In week 10 I only had a few more things to finish in my level, I had noticed that my window and door frames had not been textured and I decided to sort them out, I also needed to add the stairs to the roofs for the height advantages for the archer and javelin units to access.
As can be seen the windows were untextured.
This is what they looked like when changed.
Here are the stairs I added in there are some on the house that is diagonally opposite to the one you can see too.
And here is my finished level.
In previous entries I had discussed adding a stream to go under the bridge and making my own ground textures so I could paint different areas to make them look more natural, however I found these to be out of my skill level at this current moment in time, I tried to follow a couple of tutorials but no matter what I did I could not get them working.
These are the tutorials I tried to follow.
While I ran into some problems throughout the process overall it was very fun and interesting and given this was my first time trying I think I did quite well, I put a lot of effort in and I am very proud of what I made. I look forward to building more levels in the future, I hope to become more skilled and fluent in unreal and over the Christmas break may build another just for fun in my free time to develop a further understanding, especially trying to focus on the areas I struggled with, such as making a river, painting the landscape on my own so it looks more natural and a day and night cycle.
This concludes my 10 week blog, which I also enjoyed making.
In week 9 I started to finalise my buildings by adding windows and doors and fixing all the walls in my village.
The texture I wanted to use just wouldn’t work.
So I had to use this one instead as it would.
To make the buildings more realistic I started to add windows with the subtractive box brush.
Inside I added wood to the walls even though the player won’t enter the buildings, I added it in case the player manages to catch a glimpse from outside.
I noticed some of the buildings did not touch the floor on all sides so I added foundations to the building so that the building would look more natural.
By the end I had most o the buildings done apart from one. I had added foundations to all of the buildings and added windows and doors to most with the subtractive box brush.
During week 8 I had planned to make some improvements, however most of what I planned did not work.
The main change I planned to make was to change my buildings walls from planes to box brushes. Which worked fine, the main reason I had chose to do this was because I had noticed that the planes had gap[s between them which were very noticeable.
which box brushes, however, did not have the same problem and looked far neater.
I then encountered another problem, the surface material for the box brushes would not work.
I couldn’t find anything online about how to fix the issue, so tomorrow on Monday I will ask my tutor if he knows of a solution.
During week 7 I did not manage to get much done due to some problems I have been having outside of studies, which I have informed my tutors about. However I did get to mess about with the the landscape texturing, which still needs more adding to it to make it look more realistic, I plan to add dirt to the town centre floor to give the feel it has been walked on, and some stone and dirt on the hills.
This is how the environment looks, as can be seen it is not very realistic.
I also tried to add a material to this bridge white box but it would not work and requires more investigation.
This concludes week 7.
During week 6 I focussed on turning the white boxes into actual buildings, to do this I built the individual walls and floors out of planes in unreal engine, as I found out they were easier to add assets onto.
I started by removing the boxes and filling in their space with brick floors, from a free roman building asset pack.
I did this by using individual planes.
I built all the buildings with this message slowly.
I eventually built them all.
and rebuilt the light to see how it looked.
one nice thing that happened was the shadows helped me line up the floors and walls to where they needed to be, I felt I should include this as it was quite nice.
That concludes week 6.
During week 5 I have been very ill and not manage to get much done, I did however manage to add some small details.
I added a riverbed using the sculpt tool.
White boxed in a bridge using a rectangle.
This is the view from the town.
I built the light for the level using the directional light in the place actors section.
I am glad to have gotten that done as I was tired of seeing those shadows in my level between the individual landscape tiles.
With me not getting much done I hope to feel better in week 6 and get a lot more done such as replacing the building white boxes with some assets to make it more real.
That concludes week 5.
Week 4 level design
During week 4, I started by adding more block out buildings and fixing my other sides flanking routes to make sure both sides looked right, as at first I had not done both sides how I wanted and left one side as a placeholder.
Next, I watched these tutorials to figure out the landscape tool:
I then had a first attempt at using the landscaping tools to make some background landscape for the back drop, the playable area will still only be the block out area I have already made.
The first one I used I felt was too large an area.
The second seemed much better suited to what I needed. I had adjusted the size down from 62×62 to 31×31.
My first couple of attempts did not go to plan.
This was my first attempt, it went wrong as I was just playing around and seeing what the different options did and was also far too close to the village.
