“The Street” – Year Two, the first major addition.
Okay, so you may have seen the culmination to last years “The Street” project that we set for our Games Year 1 students (see video below).
In it we asked students to design (and then build in 3DSMax) a building found on a street that could then be implemented into the UDK games engine.
The results as you can see ended with a typical “T”-shaped environment that was playable.
The idea is to each year extend this environment to add further streets, this years project is now under way and we are looking at the addition of a simple “I”-shaped street to one edge of the current existing environment as visualised in SketchUp below.
The images above show the addition of the I shape with a twist, i.e. the hill once through the bridge feature (as stated this might make the environment more interesting to play); also the addition of a raised walkway accessible by steps (based on the photo taken in Scarborough at the bottom right of the image). The zig-zagged “traffic-calming” features above this point back at the other side of the bridge also give opportunity for developing “cover” with buildings that jut out from a regular pavement base line.
Beyond this we will look to add access to the rail way line to give further firing position options, as well as breaking through the blocked arch at the base of the original T -shaped environment giving the possibility of looping around and behind your enemies.
This Year 1 project, will be completed in a few weeks, and the students will get the chance to play out a “deathmatch” in UDK, but more importantly, the resulting environment can be used as a discussion point at the beginning of their Year 2 studies, at the beginning of the their Interactive Environments module; parts of a whole semesters broad study looking at Gameplay, Theory of Play, Environments and Interactivity and the wider thinking behind content creation for games over and above simple asset creation.
Below is a simple set of layouts using letter forms as a guide for students wanting to create simple (i.e. achievable urban environments)
These of course don’t have to remain un-complex, the addition of underground sections, underpasses, alleyways, over passes and stairs leading to rooftops, can add a whole array of gameplay possibilities.
As always, I’d recommend students to get out and draw or photograph a real street (or several) in order to discover fop them selves the actuality of things they walk past everyday.