Reflections

week 1-

This is the first week of my final major project as such I need to do some research for the presentation I need to give before I can proceed with my development of the game. the presentation that I need to give is to my tutors so they can see what my idea is and see what I can change to make it the best I can make within the time frame and help me come up with another alternative if my current idea is either unachievable within the time frame or if the idea was too simplistic. I started the presentation off with moodboards so I could work on my ideas for the game and take into consideration factors like the game art, theme and even whether it’ll be an interactive environment or functioning game.

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once I had completed my first mindmap I realised for the themes that there was far more I could go into for each theme so I created a second mindmap this time focusing on the four themes that I listed in my previous mindmap and listing potential designs for each theme for example within the horror theme I could base the level in an abandoned mental asylum or in a graveyard. below is the theme mindmap that I created.

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I created both mindmaps to clearly show that I had thought about the different aspects of my game and the different possibility within each aspect of the aspect. it also means that I can create a survey to get other people opinion on each separate aspect and alter my game around the feedback to create a level that as many people as possible will enjoy.

Week 2-

This week I continued the work I was doing on my presentation in preparation for me showing it to my tutors as part of my project. continuing from last week I further established possible locations for each theme by creating a moodboard for each of the four themes.

 

As well as showing off potential designs for the level that I’m creating, it also shows some possible art styles that i could use for my level, for example, if I was to create a fantasy game I could use a cartoon art style to make the level feel that much more magical and unique than the real world, whereas if I was to create a post-apocalyptic game then realistic art style would work better at creating a desolate and hopeless atmosphere.

now that I’ve done my research on different themes as well as other aspects important to the level like art style and type of game, I can finally come to a decision on what my final project will be. I came to the conclusion that my final major project should be an interactive environment set on a floating city with a realistic art style.

Week 3-

This is the week that I finally give my presentation to my tutors and see if they believe that my idea will work for my final presentation. however, before I can give the presentation there are still some elements that I need to add. the first of which is the games that were the inspiration for my decision, there are  games that I’m using for inspiration with two of them being for the same reason. that reason being that I the level idea that I’ve got is of a floating city as such I should look at another game set on a floating city as a reference, Bioshock Infinite is the perfect game for this apart from the city is much more 1950s dystopian than modern that’s where my second game, Marvel Spider-man, comes in as that game is set within a realistic modern city.

 

the final game I’m using for my inspiration is not for the same reason as the other two games. the other two games I’m using for a reference with the design and layout of my level whereas my final inspirational game is for its art style. I believe the art style used for Everybody gone to the rapture will be a perfect fit for my game cause as you can below the art style helps to emphasise the realistic look I’m going.

Image result for everybody gone to the rapture

this art style helps to make my game feel that much more alive and realistic even if it is set on a floating island. I want to have my level to be covered in plants to add colour and variety to my level rather than it simply just being another bland city.

the reason that I have included inspirational game within my presentation is to help me to visualise what my level could possibly look like as well as be used as visual aid for my tutors as a group of pictures will work much better at showing what my level is meant to look like then simply describing it with words.

Now that I have included my inspirational game levels within the presentation I can also include a bit more research concerning my inspirational levels and how else they can affect the design process of my level. After doing some research on everybody gone to the rapture, the game that is the most similar in art style and gameplay as that game is a walking sim with my game also being a walking sim with interactive elements.

the final element that I am going to add to my presentation before it is shown to my tutors how I’m going to build it and what software ill be using to do it. due to my previous experience regarding build levels, I have decided to use 3DS Max to create my assets and use the unreal engine to build the level. I have chosen this two software’s to build my level as I have previous experience with these for a similar project in the past and these are the software’s that I can get the most consistent results with. for the assets 3ds, max was the only real option as I haven’t used another software that allows me to create 3d assets, however, when it comes to building the level I could have chosen from unreal engine or unity. the reason that I chose to use unreal over unity is because that’s the software is better for creating environments due to fact that you can easily build your block out by simply placing geometry in the level, whereas unity is much more centred around coding making it the preferred choice if I was building a game with different mechanics.

now that all that is done and I can give my presentation to my tutors to get their opinion on my idea and see if they believe it will be worth the grade I’m aiming for and how could I alter it to get my target grade. after seeing all the research that I included in my presentation, my tutors have a decent understanding of what I am aiming to create and agree that it could get me the grade that I am aiming for, however, to ensure that I get the higher grades I need to think about adding more interactive elements with one suggestion being made it so the grass acts more realistic with it moving under your feet rather than being a flat texture. I will look into being able to do that as well as other possible interactions apart from the basic doors and lights.

