Thursday, 2 May 2013

Environment fly through

Here is a fly through of the entire environment that has been made over the last 6 weeks. Pretty pleased with how things have turned out... i would of like to add a few smaller assets to add some story and make it a bit more interesting. But I'm happy with the result and learnt a lot more about using UDK which is good.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Final Renders

Finally got some renders of the environment, calling it done now. There's a few more smaller assets and things id like to add but I'm running out of time and need to get work printed. I will upload some asset renders and a fly through video of the environment soon hopefully.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Concept sheet

Final concept sheet, was difficult to try and compile everything onto one sheet, but hopefully this will do! now back to the 3d environment...

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Final concepts

The last concepts i needed to do, next i need to try and lay it all out onto one sheet before getting back to the actual 3d environment!

Friday, 26 April 2013

More concepts

More concept pieces that needed uploading, some older some new, i also found some old modular wall piece sketches, much more happy with how the modular wall pieces have developed to what they are now.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Overdue update

Been a while since an update on the Environment project for a few reasons. At the moment Ive been working through the assets i sketched out and making 3d models and unwrapping them, I'm also going back to finish the concepts for the assets to a standard where they can be presented... here's the coffin/preservation chamber.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Asset sketches

These are some asset sketches that I've been working of for the environment, eventually ill want these finished up and in full colour but for now they'll do for getting the ideas down in 3d.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Asset update

Began working on the textures for the Benches, Not sure if it fits the overall theme to the room though so it could change at a later date.
And his another modular Ceiling arch asset I'm in the middle of making. Just finished creating the normal map for this asset so next i need to work on the diffuse and spec.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Environment progress

Some more progress on the environment and the modular pieces now moving on to texturing which is going really well! I've managed to used 2 textures, one for the walls and one for all the stained glass windows and this is used for all the wall pieces in the environment so its pretty efficient. Onto assets next!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Baking normal Map test

To add extra detail to environments and 3d assets in general Normal maps are used as they almost fake detail that's not actually there on the model but is instead inside the texture.
To do this a high poly model has to be made, in which you can bake down the normal map from this so you can apply it to a low poly model.
As i have not done this before i thought i would test it out on the floor tile for my church environment. I followed a blog post from one of my classmates who has already used this method and works great!

After following this process this is what i came up with.
This is the original floor tile... which is very boring and doesn't really contain any lighting information.
After creating a high poly tile like this but with individual tiles i came up with this..

Here i imported the floor tile into UDK, with the normal map, i then put the normal map into crazy bump to generate a diffuse and specular maps, i then added a quick scratched texture to the specular and this is the result.

There's still lots i want to do with this but  i learnt a lot doing this test. Eventually i would like to add a reflection to the floor tile and make it more glossy looking instead of looking too much like metal.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Church Environment Progress

After choosing the concept i wanted to go forward with i began working on the modular pieces that i would use for the environment. Here is a list of the pieces i have so far.

1. Straight wall- This can be repeated to make the length of the room longer, can also be rotated to use on the other side of the building.
2. Corner wall- This can be used for the four corners of the room.
3. Ceiling arch- Will be repeated throughout the buildings ceiling to break the shapes up.
4. Back room- This back room will fit into the archway space, a door can also be placed in the archway space.
5. Archway- This has been split from the wall pieces as it could be used in more than one place and is better as a stand alone asset.
6. Floor walkway- Walkway fits in between the archway and leads from the back room to the door.
7. Floor Tile- This can be repeated and re used to make the room bigger.

After creating the modular assets i needed to test these out inside UDK to test there modularity and if they fit together properly without gaps or problems. I came across a few problems here, such as edges not lining up properly and pivot points that needed moving in order for pieces to snap together correctly. After the tedious process of going through each piece and fixing them up i managed to get them to snap together to form this room. I then thrown together some quick assets to try and get another feel for the scale and what exactly i wanted in the room. Next i need to start actually designing these assets so i can make more interesting design in 3d.

Monday, 11 March 2013

More environment concepts

Here's another quick painting to try and figure out the Buddhist kind of environment. Although i do really like elements of the environment and i think it would be great inside UDK, actually looking what assets i would be making aren't really that interesting.. mostly trees, which is fine but i think i could do much more interesting assets and set pieces with the church idea and create much better portfolio pieces that could stand on thier own aswell as an environment. 
Here's a 3d mock up of the church idea, i like the idea of have large chunky shapes to get the art deco feel across. With this environment i could really make use of modularity as well.. as its something i would like to learn how to do as it would be benificial. I think this environment would also open up the opportunity to add some nice set pieces such as a confessions booth, the altar and religions statues and such... maybe even something a bit different and futuristic like tech god statues and such..have a bit of a twist with religions
I'm not really sure what direction i would like to take it, but definitely keep with the art deco theme and explore some story elements in there. possibly have a coffin at the front and then leaflets and such on the benches with information on.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Environment research continued

I decided to gather more research and think of other ways to get my theme across, i began to look at other religions when i came across Buddhist gardens which are beautiful and full of colour and intricate details.
I then came up with a quick sketch to try and visualise something interesting that could show come kind of story within. I wanted some kind of focal point with the small hut, inside could be a statue to worship and candles scattered around. I also was thinking of having a glass dome over the top of the environment, to contain the environment from the outside world which could be in ruins or destroyed, it kind of gives the viewer a sense that this little environment is kind of like an afterlife, something of beauty and peace. Another idea i had was to add in sci fi parts to the environment such as small drones floating around, that could be used as a source of information for the player and they would also maintain the environment. I am much more happy with this idea, it seems like i could include a lot more story elements and make something a bit different than the usual.

