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.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Level Design
Setting up Design Principles
Plan and provide 4 major level iterations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.