Thursday, 31 May 2012

It begins.

I have started on the Spyro 1 map. I know originally I wanted to do all three games, but I am not having nearly as much fun working out the maps for Spyro 2 and 3.

I think, mostly, the first game is all about the lore. You can feel the love the developers poured into the worlds. Each world even has its own flag, it's amazing. And it's much easier to design the map when all the levels from each world are the same theme.

The second and third games, as much as I enjoy them, don't have nearly as much consistency and feel a little random in their world design.

So, for now at least, I'm only going to be working on the first game. I will make up for it with snazzy Skyrim-esque labels involving those flags I mentioned earlier.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

First Rough Map

I had intended to only focus on the geology, but I got carried away as I had to place most of the levels to work out the geology properly. They aren't too important at this stage, so they aren't labeled.

I cannot stress enough, though, how much this is not just a randomly drawn map that I roughly arranged the levels onto. Hours of research went into this: From formations in the level's backgrounds, to the direction of the sun, to the climate.

The political boundaries aren't worked out too much at this stage, though. But I reckon it's pretty close.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Research for the map from Spyro 1

In order to make the arrangement of all the worlds as realistic as possible, I've been focusing on the evolution of the dragons. To see, based on their characteristics, which dragon families would likely be neighbours.

I got a bit distracted with the evolution. There was a lot to think about.

For instance, I don't think it's ever mentioned in the series how long the average dragon lives for. Is it 1000+ years? I'm leaning towards yes, as I really liked the idea of the elder dragon at the beginning of the third game actually remembering the forgotten worlds from his youth. But I haven't decided.

The small family numbers mean evolution takes hold quickly. This leaves it open to a lot of interpretation as silly mutations like double horns and multi-spined-beards spread easily throughout the small populations.

Here's what I've settled on for now:

  • The first split divides the dragons into nose horned dragons (Dreamweavers and Peacekeepers), and non-nose horned dragons (Artesans, Magiccrafters, Beastmakers).
  • The second split, with the Forgotten subspecies (species?), is more for fun. I imagine the Dreamweavers are closely related to the Forgotten.
  • Third, the Magiccrafters split off and hide in the mountains.
  • Fourth, the two remaining dragon populations split into the four other families.
Ancestor Dragon?

Again, I believe this is pretty solid, but I'm open to any suggestions. I'm going to go into the geology of the worlds next. That, coupled with all this research I just did on the evolution, should tell me the most logical place to position all the worlds.

EDIT: I have made a mistake. Upon watching the Spyro 3 cutscenes, the old dragons from the forgotten worlds are the ancestor to all modern dragons - if dragons live for considerable less than 1000 years. If that's the average age for a dragon, then the families would already have to be established. In my defense, my Spyro 3 save was the one my sister saved over the least when we were younger.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Astronomical Problems

This part of the process has taken a longer time than I anticipated. My current goal: To make an accurate solar system of the Spyro universe based on the backgrounds. Which is hard.

Don't get me wrong, the backgrounds are beautiful. But they didn't exactly have astronomical consistency in mind when they painted them up.

So, first up, all the heavenly bodies I could discover...

Most heavenly bodies in the game fit into one of these. Inconsistencies in size can usually be explained through irregular orbits. And the fact that all the backgrounds are just really inconsistent anyway.

"Where is the light coming from?!"


Remember how I wanted the Dragon Worlds and Avalar to be on different planets? That could be hard to do, as the two have pretty much exactly the same heavenly bodies floating in their skies.


All the moons/suns are different sizes. There can't be eight different sized suns.



Yeah, after a lot of thinking, planets swooping around in between one another's irregular orbits is genuinely the only way Spyro's backgrounds can make any sense. As a bonus, it's kinda possible for Avalar and the Dragon Worlds to be on seperate planets, so I'm rolling with it. In this model, however, you cannot see the Dragon Worlds from Avalar and visa versa due to their aligned orbits.

I haven't QUITE double checked it all out, 100%, so if you see any mistakes, feel free to bring them up. But I feel pretty confident.


I think this will just come down to personal preference, as it's almost impossible to tell, but, this solar system could be a binary system. Maybe.

But it also could simply be another planet. After all, the crescent moon in Enchanted Towers didn't follow the laws of light, why should this planet? (If it is one?)


The backgrounds really make very little sense, but I've done what I can. It isn't really too important, though, as the important part of this project is the map. I just wanted to make sure the backgrounds wouldn't conflict with the maps I had in mind.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

All 'Round Information

Jumping in, the first thing I wanted to get a handle on was the overall world. Would all three games be on the same planet? What would it look like?

I decided to have two planets. One for the Dragon and Forgotten worlds, and one for Avalar. My reasoning is, Zoe remarks the world the eggs are taken to is 'on the other side of the world'. I have no reason to doubt this is true, as the dragon elder instantly knows of the place she describes.

I also believe that the Professor needing to use a crazy complex and dangerous portal to bring a dragon to Avalar, (rather than through balloon travel, or hole in the ground*), indicates dragons are in no way close to their world.

So, so far, this is what I think I'll be looking at when this project is finished:

Heraldic Dragons are scientifically important.

I have no idea what the lands look like at this stage, but I imagine the Forgotten Worlds would be bigger, as it has a far larger variety of climates.

Now, onto the rest of their solar system...

*Which when you think about it, should be his best bet, considering he's a mole and all.

The Purpose of this Project

I don't advertize it all that much, but I, Anya McNaughton, may be the biggest Spyro* fan of all time. Hey, I might not. But I don't think it's such a stretch to say it's a possibility.

I have deducted this through the following:

- After finishing the game 100%, I got enough joy simply by being immersed in the world without any goals. I played so much, I know all three games off by heart, and can recite all the sound effects/voice acting from start to finish.

- If someone asked me what fictional universe I'd like to visit, it would be a realistically revamped Spyro Universe.

And that got me thinking - what would a Spyro world need to be, in order for it to be realistic? On the off chance that genies actually exist, I'm going to work it out so I can show them the exact specifications.


One thing I want to get out of this is the most accurate map possible for the original Spyro universe. (That is, The Dragon Worlds, Avalar, and the Forgotten Worlds.)

Simply being a map of the world isn't enough. The world will need to be geographically and biologically feasible, and, work within the confines of the laws the games have already established. I will take minimal liberty, and try to create the world exactly as the in-game levels invision it.

I don't know why I'm doing this. Wish me luck.

*Insomniac only