Week 4-

Now that my presentation has finally been completed and given to my tutors I can proceed to actually build my game and doing all the research and design that needs to go with the final build to get my overall grade. due to the fact that I had already done some research for my presentation as such, I decided to get straight into actually building my level. For the level I decided that third-person perspective would work better rather than the first person perspective, this is because with my level being a small city it is going to have a lot of doors and hallways which a first-person camera can get stuck on and glitch out. so that and the fact that its much easier to show off more of the area with the third person camera is the reason that I chose that camera perspective.

When you create a new unreal level it already has a few objects already placed in it like the floor, walls, character with a camera attached and a small obstacle course, I deleted all of that apart from the floor and the character. Because my level is set as a floating city I raised the floor into the air and increased its own could finally start building my blockout. I need to create a blockout for my level because it can be used as a place holder so once my assets have been created I can simply place them over the blocks I used saving me time so I can use it on other aspects of the project.

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I was originally going to get straight into my block out but I came to the realisation that I couldn’t build my blockout without first drawing a rough and final level map to use as a reference during the process. I know the basic outline of my level so I did multiple rough ideas of how the level could possibly turn out like which I have shown below.

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out of these designs I feel that the second image best represent my vision for the game as such that is the design I have decided to work on further and use as my final idea. while I was drawing my final idea I decided that I should add a small river through the city and have bridges connecting different parts of the city together. I chose to add these features as I thought it would add a variety to the level making it stand out more, another reason I chose to include the river is due to the coding aspects of it, as that will show I have an understanding of the coding aspect. I’m only considering adding a waterfall to help show that the island is floating but at this current moment I still unsure whether or not to add the waterfall, I’ll have to see if I have time once the other aspects are completed. Due to the fact that I want my city to have a river going through it and different parts of the city to be connected by a bridge when it comes to doing some more research ill look into Venice and observe their architecture and how they live there everyday life.

Week 5-

The final design for my level is now complete and I can continue with my blockout of the level. using the final design as a reference I started by adding 4 boxes onto the corners of the level which will be used as the floor for my level, the areas in between the four different floors will be used as the river. below is how my level is laid out with the four boxes being elevated above the main floor. the pink boxes that can be seen all around are invisible blocks that limit the player to the four sections of the city. I did this so that the player couldn’t jump into the river for two reasons, the first is that I don’t have time to learn how to code water physics and swimming in the water but the second reason is that as I previously mentioned Venice is a real-life inspiration for my game. in Venice, it’s illegal to swim in the river as such there are railings and walls to prevent people from jumping. so ill add boxes around of all the edges to use as a place holder until I have created the assets for it.

unreal 1

now that I have my basic shape for my level I have decided to add fog into the level that surrounds the level.  I did this for multiple reasons, the main reason is to help with the appearance of the island floating as well as it also acts as a sort of an outer texture so if the play looks out over the border they see clouds surrounding the island rather than just an open blank background that would feel out of place and ruin the immersion. I did this by adding a (name) and altering different aspects like the drop off distance and density to where I think it looks natural and visualising appealing.

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Before Fog

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After Fog

I also came to the realisation that I have a lot of different aspects and areas of my level that I need to complete to finish the project. with so many different aspects all being completed at different times it will be easy to get lost and end up missing important parts of the level. To prevent this from happening I’m going to use a website called Trello to create a checklist of what I need to do for each aspect of my game then move it into done when completed. This allows me to easily keep track of what I’m doing, what I have done and what is left to do, using this I can plan my time out ensuring that I’m able to complete all my work on time. below is the image of the Trello that I had created.

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week 6-

continuing on from last week I carried on with building my blockout including adding the blocks that will be used for the railings to prevent the player from getting in the river like I had mentioned in the previous weekly reflection as well as put railings around the entire level to act as my game borders preventing the player from escaping the game level. In the current build I could visualise just how the map would work for my idea as such I decided the best course of action was for to create an asset for my floating island and add it into unreal to help me visualise how the map should look.

