This week, I created the upper level of the very bad place that I wrote about in my previous post. Although the area that I am making is supposed to be a fortress, I continued to use the crypt tileset with excellent results. This tileset is wonderfully versatile, allowing modders to create sewers, castles, and, of course, crypts.
With the right placeables, lighting, and visual effects, I was able to set the kind of mood that should get players' internal alarm systems ringing like mad. This place is dangerous, no doubt about it.
Despite having poured a lot of my time in developing this area, I haven't finished it yet. There are still a few more rooms that I have to furnish and illuminate. I'm seriously thinking of creating custom paintings to hang on the walls. The ones that are in the toolset or at the Vault are too pretty to decorate a psychopath's castle.
Originally, I envisioned this area to be laden with combat encounters. It's supposed to be a fortress after all, so it should be teeming with soldiers. After taking screenshots of this area, however, I've been having second thoughts about this plan. I feel that I can raise the level of suspense by having fewer but deadlier combat encounters interspersed with lethal traps and puzzles. I'm sure I can get players' adrenalin pumping even more by imposing a narrow timeframe within which they have to accomplish their mission. I'm not decided on this matter, though. It's something for me to think about.