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Here's a quick tip that you can add to your map to make it much more realistic and make the player "Oooo" and "Aaahh"!

When building a map or environment, consider adding areas the player can see but not go to.  This gives your map a feeling of depth and that it is a location inside of a larger world and not a predefined layout.

For example, my current map, DM-Grime, is set within a dark, dingy basement.  After I built my walls, added some static meshes, and tossed in a few lights the map was looking decent, however I wanted to give it a bit of a 'destroyed' or 'decayed' look.  In the corner of an inner wall (between the wall and the ceiling) I added a rectangle subtraction brush and split the edges of it a few times.  Manipulating the generated vertices up and down gave the wall the look it had been broken apart.

To add to this, I used a subtraction brush to generate a similar hole in the ceiling.  At this point, a hole in my ceiling was looking up into an empty void since my level was shaped like a giant rectangle.  I added a small room above the hole (just big enough to cover the hole).  I textured the room with some basic textures and threw in a door for effect.  To contrast the lighting in my level, which mostly consisted of yellowish ambient light, I added a bright red light to shine down which brings the player's attention to that spot.

I used 4 simple meshes to accent the destroyed area.  From the Content Browser I picked up the I-beam mesh and added two of them.  Where the two met, I rotated them downwards, giving the look they had bent down.  Second, I added a generic pipe mesh and bent that down as well (though at a different angle).  Third, I added a mesh that consisted of 3 smaller pipes and bent those around and down as well.  Lastly, I added a crate that is nestled between the first broken pipe and the I-beam.

To make the destruction more apparent, I found some rock piles and broken tiles (my ceiling is made of tiles) and tossed them around on the ground.  Finally, each corner of the room was held up by a pillar so for the destroyed corner I added a broken stone pillar and rotated it as if it had been knocked loose but was still standing.

I'll post some before/after photos of the area, happy mapping!

Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010 4:12 AM Tutorials | Back to top

Comments on this post: Unreal Engine Tip: Room Surroundings

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