To build the island I used 3ds max and added a box and move different faces of the box to create the rugged natural look that you would see on a mountain.  I made sure to leave the bottom of the peak relatively straight apart from a few bumps, this is because that section ill use to put my city onto so it needed to be straighter than the rest of the asset but not too much that it looks unnatural and take away from the realistic atmosphere that I am trying to create. once I had designed the asset I placed a simple mountain texture from www.textures.com.

I added the texture just to use as a place holder to help me with the visualising process and would add a better-looking texture and properly wrap it closer to the deadline. Now that I’ve got my asset created I can export it from 3DS Max and add it into unreal, to export it I simply have to select import from the file tab at the top left screen which will ask where I want to save my level and then brings up a screen that can be found below.

3ds max 1

All I have to do on this screen is make sure the “embed media” part is ticked so that the texture that I had added to asset will also be exported into unreal, apart from that all I have to is press okay and then find it in the folder I had saved it too and drag and drop the asset into unreal. now that my asset is in unreal I can start to add resize the asset until it fits correctly around the block that I was using for the floor making sure to have it just slightly above that block so it’s hidden within the asset. I am glad that I took the time to create the asset and use it in unreal as now I have a better vision on where I need to add the rest of the block and the different depths I need to make my environment look real, however like I mentioned the asset is only a rough design and couldn’t be used in the final product so I will have to create a better, more organic looking floating island further in the project but at this current movement time I am happy that it has done its job allowing me to focus on more important aspects that need doing before the asset final design.

Week 7-

Continuing on from last week and creating an asset for a floating island I came to the realization that I need to create other objects to help with the visual of a floating island. like I had previously mentioned I was planning on using a waterfall to help with that from the beginning however I believe I need other objects to make my environment look better as such ill include other floating island to make the concept feel more natural in that world and not stand out and seem as weird. most of these will be in the distance meaning I won’t have to do much texturing as the fog will make it so you can only see the outline this will save me time and allow me to focus on other aspects. I decided to create a few more other floating islands that I could place around the environment, this is to make the concept of a floating island feel natural and common within the game world. most will be off in the distance within the fog however I did want to have an island relatively close to the main playable island. I have decided to have the island for one reason so that I could build a lighthouse with a working flashing light, the reason that I have done this is for the fact that its another aspect to my level that could help with my grade as it shows that I have the knowledge on how to do more in unreal that simple blockout and texturing.

As well as other floating islands I have also designed floating rocks that can be placed all over my around the environment to add to the visual appeal. just like with the floating island I created the rocks in 3ds max where I placed a cylinder and grabbed different faces of the object and moved them to create a jagged, natural looking rock. once the asset was created I then exported them into unreal the same way as I had previously and started to place them all over the level.

3ds max 2

The current state of the rocks aren’t what I was hoping for but at this current moment I haven’t got time to fix it, however I have two ways that could help fix it, uvw mapping it could help once the texture has been added, if not then id simply have to create a new asset. but as previously mentioned I don’t have time to try any of these fixes currently so in my Trello ill keep the floating rocks in doing so that I know that I need to come back to try these fixes at a later date. below is how my Trello is currently looking.

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week 8-  

This is the week where I actually start to properly start to build my game level. I’ve got the basic layout done, with the different blocks being a different part of the island with the middle being a river, but this is when I’ll start adding the building and other details of the map like trees, benches, light posts, etc. the first step was to add three boxes on different parts of the island that I will use for the buildings. I was originally going to have it so that the three boxes were going to be three shops but as I was placing the boxes I decided that it would work better if the three buildings were completely different to make it feel like a small floating city. as such the three boxes that I have placed into the level will be used as a house, a shop and an apartment, and a restaurant.

the building that I have decided to start building the shop and apartment due to the fact that would be the easiest out of the three buildings to do the blockout for the shop imparticular as it just a few boxes that I will use to lay out the shop floor and where the aisles, freezers and the till will go. the shop that I am creating is based around a typical corner shop in Britain which often have an apartment above it. because I’m wanting a shop on the bottom floor and an apartment above it I copy and pasted the block that I was using for the building and altered the height to 5 and placed it in the centre of the original box. the reason for me copying and pasting the box and only changing the size is due to the fact that because it’s being used as the second floor I need the floor to be the exact same size and position as the building, that’s why I only changed the height as the rest was the exact position I needed.

