Alyssa and I have been doing some thinking about these videogame environments and here are some things we'd like you know/consider:
1 - For the first environment (a.k.a "The Temple") we'd like to open it up to WHATEVER YOU WANT. Procedural modeling can be many different things such as rocks, trees and pillars. It doesn't have to JUST be pillars.
2 - For the first environment, stay away from the cathedrals OR if you're designing a cathedral level, make it unique. The environments are going to be dynamic and interesting, so we're thinking of them almost like paintings. Compositionally, looking down a cathedral is kind of boring because it's just simple one-point perspective. Aesthetically, cathedrals are gorgeous but we've seen them before. They're very recognizable. From here on out, make them more unique. What would an elvish future cathedral look like? What would a cathedral look like after nuclear winter? Think of the artistic elements and the composition of the background, make it interesting, and make it unique.
3 - I've spoken a bit about the "difficult" thing we're trying to introduce into the film. In Lemmings it was the million lemmings falling over. Pajama Gladiator had the huge crowd (etc.) The "difficult thing" in this game will probably be the factory level, not the temple level. The fight between Jeff and Tommy will be VERY quick, as Jeff basically obliterates him seven seconds. That said, the majority of the time for the videogame will take place in the second level, the Factory, where Jeff and Abby face off. This will have boiling lava pots, floating robots, mech arms, smoke, particle effects you name it. The temple level needs to look beautiful, but just know that there won't be as much dynamic stuff happening in it.
4 - Regarding the factory level, it seems like you're all afraid to tackle designing heavy machines. Don't be. Find lots of reference ranging from realistic engines and car parts to Star Wars tech and then just go for it. Thumbnails are meant for brainstorming, not for perfection. Jake Parker introduced me to the term "greeble." Basically, it was invented by ILM to describe exposed technology that serves no purpose other than to look cool. These are some examples from Mr. Jake Parker.
The nice thing about this factory is that it will be most likely futuristic. That means we can greeble the heck out of it. The technology doesn't have to actually exist, it just needs to looks cool.
THAT IS ALL.
Know that I still love you...except AJ.
(P.S. Just kidding AJ. Thou knowest I love thee)