Adding some form of interactivity will give our environment a feel of what could be expected from a game of this type. It will also enable the group to experiment and push our creativity to further develop our skill sets.
To start with, I added a lift type platform which is triggered to ascend when the ‘F’ key is pressed through the use of ‘Matinee’ and ‘Blueprints’.
This could be a good way of accessing upper floors of the exterior of buildings.
I also wanted to look at introducing hazards to the western town.
To demonstrate this I thought that a collapsable floor that is controlled via a trigger would give an element of danger and surprise to some of the buildings and walkways.
Adding a further touch of realism to a virtual environment is something that most games designers strive to achieve, and this is true in our group project too. Getting our models in to the game engine with a texture on it is only part of the process. The trouble is that the models look too new and clean, in the real world any object that is exposed to the elements of the passage of commuters through a busy train station will leave their mark in the form dirt and weathering.
To add a realistic looking effect to our models our tutor, Paul showed me how to apply a Decal material to a surface in the UDK editor. This involves creating several texture layers to gain the desired look.
Before the moss effect Decal was applied.
After the moss effect decal was applied.
To make our environment more interactive for game play purposes I have started adding interactive elements. To the front of the Royal Station Hotel I placed a ladder volume onto the side of an archway, this will allow access to the balcony area to provide in-game refuge and give a good vantage point for ambushing the enemy. At the moment there is no visible object to climb up, so I will be adding a drain pipe or a rope so that there is something to give the suggestion that it can be climbed.
I will also be adding a jump pad on the balcony area that will propel a player onto the roof of the hotel, this will allow access to the roof areas of other buildings. Because this environment is set in 1914 i intend to make the jump pad invisible and place something there like some tar-poling or suitcases there that can be use as a launch pad.
I have added smoke to the chimney stacks of the hotel and I am going to add triggered sound and lighting effects to the surrounding areas of the hotel to give more interaction to the environment.