What Why How
Much like a film needs a story board, or an illustration needs an initial sketch, video games need gray boxing. When it comes to the feel of game play and level design the gray boxing phase of production allows for hands on proof of concept for having the players experience the game on a more natural level.
Just about every day I spend roughly 30 minutes to 2 hours grayboxing an environment based on provided prompts, special requests, or new ideas. In each scene I attempt to convey a message, guide, or emotion within the layout of the map.
Shape language, scale, leading lines, positive an negative space and more are all elements that I use to build a scene that needs no explanation.