Week 3: Concept Art and Level Blockout

Between this week and last week, I started drawing thumbnail layouts and designs for a small portion of a single-player level. Having a batter idea of the playable space, I created concept art at the same time as a very rudimentary block-out for the level. I decided to tackle both at the same rather than separately so I can gauge the amount of room the player would have when playing the level.

The first block-out based from initial design was more of an experiment of space and movement. The main room was the main focus as I considered aspects such as enemy spawn-points, and map flow.

Once I had a better idea of space, I started on some concept art based off what I had at the time. I focused more on aesthetics and the purpose of the facility itself and designated a role to the different rooms. I also included some concept art for a hero asset.

A gore nest is an interactive object in DOOM which when destroyed will spawn a large number of enemy demons. The gore nest here is of similar aesthetics but a design of my own.

To help me progress with my level design and block-out I needed the game to play similar to DOOM to get an appreciation for scale and movement. I went into the settings of the First Person Character and changed the movement speed, friction, field of View, player gravity, jump height, added double jump, granted full aerial control and moved the gun to the centre of the screen in an attempt to try and emulate the movement and physics of DOOM .

I started a second block-out level which closer resembled the scale and aesthetics of the concept art I created.

The goal of the upcoming week is to finish my block-out and start creating environment assets and materials for the scene.

Week 2: Project test and research

I decided to dedicate this week to researching the methods I would be using to create this environment as well as taking the time to learn some of the functionality of the unreal engine.

The idea of trim sheets is completely new to me and a very vital aspect of modular building for games. I decided to research into this and create my own set as well as a few modular assets to create a corridor with the hopes that if I were to make a critical mistake I would find out what I did wrong early in production.

The rest of the week was dedicated to engine research. While I feel relatively comfortable using the unreal engine, I felt like I needed to touch up on my overall knowledge of the art pipeline in engine in order to improve my overall capabilities. This included looking further into lighting, lightmaps, skyboxes, HDRI, material nodes and intermediate material creation and UV mapping channels. The material editor is a powerful tool, and the project would benefit properly from being able to utilise it to its potential.

Week 1: Pre-Production and Project Planning

The first week of the project began with planning work and finalising my idea for the project. I came in the start of the week with a fairly strong idea of what I wanted to do: An environment made in the unreal engine based off DOOM(2016). I decided on this idea as it is a project I would be interested in working on and it would be technically challenging.

Among those technical challenges are practices which are commonly used in industry which I had not yet had the chance to work with, that being Trim Sheets. A method of reusing textures for the  environment without compromising resolution. I spent a fair deal of time researching how to create trim sheets, how to apply them and how the effectively use them. I concluded that this would mean that I would first require practice, so I started creating a trim sheet for a far smaller scale environment than the one I am intending to produce.