I’m Patrick Blank, the Lead Level Designer here at Runic games. I am one of the newer additions to the team. I joined Runic back at the very beginning of March of this year. I’ve been in the industry about 6 years now, and this is by far the most rewarding, fun experience I’ve had working on a game to date.
My typical day usually starts with coming into the office, checking email while getting the latest build, and reading check in notes from the night before to see what new things are in. Once I have the latest build I’ll jump into the game and play for awhile, and take notes of anything I notice that I need to tweak or fix. I always end up playing for way to long… the game is just too much fun, and I can’t stop once I start getting really great gear and weapons. I blame Erich for creating such cool items! But eventually I must force myself to quit and get back to work. Luckily creating levels in the editor is just as much fun.
Recently my main tasks have been trying to make sure everything level design related is in the game and working to allow a complete play through from beginning to end. There are several different level types in Torchlight that all fit together to create the overall experience. There are the basic rooms which make up the bulk of the levels, these are the main rooms players run through most of the time, and can have randomized variations of themselves, and or certain elements within them randomized. Then you have treasure rooms, secret rooms, puzzle rooms, boss rooms, scripted story event rooms, etc. And they are all randomized during a play through! It never gets old.
We are very close to being finished with all the levels in the game. The next few weeks are the final stretch, and things are looking great across the board. I can’t wait for PAX next month to be able to watch people play the final game and see the reactions.