This project was my first experience of Unreal Engine 4, Autodesk Maya, texturing game assets, and using level design for environmental storytelling.
The objective on this project was to create an environment which told a simple story within a small diorama and communicated a time period and location.
This project was my first experience with Unreal Engine 4, Autodesk Maya, and texturing within Photoshop.
The diorama intended to show the aftermath of a barfight in an old western saloon.
I designed the room based upon cinema and video game examples of western environments. To achieve this I focused on the furniture, décor, and architecture of the environment.
I took environment inspiration from the Dollar Trilogy, The Wild Bunch, Hang 'Em High, Call of Juarez, and Red Dead Redemption.
I grey boxed a rough version of the scene to gain a sense of space and scale similar to those of the references.
The bar itself drew a lot of focus so I used this to my advantage and positioned the fight scene right in front of it.
Saloons often featured a large open floor space and key objects tucked together under a higher walk way level. I matched this in the grey box and placed the bar in a claustrophobic space below the upper floor.
To remove an eye catching area of negative space I moved the piano to the left of the bar. This stopped the negative space drawing the eye away from the barfight itself.
I combined inspiration from my references as well as real world examples from the time period to create an asset list, model, and texture the assets needed in the scene.
The layout was re-arranged once materials were added to the scene as reflections and colour changes altered the focal areas.
Throughout all modelling and texturing, a consideration was kept in mind for the materials and processes available to people of the time period and as such final visuals were made to match.
I populated spaces within the scene with smaller assets to tell the player the story of what occurs within this saloon. These ranged from poker games at the tables to weapons and gold hidden behind the bar.
Once these smaller storytelling points were added I revisited the bar fight itself and made it the focus with the new assets.
Finally I updated the textures on bottles and luxury items within the scene to match those of the early 1900's period. I created each texture in photoshop to learn a range of tools in the package.
These labels can be seen below.
This project was my first endeavour into 3D modelling, texturing, and Unreal Engine 4.
Through this project I learned to 3D model and best practices within 3D pipelines. I learned to work within poly budgets, how to capture the likeness of an object with as few polygons as possible, and how to model in a way that future proofed the mesh against degenerate geometry.
Texturing taught me many techniques within photoshop, how to texture assets, and create tiling textures.
The project taught me the basics of using Unreal Engine 4 for asset implementation, collision alteration, pivot point adjustment, and how to set up materials within the engine.
The scene is no longer reflective of my current abilities although it demonstrates my ability to learn multiple skills within a tight time frame.
Returning to this scene I would edge off the walls to be uniform and complete a lighting pass on the scene. Beyond this I would incorporate additional texture maps as the scene currently runs on base colours and normal maps. I would expand this to use metallic, roughness, and ambient occlusion where needed to improve the visual end results.
I would further expand on the bar fight by adding an exterior and forcing players to enter the scene from a defined entry point which would frame the fight.
Despite the potential to improve the scene I see this project as a success due to the amount learned in a short period of time whilst working on it.