Map Design Progression

This is my first post in relation to the creative development portion of this blog, The final outcome of this project is to create an original Top Down Racer video game.

Initial Sketches

The composition of these forms were influenced by a play between symmetry and asymmetry, and the compact folded structural quality, that I perceived to be prevalent in the tracks of Badlands.

Futher Thumbnails

I selected Track Design 6 and developed the idea through some linear variations.



Before progressing onto concept sketches, I needed to establish a setting or theme:

  • Roller Coaster
  • Haunted Ghost Ride
  • Alien Moon/Planet
  • Clown Race
  • Bush Bashing

I selected the theme of an Alien Planet and continued to brainstorm in regards to relevant imagery surrounding this:

  • Craters
  • Alien Flora ~ tentacles/bulbous/strange-colours/patterned
  • Glowing goop
  • Stalagmites
  • Physics defying structures
  • crashed & buried satellite/spacecraft
Reference Sketches

Based on images I found, I drew some quick depictions of some of these features.

Concept Illustration

Armed with MS Paint and a mouse, I combined one of my final track thumbnails with my theme. I decided to work in monochrome for the sake of simplicity.


I documented the digital drawing process. Part way through my progress I realised what gives Badlands’ maps such an interesting dynamic between contradictory perspectives: The shadows of structures fall on the track and there are also structures within their entwines. I tried to reference this as well as I could.

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After Thoughts

This is only my initial idea and I will adapt and develop it as necessary. I have begun to think about the best way to design cohesive vehicles for this map, and add or adapt features to effect the game play eg. slow the player down etc. Further map and vehicle developments will be another post for another time… hopefully soon.


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