Week 4 – Pre-production (Blockout)

Setting up the engine and terrain

This week was focused on starting to block out the mechanic. I used Unreal Engine’s pre-built “Top Down Template” which has its own programmed camera and movement controls. These two screenshots below show my experiments of the template with the right screenshot showing more unique terrain to simulate how the level design in in Total War: Troy would work on this template.

For the most part it seems the template works fine for what I need it to be with the only issue being the path finding for movement. The player controls the character with the mouse as you point and click your destination with the left mouse button. Unfortunately, this is more complicated on unique terrain with noticeable limits and unique path finding where the character obnoxiously walks around the environment to get to the clicked point.

Below you can see an example of Unreal Engine 4’s built in terrain editor which I used to make this map. This will work for a simple environment to show off the mechanic.

Navigation mesh bounds 

In the outliner here we can see the “NavigationMeshBoundsVolume”. This controls the space the character can explore as seen with this screenshot below. I had to alter this to fit the environment as without changing it the character suddenly stops moving when it reaches the edge of the box.

Cameras

This is the camera that is positioned above the character. This camera is the player’s point of view and when implemented into the more natural terrain it doesn’t display enough information to the player to know where they’re going, so I pulled back the camera so the player could see more of the character.

This will work better anyway since the finisher move camera will be a closeup of the character, so the contrast of the visuals will be stronger.

Texture change

I noticed during gameplay that many of the battlefields in Troy are made of sand and rock, so I changed the texture of the map to a rock sandstone for a more accurate look.

Icon Development

I also started developing the look of the finisher move icon and based its colours off a pot made during the troy era found in the British museum.

Image source for Troy pot – (https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/tory-british-museum-martin-bailey-exhibition)