In a game one of your best story telling tools is the environment itself. To do this efficiently you should have a strong cohesive vision of your world early in development. This means putting together some kind of worldmap and maybe some backstory for the world you are presenting.
In my game the adventurer's will be following the trail of someone or something into a progressively harsh and interesting environment. I want the environment to give additional information and clues about the world as it is explored.
So I set out to sketch a map, again I want to keep it very rough because we are at an early stage where things can change. I am the only one working on this project so I need to manage my time effectively. Just working from a rough sketch allows me to stay flexible and fluid. Have a look at the map so far:
It's a rocky island that is jutting out of the ocean. Players start at the beach landing area and into the bluffs. The bluffs are probably the area seen in the mockup.
You can go further up in elevation to a more mountainous area, behind the tall mountain in the center and through the volcanic area. Travel through a mountain pass and a bridge to the black mountain itself.
Players will take many twists and turns along the way. The destination is the top of the black mountain.
One big advantage of having this map is it gives me a better idea of where the player would be in any given second. When designing the bluffs area I get an idea of what players would be seeing across the horizon.
You will notice all the area around the island is painted dark. This will help people focus on the island in the center and also that this area is kind of a mystery or doesn't matter. It is just there for looks and has nothing to do with the scope of this game.
Ok! That is it for now, I will have more for you soon.