• Focus: Environment and Level design 

  • Game: Third-person 

  • Setting: Industrial

  • Tools: Unreal Engien 4

  • Asset pack: [SCANS] Abandoned Factory 

  • Player character and Enemy: from Jacob Tjernström

  • Time: 5 weeks (part-time)

RAILWAY

THIRD - PERSON SHOOTER

SUMMARY

  • My main focus has been on the environment, to look polished from start to end which is why I made a small level, 200m.
     

  • Enemies is a part of the concept. I wanted them to feel balanced, to be placed in good locations, and to get a logic pacing in their appearance.

  • I also wanted to learn about how to apply covers in the environment to make them feel realistic and still look esthetic.

INSPIRATION
AND PREPRODUCTION
 

OverviewcameraPics.jpg

Overview made in Krita

OVERVIEW

  • In this phase I sat the ground for the composition in the level, working with the space and the depth in so many ways I could.
     

  • I created BSP on the same scale as the walls in the asset pack and adjusted my blockout to fit.
     

  • During blockout I placed covers, making them work just as much as level design as an environmental setting.

  • I got a lot of useful ideas from my inspiration pictures, e.g. vegetation. The industrial setting and the foliage were my go-to in the level.
     

  • I added a railway as a leading line towards the end destination. Since it worked really well in this type of environment.

BLOCKOUT AND COVERS

  • I began by replacing all BSPs with meshes, having the view in mind.
     

  • The asset pack was not easy to work with; walls were hard to tile and the pack didn't contain what I needed, e.g. stairs. I solved this by building a lot of BP_prefabs. I also built full-length stairs with this method, using the brick stones available. 

  • The whitebox progress went smoothly, thanks to the way I blocked the level, using BSPs with the right sizes.
     

  • I added enemies, letting them increase at a steady pace, and to escalate.
     

  • Early on in whitebox, I was planning for the enemy events to be implemented.

WHITEBOX

Example of building prefabs

Asset pack: [SCANS] Abandoned

ASSETS

BUILDING PREFABRICATIONS

  • At the end of the project, I worked a lot with foliage and propping. With more time I would have worked more on this.
     

  • I located the cinematic cameras where I knew the player would pass. I wanted to create a good composition from all the angles in the level.

  • In this final phase, I also wanted the level to feel bigger and get some depth. I did this by putting up planes in the background and used lightning and fog.
     

  • In this last phase, I also started to balance the enemies.
     

  • I also explore the possibilities with the light and the fog.

COMPOSITION

FINAL

PLAYTHROUGH

The composition and the environment were my focus on this project and I’m happy with the result.


Since I worked with the level as a whole, not as separate still images, I had the 360 degrees perspective in mind. I wanted the player to be able to move freely in the level and still get a great view of the surroundings. This wasn't possible to implement in each spot, so I prioritized some of parts of the main path I know the player will pass. 

My interest in lighting emerged during this project, and I would like to develop this skill further in the future. 

If I had made a smaller level I would have had time to polish the level more. At the same time, I wouldn't have been able to get the gameplay in such a short space.

 

The problem of non-tiling assets is something we all have got used to. But the workaround I chose, with BSP on the same scale as the walls, made my work a lot easier. The BP_prefabs also made the work a lot easier. 

 

I would have liked to add more enemy events, but with the limited time and with the level space I had, this was not possible to implement.
The enemies needed more polishing in behaviors, like range of sight as well as reacting to the player in a polished way. The enemies and the covers would have benefitted from some more playtesting. 

 

Creating a level with focus on the environment was a new area to me, the time required to carry out took more time then i had expected. 

The initial time estimation I had for the project was tight. I was focused to follow through, since I wanted to go with the original time plan. I didn't have the time to populate the whole level and adjust the enemies the way I wanted them.
It was a bit frustrating to realise that there were so many more opportunities and work that I could have done. 

 

I accepted my own deadlines, alfa - beta - gold, since these were my time limits. I didn't fully reach gold, but it was important for me to keep my deadlines.

CLOSING THOUGHTS