I started again.
This time I ended up with collision with the village I could not fix.
I decided to watch the tutorials again and paid close attention to the specific parts about smoothing, sculpting and all of the other options such as brush size and tool strength did.
And I made a hilly area using the pieces I learned to surround my village I still need to learn more as I plan to put a river into my level and a small tributary leading into it from the hills surrounding the village.
I still have a small problem as there is a part of floating landscape which I need to remove if possible. I plan to ask my tutor about this to see if there is any way of dealing with this and if needs be watch some videos.
This concludes week 4.
Week 3 Level Design
Coming into week 3 I was finding the process confusing still and decided to reach out to my friend Josh Burt who is in his third year of games design at Teesside also which he sent me some messages explaining what a white level/block out is and that this the first thing I should focus on getting in place.
With this advice in mind, I got to work.
I first opened a template for a 3rd person game as I felt this was the most logical choice for this level given the type of game that Total War: Troy is.
I then deleted the walls from the template as my level was to be set outside.
I then inserted a floor into the level.
Ensuring that they met the dimensions of the ISA, which was the size of a football field. (A football field is 105m by 68m).
I left the template character in to scale buildings properly.
I got to work making the main town centre area and also changed what I was using as the floor with the recommendation from my friend Josh. He recommended I use the cubes from the geometry tab which I did here.
I started building the side streets which would be my flank routes which I mentioned in an earlier post.
I finished the flanking routes and need to add more buildings which I will also scale properly.
Also in week 3 we were given a lecture on blogs which I had opted to wait for before starting mine to ensure I was on the right path. Which I believe I am and I’m enjoying the process. During this lecture we were also instructed to start the blogs which I have now done and made two separate entries detailing my work and thoughts for the first two weeks as well.
This concludes my work for week 3.
Week 2 Level Design
In week 2 I had hoped to be getting on well with this assignment, however, I am very new to games design and have never used “Unreal Engine”, the universities recommended games engine, at all and upon opening it seemed to be a very daunting task and I would need to put a lot of research into to the basics, which I found in some very helpful YouTube tutorials focussed towards beginners.
Such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeKDRqWtGV0&t=476s
Which went into lots of detail on basic things that you can do with unreal and was focussed at complete beginners, like myself.
And this one which I did not find quite as helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJX-TDhgaJI
During this week we also were handed the ICA for non-digital games design so I decided to get some work in on that one as well and made some good progress.
Week 1 Level Design
During Week 1 we were shown the ICA for Industry Briefs, during this session we were taught about the UK games company “Creative Assembly”. Creative Assembly are a games studio that are behind the game “Total War: Troy”, for our ICA we are to design an in game asset for an upcoming DLC. The DLC, for the purpose of the ICA, is fully decided by us the students. My idea was to create a level for a DLC featuring set piece battles almost like those in the game “Halo Wars” or the “Omerta: City of Gangsters” story missions. The DLC would detail the events and story leading up to the Trojan wars, which the game is set in.
To do research on the game and how the combat works, to ensure my level would work within the game I watched many lets plays/playthroughs on YouTube to see how the tactics and strategies worked. When doing this I noticed that the game has a strong emphasis on flanking the enemy troops when they are snared into fights with other units. I also noticed some units had traits such as “runners” which are much faster units, there are hero units which run around the map helping to get the upper hand in all of the individual smaller parts of the battle and that there are ranged units such as throwing and archer units, as well as many different kinds of infantry with different levels of unit strength.
When designing my level I would have to ensure that all of these units would have a place to work in my level ensuring that the game could be played in the way the developers intended, I came out with the idea that I would do a town centre area with linking back streets to allow for the flanking style to be fully utilised, this would also break the battle up into smaller fights which would allow the heroes to be used in the way I had seen in the playthroughs, helping the units to win smaller parts of the battle. I had then thought about how to fit the ranged units into the battles and thought of the idea of having accessible roof tops to position them on, while having the flanking routes linked to these rooftops stairs adding more tactical options to the level. Making the player have to think about leaving infantry to protect the ranged units from the enemies forces who are flanking, which would potentially leave their forces in the main town area weaker or maybe even not use their archers at all if they wouldn’t want to. Either way it is all about having the option to do so.
I believe all of this would fit nicely into the game and it’s style and I was very excited to get to work.