Advanced 3D Level Design – Disasteroid

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November 3, 2014 by jonmillymiles

With the start of a new 3D module comes a chance to get back into blogging for what I consider to be one of the most fun elements of my degree: 3D Level Design.

In this module we have to take our prowess at level design a stage further than we did before, taking our skills and the engine that we are using to new heights. This time I thought that rather than take things backwards in time like I did for my Victorian Docklands level, I thought I would accelerate the player into the next few hundred years with a space based level.

At the moment, my concept is relatively simple. You walk into a mining station on an asteroid to help them out with a small problem and then work your way down to levels where there is a huge problem. The tone for the environment begins as very Star Trek – clean, shiny and gives a good impression.

A corridor in Star Trek TOS

A corridor in Star Trek TOS

But the lower you go the more functional and grimy it becomes, very much like Ridley Scotts Alien series.

A corridor from Alien

A corridor from Alien

This should allow me to experiment with many different types of scenery and materials.

Here is the thing though – I am making the move from the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) to Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). This is not necessarily a huge leap, but there are differences and most importantly for me – a great deal of crossover with work.

Below is a list of things that I want to implement within the levels (in no particular order) so that I can keep track of them. As I blog I will link each to a post and I will add more as I go if I find them.

Definite areas of study:

  • Modular Construction
  • Reusable Assets
  • Dynamic Materials
  • Blueprints
  • Decals
  • Procedural Construction
  • A HUD – User interface

Possible areas of study:

  • Paper 2D
  • Widgets
  • Vertex Colouring/Multiple Materials

Over what I hope will be a number of posts I will be charting my adventures with UE4 and reflecting on my design decisions and what I have learned.


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