I then placed stairs in the corner of the building that will be Used to get to the second floor and then used two boxes that I made subtractive to use as a door and a hole in the second floor where the stairs are allowing access to the second floor.

Week 9-

Continuing on from last week and the work I had done for my blockout, moving onto building my house in the other corner of the island that will be one of the three building that will be on the island creating the illusion of an isolated little city on a floating island.

To create the blockout for the house I used a similar technique as I had used for the shop/apartment, that being adding a box that will be used as the basic outline of the house and adding a short second box in the middle of the height to create a second floor. however unlike the shop/apartment, I’m wanting there to be separate rooms within the downstairs area so I added three other thin walls to separate the downstairs into three rooms and a corridor. the corridor leads from the front door to the stairs leading to upstairs. on either side of the corridor, there are doors one leading to a large room that will be used as the living room and the other door leads to a room half the size that will be used as the dining room. there are another door and wall that splits off the other half of the room into the kitchen. the reason that I have decided to include a house within the level is to make the island feel habituated and home to the main character. it is also where the game start as when you first start the level it’ll begin with you in the characters bedroom letting you explore the rest of the house before allowing you to explore the rest of the floating city.

Because I had moved straight onto building my blockout for my level rather than continuing my research I believe that before I continue with any more of my blockout I should finish the written aspect of my project before I move on and finish the rest of assets and level for the rest of the interactive environment. the first thing i did when i continued my research section of the project was take the moodboards that I had created for the presentation and added it into my blog so that I could go into further detail of why I have created each of the moodboard and how it will help me with the rest of my project and influence the design process of the project.

week 10-

continuing on from last week and doing my research for the assignment, to save time I’m using the mindmaps that I have created for my presentation at the beginning of the project. I added the mindmaps into my WordPress and like I did for the moodboards went into further details of what the mindmaps are for and why I created them. the reason that I have done this is to show that I have a clear understanding of my work and the reason that I do what I am doing. this shows the marker that I am doing more than I’ve been told to do and will help me to get a higher grade.

now that I have done the mind maps and moodboards for my research I can move onto other aspects of my research. I decided that the next part of the research that I would conduct is my inspirational game levels. the reason that I am doing inspirational levels next is to look at two levels for each of the themes that I choose to see what has worked previously and design my level around that to ensure that my game is appealing to as many people as possible. the levels that I choose are Mad Max desert and metro exodus underground for the post-apocalyptic theme, for the Sci-Fi I chose to use the USG Ishimura from dead space and the level Silent Cartographer from Halo 3,  when it came to the fantasy theme I chose dark souls 3 Catacombs of Carthus and kingdom hearts 2 world that never was were the two games I choose to be my inspirational level. the final theme that I choose inspirational levels was for the horror theme and the two levels that I choose are the Spencer Mansion from the original Resident Evil and outlast 2 school levels. I, however, didn’t have a chance to finish all of the inspirational levels so I will have to complete the next week before I move onto other aspects of my research and the project.

week 11-

continuing the research that I had started last week, I finished the inspirational levels that I didn’t have the chance to finish the week prior before I could move onto the next aspect of my project. now that is done I can carry on with my research and this time I will research level types and see what level types work best with a certain type of game to see what level would work best with my idea and design. the level types I am researching are an alley, maze, island and hub. each of these levels types offer advantages and disadvantages for a different game as such I need to way my options and decide what level type would work best for my idea.

now that has been done and I have seen what level types work best for what levels, I have finally come to a decision on what level type I will be designing my project around. the level type that I will be designing my entire level around will be island level type.

week 12-

This week I had started the design section of my project which includes the concept art for my assets and level map to get a better idea of how I want my level to look and when I’ve got the final design of all the concept art use it as a blueprint while building my level and designing my assets in 3DS Max.

Below is the concept art below is for all the assets that I will need to use to make my level feel more unique and lived in rather than having completely barren buildings and outside. the assets come in a variety of sizes, from a can to a lamp post, this makes the assets feel more real as in real life not everything is the same time helping with the realistic atmosphere I’m trying to give my level even if its set on a floating island.

