The Monorail Terminus
Here is how the Monorail Terminus at the start of Jungle Road is looking.
Players will need to exit this enclosed area the same way they did in the original game, but once they are on the other side of the wall, they have a pretty open path to progress through the Jungle Road.
Looking back towards the beach:
The new road:
The paths you can see are game trails left by the animals and have since been changed to a lighter less obvious colour. I’ve made these little trails all throughout the primary gameplay areas, to give the levels a more realistic look.
From this angle shows the new road heading off up the hill, which is a bit of a short-cut to the town (later on) and is also the rear entrance to the JP3 Embryonic’s Administration buildings which are just over the hill. This rear entrance will be closed off, but players will be able to walk down and have a look, or continue walking up the road and look over the entire area, giving them a bit of a heads-up of whats to come, providing they can see anything through the trees that is. A gate will stop players from progressing towards the town, forcing players to head back and follow the path of the monorail.
There will never really be a right and wrong way to go, but players will discover that some paths are more dangerous than others and although they might be able to skip past whole areas and maybe even avoid the dangerous sections, there will be important items that they will miss making progress difficult later on.
As much as it would be nice to let players freely explore the island in any order they like, the reality is that complete freedom is confusing. Despite the open nature of RPG’s, you still have a mission objective that guides you and you generally have access to a map and instructions and clues form NPC’s. On an island like this where you’re alone and have no real map, and no mission objectives or information provided by NPC’s, it would just lead to confusion as the player aimlessly wandered around, trying to work out what they actually had to do. Sure it may provide hours of gameplay, but it would be hours of frustrating laborious gameplay.
Players will get their chance to explore the whole island with no boundaries, but not until the second half of the game.
I’m going to skip a head a little and lay down a thicker layer of vegetation for the rest of Jungle Road, then come back through and “fill it out” with smaller and smaller species until it looks good. The jungle in the second half of the level will be some of the thickest in the game and will be actual jungle, with lots of tropical plants, and a very thick canopy with only a hint of sunlight shining through. Depending on how it looks and if it fits in with the geography and climate, there will also be some light lingering fog / mist over and through this jungle section.