With the new semester beginning, the work we’ve been given for platform evaluation (Our second year 3D module) is to create a (basic) level within UDK, using other programs like 3DS Max & Mudbox. The level should be using kismet to facilitate some degree of interactivity (i.e. pushing buttons & switches, picking up & using items & so on). The level needs to be created from scratch, & we have been given the option of doing it within a group, therefore dividing the work up between us. We will be required to follow each others work though, ensuring that we all learn the skills needed to complete the work.
First of all however we all have to come up with an independent concept for a level. It may be that one of these is the level we do in a group, or it may be a completely different level, but we will all create our own individual concept.
For my concept I’m thinking of proposing a futuristic styled level, which will be set on board a massive spaceship; with lots of corridors, open hangars, control rooms & such. The main issue for this will be that the level will require little-to-no landscaping within UDK, as it will all be solid ‘manufactured’ surfaces such as walls & bulkheads. If that is a problem though; then it will simply be a case of my level concept not being the one that is pursued as a group when work starts for the second part of the assessment.
The idea behind the ship is a colony ship sent out into deep space in search of planets to colonize. the level will look very sleek & high tech, with lots of dynamic, smooth patterns & designs, & lots of clean surfaces. The idea is that the ship has however been attacked by pirate forces, & therefore much of the area will be much more battered than usual, with fires, exposed wiring & circuitry shorting out, flickering lights, & so on.
The player will control a soldier on board the ship, acting in its defence against the attackers, & will we using high-tech looking armour & weapons, much like the design of the ship itself. The camera will be set to a third person mode, so that the camera follows behind the player character, as opposed to being set to first person (as is default within UDK).
I will also want to have several points where the player can look outside the ship, into space where they will see stars, nebulae & other stellar phenomenon, intending to help them feel some sense of scale; & perhaps some greener areas (ships gardens & communal areas for the colonists for instance), so that the player is not constantly assaulted with endless corridors & metal.
Another idea I like as well is the idea of zero gravity areas, where players would be floating in an open area, having to move from surface to surface using inertia; and low gravity areas, where they move more slowly, but can jump much higher. Hopefully these features would contribute to the feeling of being in space.
A prime source of inspiration for this has definitely been the game Vanquish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanquish_%28video_game%29), both for visual style & gameplay ideas; though I will of course be looking at other sources, both within gaming as well as without.