Now that my asset concept art is done I can move onto designing a map for my level, I will be doing a basic map design to get the main elements into the level than a final level design where I finalise my ideas and incorporate them into my level. the reason that I am doing this is to get an idea of how I want to look and alter before I start building the blockout and struggling a lot more to make any necessary changes at that point. the map below is the basic starter map, it’s not too detailed but it incorporates my main ideas like the three buildings, a park and it is set on a floating island.

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Now that I have a basic design for my level I can keep aspects that worked and either improved or remove aspects that don’t work.

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This is the final design that I had created, this would have been used a template if I had done the project in the correct order. As I’ve gone through the weeks of the project I have realised I should have done my research and design before I started my blockout, this has thrown off my time plan a little but its nothing too severe and I’ll remember for the next project. The major difference that I had added to the level is the inclusion of a river and a waterfall, I have included these to add more of a variety to the level and make it feel more unique. I had to change the level around to incorporate the river like having the park being the front garden of the building that will be used as a home.

week 13-

Now that my concept art for my assets has been completed I can start to build my assets using 3DS Max. I have already created the floating island and floating rocks assets to get a better idea of how it would look while creating the blockout. Now that I have started designing my 3D assets again I decided to go with one of the easiest that being the fence, unlike most of my other assets fence already has a pre-built object within 3DS max called railing. the railing object allows me to quickly and easily build my fence as it is as simple as clicking on the railing object and putting in the size you want as well as the sizes of each of the rails on the fence. doing it this way saves me loads of time that can be used for other aspects of the game and at this late stage of the project that is a massive positive.

fence

Now that I’ve got used to using 3DS max again and can now go onto creating more of the more difficult assets that I will need for my level. The next step for me is to build more of my assets and the next that I have decided to create is the lamp post that I will place all around the outside area of my level. To start off the asset I placed a cylinder within the 3DS Max and began by adding edit poly onto the cylinder and began to extrude the top face of my cylinder about half the length of the cylinder itself to before I grab the outside line of that face and chamfered it so that it creates a curve and ends a smaller circle. using the face of the smaller circle I extruded it up high over about double the original length of the cylinder. once that was done the all I had to do was extrude a single face outward and create a box on the end of it. on the box, I pushed the bottom of it in slightly to act as the place where the light will be placed when it gets added into unreal.

lamp post

week 14- 

Continuing on from last week and the assets that I have been creating by starting this week off with the creation of another of my assets, this time the asset will be the lighthouse. the reason that I am creating a lighthouse as one of my assets is due to the fact that I thought it be more interesting to include a lighthouse with a fully functioning flashing lights onto an adjacent floating island, it also makes sense to have it within the level due to the fact that its an island and most real-world islands will have a lighthouse to indicate that the island is their preventing accidents from happening.

just like with the lamppost the first step was to add a cylinder into the 3DS Max and add an editable poly onto the cylinder, however, unlike the lamppost, this cylinder will be much larger than the previous asset as the lighthouse will be larger than the lamppost. the process of starting the asset was very similar to the previous asset, that being starting by grabbing the top lines of the cylinder and shrinking it slightly so that it slowly gets smaller the higher it gets just like a real-life lighthouse. once that was done I had to drag it back out to create a walkway and just extruding it and either pulling it out or pushing it in to get my desired shape.

lighthouse

week 15-

this week I’m returning to do some research as its getting close to the end of the project and I don’t believe that my current amount is enough to get me the grade that I am wanting. I already have inspirational levels so I thought that it would be best to next look at possible levels type that I could use for my game, the levels types that I choose to look at are Alley, Maze, Island and Hub. I went into details for each of the level types, explaining there strengths and weaknesses as well as a game set in that level type as a reference. For Alley level types I explained that they work well for cinematic set pieces as its all set on a straight path with only a few detours. a game franchise that is good at doing this is Call of Duty as they seamlessly combine set pieces and gameplay to create a level that the player wants to return to multiple times. however, the linearity can be a disadvantage to the game if the set pieces are interesting enough to keep the player engaged, an infamous example of this is The Order 1886 as that had bland gameplay, pointless exploration with nothing to find and set pieces that didn’t excite or keep the player invested.

the maze level type has two genres that it works well with that being the horror genre and the puzzle genre, the puzzle genre works well for the maze level type for obvious reasons but the horror genre work as the player is forced to explore an area they don’t know finding the route to go and can also incorporate puzzles that need to be solved to progress, combining this with having to deal with enemies and manage resources it can create a tense, uneasy atmosphere that works perfectly for a horror game. if the maze is either too complicated or too easy however the player can easily get bored and stop playing. one of the most popular horror game using this level type is the original resident evil.

