Thursday, 27 June 2013

Self Set Summer Project 1 ~ Joker’s Hideout [Post 3]

So I'm back from my holiday now, I had a great time, but now it's back to work before I have my eye operation! I have made a few more assets for my level, but the most important thing that I had to sort out was the floor. I was using the existing UDK floor in my level, meaning that the vent couldn’t be crawled through as it went underground. I decided that I would make separate floor pieces for each room, as I may want a different texture on each of them. I made a new floor just for the factory, and just applied my basic tileable dirt texture to it to get an idea of what it would look like. I would like to create a concrete or slab flooring for this room eventually. 

After I made the floor in the factory, I played through my level to test it and found out that now every time I tried to crawl through the vent, I would automatically die. I thought that this might be a glitch with my flooring, or maybe the collision boxes, but I managed to solve the problem by selecting everything and moving it up. I figured out that as the vent was lower than the floor, UDK was seeing it as the player had fallen off the edge rather than crawling through a vent. So I have learnt that the player cannot go down past a certain point so things should be made above the default floor, this may be able to be changed through one of the menus, but I'm glad that I figured this out.

Most of the new assets I created are various parts of machinery just for the factory. The factory is my main focus at the moment, but I will make a few assets for the sweet shop soon. I experimented a lot with lighting on the machinery, and I would like to make some kind of animation of liquid chocolate or sweets being transported in the pipes of the machines. 

I have put some basic walls in to get an idea of the size and scale of the rooms. I will match up the textures later on, but I think I have a good idea of what it will look like and the amount of assets I will have to add to it to get the look I am going for.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Self Set Summer Project 1 ~ Joker’s Hideout [Post 2]

I designed a few layouts for the level, deciding on which rooms I wanted to make, and decided on having a small shop at the front which will be the starting point, leading into a corridor where most of the doors will be locked, maybe you can see something creepy through some of the doors. Then the one room you can get in, the door will be locked or covered in rubble so you cant get through any further, but there will be a hole in the floor that you fall down into a vent, you crawl through the vent and end up in the main factory. The factory will be full of weird machinery making sweets, and they will have faces on them and a purple and green colour scheme.

Using my floor plan, I make a basic block out on 3DS Max and then started making separate walls from this. One thing that I wanted to make in my group project was a vent that connected two of the rooms together, that had to be crawled through. But I didn't have a lot of time to figure this out before. However for this project, I made it a priority for one of the days, I now have a working crawl space to get into the factory. 
Once I had made this I realised that it is quite similar to the vents on Arkham Asylum/City, but this wasn't intentional. It took me a while to figure out how to make the player actually crouch on UDK, I didn't have to enable this feature on my group project as I was only building things on there. Eventually I found out that the game mode had to be changed in one of the many menus, but it wasn't an easy find as I didn't know the exact words or phrase to be searching on Google.

Using the existing design from the Batman Vault book, I modelled the “chocolate machine” and started texturing it with a basic tileable metal texture and a separate texture for the features. I will make the additional pipes and metal poles when I am happy with the walls and overall space that the machine will need to fit into.

I made a few designs for other machinery that could be in the factory part of the level – as this will be the main focal point. I wanted to reflect the real-life machinery that would be in a sweet factory, so these designs are for ovens that conveyor belts will go through to transport the sweets and heat them. I don't think that all of the machinery will have faces on, but I decided that an oven might be quite a creepy thing to have a face on.

It could be turned into an Adam West Batman style trap where Batman is captured, tied up onto the very end of conveyor belt, left in the room on his own and just as he’s about to get cooked alive, he escapes using a ridiculous gadget that he just happened to be carrying on that day.

So far I have made most of the walls, the crawl-able vent, the chocolate machine, the oven without conveyor belt, a tileable brick texture, a tileable metal texture, a tileable dirt texture, and a texture for the chocolate machine. I think I am working at an ok pace, I don't have a lot of rooms to do so I should get it finished by the time limit.
However, I have just found out that I am suitable for laser eye surgery and am having the operation on 5th July, so I may not be able to work around this time unfortunately as my eyes will hurt a lot! I may have to extend my set deadline because of this, but I will try and work harder before the surgery!
eye drops are weird :/

Monday, 3 June 2013

Self Set Summer Project 1 ~ Joker’s Hideout [Post 1]

I absolutely love Batman, the films are some of my top favourites (except the George Clooney one, but that is entertaining in its own way), the Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Lego Batman games are amazing, and I still love watching the old cartoon series and Adam West Batman series. So I decided that as a project to do over the summer, I would design and make my own playable level building that would fit in the Batman universe. I think that I will use the dark, dingy style that is in the most recent films and games, with possible hints back to the Tim Burton style in the late 80s/early 90s Batman films.

This is a more stylised project so I’m hoping that it will reflect my creativity and ability to keep to a theme, I will be using 3D Studio Max 2013, Photoshop CS2, and the Unreal Development Kit. 
I’m giving myself 5 weeks for this project, I will create all of my own concept designs, layouts, assets, textures, and put it all in UDK myself. My final “hand in” date will be Monday 8th July and I will be using my blog as a design document. I have one holiday booked in this time, between 17th and 20th June, but that is my only expected distraction.

I had the idea to make an overly Americanised sweet factory, sort of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque, but as a hideout for the villains Joker and Harley Quinn. A lot of Joker’s hideouts are set in abandoned theme parks and chemical factories, I found some concept drawings of a possible hideout made from a sweet factory in The Batman Vault book (Robert Greenberger, Matthew Manning). But there were only a few basic drawings, and they were used for the cartoon series Batman Beyond which from my memory didn’t show a lot of detail in Joker’s hideout. I may use these concept sketches as a starting point, the outside drawing was used in the cartoon, but was changed quite a bit.

After doing a bit of research I found that a lot of sweet factories have large machinery with big metal tubes and conveyor belts leading into large ovens or metal vats. There are production lines of workers making, decorating and wrapping individual sweets. A lot of the results of my search ended up being sweet shops rather than factories, so I think I will need to include a shop at the front of the factory.