Creating an Unreal Tournament 4 Level


DEVELOPMENT: Solo, 8 weeks, finished

Underskate is an Unreal Tournament 4 death match map focused around using UT4’s movement mechanics in combination with ramps to encourage the verticality of combat.


  • Setting up Design Principles

  • Plan and provide 4 major level iterations

Work Highlights

Unreal Tournament 4: Encouraging verticality in combat

The focus for designing Underskate was to encourage verticality in combat by enabling and encouraging the use of all movement mechanics achieved through the use of ramps, gaps, elevators and jump boots.

Whilst it is entirely possible to navigate through the map without using these, players will quickly find themselves at a disadvantage against opponents that can swiftly navigate through different rooms and height levels by using these mechanics.


Playtest FOOTAGE

Challenges & Lessons Learned

Too detailed, too soon

My first iteration had been so detailed that it cost me so much time for every little change. Going back to a simple block-out helped me greatly.

First over-detailed Underskate iteration

Build in small steps

For whitebox iterations: start very simple to get an overview. Add in more detail with each iteration, so you ensure that various aspects gain priority in different iterations.

Peer Feedback

When working in a new and unknown domain, the findings and expertise of other designers can ease, clarify, and strengthen your learning and development process.

Player preference of movement mechanics

Player preference of movement mechanics

Early Testing

Building in small steps allows you to test early, quickly finding major issues that you can address early in development, before they become enveloped in other level aspects.