Island level type is basically the opposite of the Alley level types as this level type drops you into an island-like environment and lets the player explore as they please whereas the alley has a set path for you to travel through. this also means that the opposite of advantages and disadvantages as they need to have either interesting gameplay or interesting maps to explore to keep the player engaged. this can either work for an open-world game or for a battle-royale game like apex legends.

the final level type that I have researched is the hub level type that is commonly used with 3D platformers and isn’t as prevalent as it was back in the early days of 3D games. the hub level type allows the game developers to create unique and memorable without having to worry about having consistency between levels. however, the lack of consistency can also be a detriment to the game as if it doesn’t be done right then it can end up hurting the game overall. one of the games that manage to use the hub level type to there advantage is one of the most popular games in existence, Super Mario 64. 

week 16-

as its getting close to the final week, its time to start building my game and placing all my assets and texture into the unreal project. my first job is to add the lampposts in the place of the blockouts I was using as a bookmark. once the bookmarks have been removed and I have the lamppost at the correct size and position I can rearrange the lights so that they fit correctly into the lamppost asset. once that was done and was to my liking I could move onto other aspects of the level like putting the fences that I also created in 3DS Max to be moved into the unreal project and use it on the bridges that I have added to my level.

week 17-

Now that the final week for the project is finally upon us it’s now time that I begin to finalise my game as well as start writing my final evaluation for the entire project, this gives me the opportunity to reflect on the project, what went well, what went wrong and how I can improve it for my next project.

throughout the past 17 weeks, I have been working on researching and designing environments that I can use as inspiration as I build my own environment that will be used as my final major project. I’ve been documenting the processes of the project, this includes the research, design, game assets and building the game overall, all this will be documented within my blog and now that my final week is here ill relook through all of the work I have done and evaluated it so I can see what went wrong, what went right and how I can improve it for my next project.

Research-

The very first thing that I had to do for the project before I could continue with any of the rest of it is the proposal. For the proposal, I researched different aspects of game development such as art styles, possible game genres and game types the easiest way to display this information within the presentation I decided to put it into a mindmap.

mindmap 1

the reason that I included this information within a mindmap is due to the fact that ill have to give the presentation to a tutor and due to this fact mindmaps will work best in relaying the information I need to give in the correct time frame. using the game genres that I listed in the previous mindmap I created mindmaps for each of the game genres, that being Horror, Sci-Fi, Post-apocalyptic and fantasy. in each of the mindmaps for each genre, I’ve included different possible locations that the level could be set in using that genre.

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Along with the Mindmaps I also created moodboards for each of the themes and filled them with images of locations that I have previously mentioned in the mindmaps. to finish off the presentation I explained how this research has helped me to come to a decision on what I will be designing for my final major project, that being an interactive environment set on a floating city in a realistic art style. to help represent how I’m expecting to turn out I used already published games as a reference, I described my idea as being like Bioshock Infinite with the city of Spider-man while having the art style of everybody gone to the rapture.

To save me time on the Project I’ve taken all the research that I have done for the presentation and added it onto my WordPress to be marked. I explained what I did and why I had done it for each of the research while adding it into the blog so that I could get a higher grade. as well as the research for the presentation that I had done I also had to do a bit more research to get my desired grade as such I went into greater detail on levels by finding two inspirational for each of the themes that I could use as references when it comes to designing my level further on in the project. as well as that I also looked into different level types that I could use while designing my levels, the level types that I researched are Alley, Maze, Island and Hub, once I had explained the pros and cons of each level types I finally made a decision on what level type I’ll design my level around, the level type that I decided to use is the Island type as that the best-suited level type than the others.

