A big update being posted here as I haven’t for a while! I am currently mired in the mindset of “enquiry based learning” which is taking an awfully long time through book/video and online text sources. The fort level I am working on is coming along nicely. These are a few pictures of the development stage that I have been doing over the last few weeks;
These images from top down show the incremental development of the level from the last few weeks. I am at the stage now where I have tessalated the terrain further and now the mountains look less jagged and the rocks have a more natural form on the cliff.
This week I have been learning 3DS max modelling, UV mapping and unwrapping by the use of a demonstration from my fellow students in my group. I am starting to work on basic models such as tables and crates in both cylindrical and box forms.
I have had to also learn how to use these textures within the UDK editor and am currently learning about Panner, Multiply, subtract, add functions for textures to make the blending a lot better. I have currently taken out a lot of artwork of Viking styles from the library so I have a lot of reading material to sift through to achieve my Viking theme. This level is based on three games components for me – Runescape meets Resident Evil meets World of Warcraft’s instance – Utgarde Pinnacle.
To explain how the level is set up imagine the dark patch in the bottom of the five pictures to be a dying spooky wood with a dead lake and thorny bushes in there. Imagine the sandy part to have a little foliage on and to look a bit more alive and kept in a bit better condition. Then imagine the ground floor as I refer to it as F1. It will comprise of (working clockwise) Hallway, Dining Room, Library, Monastary, Treasure and Relic Room, Lift room, Lobby, Portrait+Statue room, Greenery room, Kitchen on f1. The greenery room will have a spiral staircase leading down to B1 which is carved into the terrain as a cave. This will be a torture dungeon used for the captured prisoners (going slightly into the lore here!) The second floor will comprise of Servants Quarters, Grand hall, Throne room and then a roof level which will be training and archery for the warriors/part armoury and cannons and harpoons for the defense of the fort. The back of the fort will comprise of a minature river/sea effectively where the player can fall from high cliffs to their death on the jagged rocks or they can use it to swim back and work their way back into the castle up the spiral staircase.
The tools I have learnt over the past month or so are
Subtractive/addative brushes
Cloning Brushes
Terrain modelling and shaping
Water + Fluid surface actor
Fracture tool
Uv mapping within UDK
Importing assets and textures
Applying physics and collisions
Collision block
Matinee tool
Triggers + Kismet
Animation Curves in UDK/Kismet
Different lighting – DominantDirectionalLight/Spotlight/Dymanic Light
PostProcessVolume – Watervolume
StaticMesh Editing+Brushes
Panner+Rotation editing on UV
My current status with the level is making new textures in GIMP+Photoshop, I have taken two books out of the library entitled 3D Games Textures to learn more about texturing and I have also taken Mastering Unreal Technology Vol 2 out. I still currently am reading through 3D modelling for games in 3DS max as well. My aim for the level is now to start the decoration process and try and put assets in there which are engine efficient as well as looking good and fitting in with the Viking lore of the map. The viking art books I have taken out will give me a better idea of the look and feel of this. I will reference this in my level documentation. The next update I make on this blog will include pictures of the level in its current state as it has further advanced from what it is on the 5 pictures I have provided and the assets + model renders + images.

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