For our first game design assignment, we were to create a basic UDK level, utilizing the assets available in the program creatively in order to make a game environment.

We also had to create an environment trap using Kismet and Matinee, and the gameplay had to be set up to fit survival mode, with waves of enemies coming at you.

Here’s a quick walkthrough:

 

 

 

This was my very first attempt at creating a game, and it was great fun! But like with most of my endeavors, there were some bumps along the road. Never the less, I feel it turned out nicely for my first try.

 

Environment

I wanted to create an environment with some old ruins/castle style where a race of alien bots had later taken residence and built upon the existing structure, adding the water pump/engine room and the staircase tower;

 

This is also why you’ll see wires and mechanical parts placed over the old structure;

 

A spacecraft has crashed into the main building and collapsed the roof, resulting in the growth of some plant life among the ruins.

 

Beyond that, I really spent a lot of time looking through the UDK assets and trying to find some creative uses of the meshes based on the initial idea. At one point, things were looking too plain and gritty, with stone tiles covering a large portion of the level. So I figured I’d tap into the estetich and cultural side of the aliens, adding the lantens, the lit up stairs and covering the tower walls with ornaments. I tried to balance the level visualy, but at the same time make each area distinct.

 

Lighting

I implemented some contrast between the warm and cold colorrange, as well as playing with the brightness in order to cast interesting  shadows and lightspectre. Also here I tried to keep some consistency, while still making each area somewhat distinct.

Layout

When I first started planning the level, I tried to think of ways that would make it interesting to run around in, while still putting up meshes that provided cover and some path constrictions.

I wanted to have a pathway that would give the opportunity to run around in a loop. Originally I thought of having a second room accessible from up on the walkway that would exit out into the tower;

I didn’t have time to build it though, but I still had the portal at the top of the tower that created somewhat of a loop back to the main area, so it turned out alright.

 

Ups and Downs

As far the environment content goes, I didn’t really have any problems with it.

The matinee sequence also turned out alright, but then again, it wasn’t really all that complex, just two doors sliding to each side.

Working in Kismet, however, came with a lot of puzzling and frustration, especially for the enemy wave setup. Some nodes and setups naturally made a lot sense and came along nicely as I played around with them, others; not so much.

I had trouble setting it up so that the next wave would start after the last bot died from a given actor factory, rather than starting after the first bot in a given actor factory was eliminated.

As the system is set up now, it does have various delays between waves depending on the number of enemies spawned, so that as long as you don’t run around the level aimlessly after killing the first bot in a wave, there will be pauses between the three waves. It is, however, far from optimal.

I’m sure the Kismet setups will make more sense as my skills increase and I get more familiar with the process and the program. As of right now, I still have a lot to learn! But, hey, that’s what I’m here for. 🙂

 

Until next time, here’s some more screenshots..

 

 

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