The off-kilter manicured suburbia of ‘The Milkman Conspiracy’.

I don’t know the general gamer-world response to this level, but in the level design conversations I’ve been party to this level has a measure of reverence.

An interesting observation about the foliage in this level: with the exceptions of grass and flowers at the cemetery and the hedge maze, all the vegetation is made of solid volumetric shapes. That hammers in the disorienting uniformity of the space, but also might be related to the idea that these are unreal recollections of plants in a place that is very much supposed to be a damaged mind. (That gets really interesting/confusing when you realize that everything in this blog is about making unreal recollections of plants!)

Also of note, this level uses plenty of rim lighting in the shader and has baked in ambient occlusion, but there are no shadows. Understandable, it’s hard to make shadows come from a direction if your “down” is always changing.

The other spaces in Psychonauts don’t use this volumetric style near as often. (We’ll be getting to them.)

Psychonauts (2005)

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