level. This helps to build up an emotional bridge not only between the assets, but between all the levels.
This room was simply meant to be a small box with nothing in it to show it would’ve been a guard post or something similar, but every player went to it and looked inside. To reward their curiosity, I added some set dressing to indicate there was fighting, with grenades and war boxes, showing the box was now used for refuge and perhaps cover.