Design-

Now that all my research has been done and completed I can move onto other aspects of my project, I thought it is best if the next part would be the design aspect of my project before completing my environment. The first step for my design aspect of the project was thinking about all the assets that I will need to build my level and to create an asset list so that I can keep track of what assets that I have created and what is still left to be created. Once the assets lists were done I could then start drawing the concept art for all the assets, the reason that I am doing concept art for all of my assets is due to the fact that it’ll be a good idea to have those in the early stage of the project to use as a blueprint when I finally start creating the assets within 3DS Max.

because they were created in the early stages of the project it also means that if I change the mind of the design I can simply change the design without having to create a new asset for it as well helping with the time management of the project. While I was creating concept art for all the assets I also created a rough draft of the level layout that was just a simple drawing of the main elements that I wanted within my level that being the floating islands, 3 buildings and a park. below is my initial rough sketch of what my level layout would be.

basic map - Copy

Once I had a rough level design to work with I could start to improve the design and layout to the point where it could be my final design for my level. I took inspiration from a real-life city while improving the layout with the city being Venice, using Venice as inspiration I decided to have a river running throughout the level for multiple reasons. The main reason that I have decided to include a river throughout my level is to show that I can code as well as create the art for the level as I will need to create a code to make the water have realistic physics, another reason that I had decided to include a river it to make my level feel more distinctive than any other simple city levels. Below is the final design that I have done for my level, This design is the layout that I used while creating my blockout.

final map

As you can see I still kept the core elements of the level that I had previously mentioned in my rough draft, I did, however, change the three buildings from just three random buildings to three separate building with one being a house, one being a corner shop with an apartment on top and the final being a restaurant. I also incorporated the park into the house as its garden because that made more sense for the change in layout. I included the river that I had previously talked about adding and also decided on including a waterfall to the level, it made sense to have a waterfall with having a river on a floating city and it also another aspect of the level that stands out and makes the level more interesting.

because the concept art for my assets have already been done I can move straight onto making the 3D assets for them within 3DS Max, the reason that I am making them in 3DS max rather than any other 3D software is due to the fact that I’ve used 3DS max in the pass as such I have experience using it and don’t have to waste time learning how to use the software effectively. Below are some of the assets that I had created within 3DS max that will be placed all over my level.

The fence asset that can be seen above was the easiest to build as there’s already a prefab object within 3DS Max called railing. This meant that I simply had to select it and enter the sizes I want and that was all I had to do. The other two, however, was slightly harder as I had to start with a cylinder and add an editable poly onto it so that I can extrude and move the different parts of the cylinder to get the required shape for the asset that I wanted.

Making my environment-

The final part of my Project that I had left to do was the actual building of my level which includes the blockout, adding textures and placing the assets that I had created into the unreal project. The first step was to create my blockout as that will allow me to simply place my assets over it when I need too. I used the third-person premade level as a start for my level and deleted everything in it apart from the character and camera, the floor and the lighting. once that’s was all that was left I resized the floor to my desired size and raised it up slightly to create the illusion that it was floating, I also changed the sky texture from day to night and made it so that the stars are brighter and stand out more. The reason that I choose to have my level set at night rather than through the day is that I thought it would create a better atmosphere for the player as well as the fact that I’ve created lamppost and I am going to attach a light to them so they’ll stand out more at night time. I then added four boxes of varying sizes to each corner of the floor that will be used as the areas of the level and the gap between will be used as the river. To connect the different areas of the level together I’ve also built a bridge over the river that’s connecting the four sections together. the next step was to place the next three block that will be added into my level to be used as the three buildings for the level, I made sure that the blocks were hollow so that they can be explored inside. The next step was to add the subtractive blocks that I can use for both the doors of the buildings and also the windows. now that the player can enter the buildings I can build the different rooms and floors of the buildings, the way that this was done was by getting thin boxes and using them as walls. then I simply add more subtractive blocks were needed as well as stairs if they’re needed. then all that was left to do was add the assets that I created in 3DS Max and add them into the project and place them in the correct spot before I added the textures onto all the blockouts and that was the game completed.

Conclusion-

In conclusion, I feel that the assignment overall went well, I feel that I’ve created an interesting and unique environment and fits well within the theme of that I had set for myself. I believe that I have created a unique level that stands out and distinguish itself against any of my fellow students. if I was to redo the project again i would definitely manage my times better so that I can complete every aspect of the level within the given time frame.

Gameplay-

below is the video that I had created that shows off my game as I explore the level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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