Most games with levels have a tutorial of sorts, which goes through all the basic controls and introduces or shows the player some more advanced ones. It’s the first level of the game which you can’t revisit once you have learned the basics.
Here’s a screenshot of the general design I’m aiming for.
The beginning of the game takes place on a spaceship, and without any space for parkour it makes sense that the spaceship would have a virtual gym. The entire movement and weapons tutorial will take place inside this virtual environment.
The room appears tiny at first glance, but activating the virtual simulation expands it in all dimensions to make it look much larger than it is. I’m just using some maths to make the shape less regular when it’s expanding, because the a spiral/star is much cooler looking than a circle.
The simulation you are ‘teleported’ into still follows all the rules and laws of reality, but allows the player to respawn an infinite amount of times without getting hurt. This allows the player to practice their jumps and perfect their movement skills without having to worry about death or injury.
Particles are used to add some variety to what you’re seeing, or it would just appear as a boring green grid the entire time. There is a trail that follows the player around made of squares which slowly rotate and shrink away, and a splash of little squares whenever the player jumps or bounces off the walls. The whole thing is fairly simple but the effects add a lot in terms of movement feedback and make the visuals a whole lot less boring.
I’m still working on level layout and design for the simulation itself, but I have the basics covered. Moving, interacting with things, and talking to NPCs are all learnt in the beginning of the game before you reach the virtual gym.
So that’s level zero.