I hadn't posted this on my blog simply because the voting was supposed to be from World of Level Design members only.
World of Level Design posted a "Storytelling Level Design Challenge" in which you were supposed to design a game level in any game engine you wanted as long as the three provided screenshots told the following story:
Long shadows are cast down the street as light from the setting sun hits various objects dotted about the roadside. On one side of the road there sits a lonely bench, which was dedicated to someone long dead. The bench was positioned in front of a low-lying wall that has recently started crumbling. Unlike most buildings in the village, the railway station behind the wall no longer stands proud like it once did. It was forsaken and left to whittle away over the years after the roof collapsed.
In contrast to the decay around the train station, the opposite side of the street has seen investment and as such the buildings have been re-born and impose the feeling that the rest of the village has entered a new age.
Written by: Alex 'Smog' Shaw
I had only two weeks out of the four as I joined the challange late. But I was able to pull out the winning entry.
I searched for a railway station that I could use in the map. I wanted something small and old, since I couldn't take up the whole scene with just the station. I found the Trimley Railway Station in the U.K. It was built in the 1800's and was the prefect size.
I imported a reference image of the station into SketchUp, and in only a few hours I had a working model of the station to start as the basis for my map.
I blocked out my basic map on the same night, basing it on a quick sketch I made by hand. I wanted a bus-stop for the bench, offset from the road and a curved sidewalk, which would then be framed by a curved brick wall.
Using an existing SketchUp 3D Warehouse model of a park bench as reference, I made a new more detailed park bench. I then aged it a bit with broken boards.