We have published a new screenshot from our game on the main website, using the blog post on creating believable worlds as an excuse. In that post, I mention some games that managed to create convincing world through sloppiness. In 2004, we managed to create a pretty cool game because we had no idea how to create a game properly.
The way we made levels in Painkiller was exactly the opposite of what’s the usual approach. First, we’ve created levels entirely in Maya, and then imported them in the game and populated with enemies and scripts. Of course, every now and then a tweak was needed (aka “back to Maya”), but most of the time we – game designers – somehow managed to achieve a pretty engaging gameplay on what the level designers gave us.
BTW, that was a point of confusion later on. In 2004, we just called people who modeled and textured levels as “level designers”. A few years later, it turned out that by “level designers” the industry means “people who plan and create a whitebox version of a level and then populate it with game scripts”.
Anyway, if you ever wondered why some areas in Painkiller were empty and seemed to exist “just because”… Well, now you know.