Level Designing

So last quarter in my class Advanced Level Design, we worked in a group to create a unique multiplayer (or single player) level using the Unreal Development Kit.

My group was composed of five people, including myself. As the group leader, I was in charge of creating a production schedule for the other members and myself to follow as we created all the assets that we needed to make the level feel real. On top of being the group leader and organizing the weekly meetings, I was also the level designer, as well as audio and light artist.

The Story behind the Scrapyard

Our level takes place on a snowy planet (much like Hoth from Star Wars). On this planet, a factory was built. The people who built this factory were scavengers. They created a fake distress signal to lure ships flying past the planet in to investigate. Once they were within the atmosphere, the anti-air turrets around the factory would shoot them down. From there, crab-like robots would scout through the debris for metal and valuable parts, bringing them back to the factory. However, some ships were heavily damaged when they crashed. One in particular now fires a deadly beam through the canyon, obliterating anything in its path.

This factory has long since been abandoned, but the automated systems are still operating. Your ship has crashed, now its a fight for survival.


As the level designer, I was responsible with taking all the exported assets that my group members created and import them into UDK. From there I had to make sure that the meshes and collisions worked well. After that I would bring in their textures and create UDK materials for them and make sure the materials appeared correctly on the meshes.

From there I began to populate the level we were creating. As the person working the most with the engine, I created the terrain that would be used, and did a block out of the map. Once the meshes were made, I would replace the brushes being used in UDK with the actual meshes.

Every week or so, we would have a play test in class, to see how people moved throughout the level. With their feedback, I could adjust the level flow to make it more enjoyable.

So this was a very back and forth process, checking with my members on their progress, bouncing ideas off of them on the level flow (additions and removals of areas).

Overall, we were all very pleased with how it came out.

Credit to:

Alex Karpati (myself) – 3D Modeler (Props), Level Designer, Audio & Light Designer

Brittany Cloud – 3D Modeler (Props)

Richard Harris – FX Artist (Particle Effects) & Programmer (Custom Weapons Scripts)

John Irish – 3D Modeler (Custom Weapons, Crashed Ship)

Matthew Kline – 3D Modeler (Factory Assets, Props)

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~ by koax117 on January 14, 2012.

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