Friday, November 21, 2008

Persian Fort project

Whoa, another insanely huge post!!! Anyway, this is another Unreal mod project in which I was involved set in medieval Persia. I was basically responsible for most of the level design concepts, all concept art/level diagrams as well as building and texturing most of the assets in the level. I was not involved in the creation of the BSP, assembly of the level or any scripting. My initial isometric sketches served as a kind of miniature template for what would become the final level, and helped me to create the master asset list. The initial idea was to design a single player mission in which the player would descend throughout the level to a lower dungeon, eventually rescuing a comrade being held captive. The time constraints proved to be too difficult to finish all of the scripting required. However, Mike Reed was able to finish a good "guard mode" A.I. which deviates from default deathmatch A.I. that the bots usually use. He was also able to script some nice triggers, such as: the ability to shoot down torches and lights, proximity-based sounds and the ability to shoot objects off tables. Cameron Barnes created the BSP and assembled the level.

Here are just a few of the assets that I created for the level, starting with a nice palm tree...

Here's a fruit stand, which was also used in the Courtyard.

I created this simple archery target for the Training Area.

...and, for the Barracks, I created this simple bed and chest (i.e., used a Persian rug for the blanket).

I also created this weapons rack for the Training Area, complete with authentic Persian weaponry.

For the Main Hall, I created this fountain with an elaborate Persian mosaic texture.

Also for the Main Hall, I created this wall piece (with texture and normal map)...

...this ceiling piece (with texture and normal map)...

...and this floor piece (with texture map, normal map and specular map). Note: the Persian rug does not reflect the light as does the tile.

I also had the grand idea of retexturing one of the Unreal 3 models, to make it fit with our medieval theme. By the way, I know, I know, the Persians didn't wear full plate male as did the Europeans, but what do you expect?!? I got a model of a guy wearing friggin' Gears of War power armor and he looks like he's right out of Warhammer 40K! I don't think I could pull off transforming that into leather or chainmail with textures alone!

Ahem, sorry about that. Anyway, the sad truth is, after I worked so hard re-texturing this default Unreal 3 model, I was unable to re-import it into the game. Oh well, it was a good texturing exercise. (Did I mention that I did NOT create this model? It is one of the default male models that ships with Unreal 3--I just re-textured it)

Here's a screenshot of the Courtyard.

This is the entrance to the Persian fort (the torches can be shot down)

This is the dining hall portion of the Barracks. After starting the project, we each decided to assume responsibility for one room; Mike Reed selected the Barracks. He wrote script so the light can be shot down to darken the room (to stealthily sneak by guards). In addition, the plates and cups can be shot off the tables.

I assumed responsibility for the Main Hall. I really wanted to capture the dizzying clash of textures that I found in much of my Persian reference imagery. I wanted to make a strong impact on the player as soon as they enter the front door. Also, the patterns could act as a sort of camouflage, enhancing the difficulty as the players battle the guards.

Although I could have matched the blue within the wall tiles to the blue within the columns and floor better, I'm fairly happy with the overall effect I achieved within the room (i.e., complete gaudiness).


Yusuke Sato said...

Now ur posting too much aaron, lol.
But hey, pretty awesome level stuff. U havent showed them to me personally tho! grr

Aaron Ault said...

I know, I know... the persian package files are MASSIVE, though! Like, all the packages together are something like 430 mb!!! I really didn't know anything about Unreal when we were working on it, but I think Mike Reed's scripting stuff will be good reference material for the future.