Session 7 – Corridor Project

This is a corridor project I completed in the game engines unit at my college. Below, is my project planning for the environment and what I wanted to have completed by the end. As an introduction, I wanted to make a sci-fi themed corridor environment whilst pushing myself to learn new things along the way.

 

Major Project Influences 

I would like to create a sci-fi themed corridor, so I will be taking ideas and concepts from previous Sci-fi games like destiny. Destiny has a realistic art style which mixes futuristic and post-apocalyptic materials. Dead space is another example I would like to take ideas from, I like the way the level design is full of obstacles and worn/damaged textures, which I think gives it a more interesting and immersive atmosphere. I like the idea of a third-person level, so the size and proportion will be affected by this and will have to be a little larger to accompany the camera for the player. I will be trying to make use of a claustrophobic feel to keep the player immersed and their mind active.

Techniques / Software

For this project I will be using 3DS Max for the models and assets in the corridor, I will also be creating the normal maps in this too. I will be using Photoshop for the texture creation and sourcing textures from websites with high quality samples. Unreal Engine 4 will be used to create the white box layout of the corridor, and to get all of the measurements correct for the player, the player would be in a third-person viewing angle, which will affect the level (corridor) proportions.

Time Management

I know that I usually spend more time in 3DS max than anything else, so I will try to work around this by either using it for less time by setting more realistic goals whilst keeping the same art standard, or by giving it more allotted time to make sure everything that is planned is completed to the best of my ability. First I will be using some time to create some mood board from the influences provided, and then creating my own 2D concepts. I will then be using the concepts to make a white box corridor to make sure all of the proportions and measurements are correct for the player and give the desired feel. Next I will create the assets and environment in 3DS Max trying to use as many modular pieces as possible, this will make it easier to create more corridor variations from these meshes. The models will be simple, but effective, so the unwrap in 3DS max shouldn’t take too long. I will be creating normal maps for the assets and environment and this may take longer than usual as it will be my first time using normal maps. After, I will be creating my textures for the environment and assets and this will be using similar textures and shouldn’t take very long ensuring the unwraps are done efficiently. Lastly I will be putting it all into Unreal Engine 4 and making use of lighting to provide the correct immersion and atmosphere to this scene.

Barriers to Completion

This will be my first time using normal maps so I expect to encounter some issues and will make sure I have more allotted time for this. Textures will take some time and I will have to source basic materials from ‘Textures.com’. When doing the lighting in Unreal Engine 4, I may encounter some issues as I have limited experience with lighting and other aspects. If I have spare time near the end of completion or I feel like it will take less time than originally thought out, I would like to create an elevator of which the doors opened on, this would be an ideal learning experience and would also give my scene more believably.

Resources

I will be sourcing textures from ‘Textures.com’, this will be to manipulate them and create my own diffuse maps. I will also be making use of tutorial videos and forums to solve any issues I have or to learn new techniques like normal mapping and lighting.

 

Screenshots of finished Corridor Environment

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Summary

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed going through with this environment and I learnt new skills that will benefit me in the future. A few things had to be changed in comparison to the original plan, but this was done with careful thought. From the start I thought this corridor would be more similar tot he style of environments in Halo or Destiny with their clean, high detailed art. After some thought I decided to go more with the style of Dead Space with it’s horror / unclean artwork, as this eventually grew on me and became the most appealing. I sourced textures and decals from ‘Textures.com’ as I planned to in the beginning and found that I using damaged materials / diffuse maps resulted in a much more interesting outcome. I did not end up incorporating a normal map into this project, as I felt it took away from the emotion of the environment. If placed where it would benefit (possibly the pipes),  I feel that it would be less efficient and would not increase the quality dramatically. Although I did not use any normal mapping, I ended up using an emmisive map for the doors and wall pillars, this effect drastically changed the outcome and had a great impact to the dark, horror style as seen in Dead Space.

If I where to do this again I would definitely consider adding more detail into the walls and possibly create more varied modular segments, as this would mean I could produce several different corridor arrangements.

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