Environment research

Here is my first mood board for environment ideas, because my theme and religion the first thing that comes to mind would a church or a chapel or something of religion where people would worship. I looked at creating something a bit different like sci fi themes. From this i came up with an idea for a kind of industrial looking small church or chapel, something that looks quite out of the ordinary that would be associated with a church.
Once creating this i wasn't really sure on the idea, it felt quite familiar and nothing interesting so i thought about taking another look for some research to try and improve the idea.
For this concept i looked at a much more cleaner looking environment, not perfect.. but much more grander looking architecture with large windows and bronze/gold metal around, but again using wood to try and show the time period. Inspiration i gathered for this was from another mood board i made looking at art deco churches. These images are a huge inspiration, its something i really like, the large sold shapes and interesting statues.
I'm still wanting to do more research and concepts to try and explore other areas, but also to try and show some kind of story and character to the environment. A church is probably the most simple thought to do with religion and the afterlife so maybe there's something else that i could tie in.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

WK 4- Adding gameplay

Creating a start to the level
One main part of the level i new i wanted was the player to arrive to the level on a small boat, almost like there on an adventure or some kind of journey. The level will start with the boat slowly rolling into the harbour as the player can look around and view the city from the water. The player will also notice that there are other boats of the same kind scattered around the harbour with their lanterns extinguished.

 Adding puzzles
Because  i i wanted my level to mainly consist of puzzles so the player is being constantly challenged but there are also parts where the flow changes and the player can explore. To get these puzzle in the game quickly so i can test them and get a better understanding of what i want to do was to simple throw in triggers with logs so i could walk up to triggers in game and i know what i would be doing, without any assets or visuals its hard to show but that can easily be added afterwords. Most of the gameplay is in now i just need to add a few bits here and there but the main content is down.

Adding the main mechanic
The main mechanic to the game is where the player can enter the afterlife and switch back whenever they choose. This way player  can access areas in the level that they couldn't without the power such as broken platforms and ramps. I have also implemented pick ups where the player can replenish their afterlife power, the cube is just a place holder for now, i will create a fountain of some sort once its finished.

Creating multiple endings
Another main part of the level i new i wanted was to create multiple endings, something that the player does playing the game that will effect which ending they get, i also wanted this to tie into my theme of religion and the afterlife. It took a long time throwing back and forth ideas but finally i decided on having spirits dotted around the level that the player can interact with, the player can then choose to free spirit or capture, what ever the player does will decide which door to take and which ending they will receive.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wk 3- Blocking out level in UDK

This week i have made some major changes to my level and layout after feedback. The initial level design was far to big and ambitous for the time we have to make this level which 6 weeks (minus two weeks for pre-production) So the level has been cut almost in half, and a few parts changed around to make the gameplay fit together in a smaller time frame. One thing im happy about it still having the player choice in there. Below is the level blocked out so far, next i need to start adding some gameplay to see what works and what possibly wont.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

UDK Block out and top down map

 Here is the level blocked out in UDK, just the floor level that the player is able to walk on in the environment. I was worrying about the level being to long, by doing this i could test how long it would take for me to walk from start to finish, if this was longer than a few minutes then i had a big problem. luckily it took me around 1 minute 20 from start to the end of the level. So maybe its just the fact that my levels core features are puzzles that was worrying me, as it depends on the player how long it takes them to solve a puzzle and move on. I could possibly cut some stuff out but I've planned it so the player has quite a bit of freedom in which way they can go, I've also tried to give the players breaks from puzzles so they can adventure and explore more... again this is up to the player how long they spend at this. But by having these breaks between puzzles it balances the level out much better instead of slow paced puzzles all the time which the player could get quite frustrated with, i want to player to be able to relax as well and take a second to breathe and collect some items to reward the player. 

Below i have drawn a player flow line (In green) over the top of the level design to show where the player would need to go, i wanted to give the player more than one path through sections of the level to make the player feel like they have more freedom in where they want to go, player choice is always nice in games.

Step 8 of 8 professional level design

Focal Points
In this step i wanted to try and visualise how the level would look in 3d, so i began blocking out shapes in 3d, just the core level walkways, although the level will have other surroundings buildings to set the scene where the player cannot actually travel too. This block out is only the floor level but it does raise up towards the end of the level, and at the end there will be large towers so these will be the main focal points to the level and something for the player to aim towards. Next i need to do the same kind of thing in UDK, but so i can walk around the level walkways and see how its starting to look from a players view. Also I'm thinking the level is going to be a little longer than 5 Min's of gameplay so i may need to chop parts out, but i wont be able to find out until i start in UDK.

Step 7 of 8 professional level design

Top down map
After doing step 6 of figuring out what i would like in my level and creating a numbered mind map helped huge amounts when coming to step 7 the top down map. first i created a quick sketch figuring out where i would like rooms and puzzles to take place. I also want the level to take place on an island so drew this in.

After finished a rough sketch containing the elements i wanted i then back and adjusted a few areas before going over everything i doing a more neater version, something that's more clear to see where the player will be going. There is a small key at the bottom so its clear to see what certain parts are. I have also numbered sections as these then refer back to the mind map which can be seen below. 

Next i want to make quick block out rooms in 3ds max to figure out how the puzzles will work in game. This way i clearly show my ideas but also clear things up for myself allowing me to make these puzzles in udk with more ease.