By: Kristen Misick (Art Lead)
During Spring Quarter 2020 each level concentrated solely on the Art aspect of our levels with the goal in mind to take our levels from the block out stage to a polished state by the end of the quarter. This meant that everyone on the team had to focus on art and level design for the entire quarter and become familiar with the art tools primarily Maya or Blender and Substance Painter for texturing. From week 1 to week 10 we worked towards having the level be polished with every texture, asset and proper lighting for the sewer to come alive.
Matt and I started of the quarter deciding what assets we would need for the level and what assets would be vital to the overall look for the level and focused on those first and then making a secondary list for if we had enough time to add more to the level. We also had a third list that we made with both Rob(City Art Lead) and Janani (Cul -de-sac Art Lead)for assets that may be modular to any of the three levels with textures being changed if applicable. We made this list for both the Sewer level and the maintenance level.
We started off first with part 1 being the sewer level mapping and texturing previous models that could be used for our level. Matt and I added tasks onto a excel sheet for Kailey to put on Taiga so everyone could track their work. We would try to give each person at least two to three tasks to do for the sprint and when they were done they would run there models and textures through both Matt and I then either Matt or I would publish the finished asset into the game for later populating of the level.
After the first two sprints Matt and I started to populate the level using previous references that Matt had found for the overall feel of the level. We used the now textured assets and added them to our level as everyone else in the group made them. With these new additions of assets came the implantation of splines for some of the most important assets we had such as the Tunnel, Grates and other aspects. Matt was the one who had implemented splines so that we could easily get a realistic flow for the sewer without hassle. We followed this same pattern for most of the quarter as well as going off the feedback given by Allen until we got to the point where felt that the sewer level was fully populated.
At that point we went to Sam to now have the lighting implanted into the level. For the lighting Matt, Sam and I envisioned floodlights with a lot of indirect light coming from old flashlights and trashcans on fire with light fog. The trash cans would indicate that people lived in the sewer using the shadow decals made by Kayla to convey a story about there being people who lived in the sewer but after everything happened, they disappeared. From here we would mess with the lighting to get a good feel of everything. With the addition of lighting Matt and I asked Kayla for multiple different decals such as graffiti and scribble to convey a story of helplessness and sorrow. Once given those decals I would go in and add them to the level using Unreals decal tool.
During the finals weeks Matt and I decided to add some sequencers to help guide the player through the sewer since there is not a real quest we looked at what the cul de sac was doing and decided to go off that idea of following a ghost that directs the player on where you should go. To do this I added multiple sequencers into the level just to emphasize these points of interest so that the player would have a sense of where to go.
When it comes to our final part of the level the reservoir We kept it the same as it was in the blackout but asked Scott to create a water particle so that water could be coming out of the pipes in the reservoir as well we talked to Sara to help create a swimming volume in which when the player enter the water they would go into a swimming state which would basically slow down the players movement and had the dog start a swimming animation to what a actual dog would be do. Sara also worked on the implementation of a trigger volume that teleports the dog for us so that those pieces of the map that are kind of hard to maneuver will be much easier now
After all this was implemented Matt and I worked on creating a before and after of everything that happened in the year for a sizzle reel doing this with the cameras and sequencer.