So, as per usual I’ve been prioritizing my work over my posts here and I’d like to apologize for the wait.
When we last left off I described the making of the Yhomstad boss arena and the process by which I made some rather fitting trees. Previously I have also discussed the main Shop environment and the first Wurm Arena. In this post I would like to discuss the other 3 environments I made for The Grand Master. They are as follows: Ice Troll Arena, Lava Wurm Arena, and The Final Arena.
A core component of The Grand Master are the boss fights, therefore these fights needed to feel epic and take place in interesting environments. After the first wurm pit environment the team’s workflow drastically improved. Our phenominal level designer, Riley Bufton, would block out the levels in engine using the Landscape tool in Unreal, I would export this blockout and use Maya to make a lower poly, more stylized version of the main environment. Then I would fill the environment with different props, such as rocks, trees, skulls, market stalls, grass, etc. Lastly I would vertex paint (often with the aid of our art lead as he has utilized vertex painting in Maya far more than I have), and bring everything back into engine.
Let’s start with the Ice Troll Environment. The ice troll environment blockout looked something like this:(Blockout by: Riley Bufton)
I really liked the cave concept especially the giant spikes and pillars which gave the map a claustrophobic feel.
Here is what it looks like now, in engine:
I used the twist tool in Maya to make 3 new varriations on my tree from last post so that they wouldn’t all look the same. I liked the interesting bend this gave them. I wanted obstacles that weren’t just spikes to give the environment more variance. I created a gear like mesh that when stacked woul look like stone pillars. This allowed for a modular building system, so I could make the castle turrets however high I needed them to be without stretching the meshes.
Here is a beauty shot of the environment set up by Aaron Higgins (Art Lead):
(Troll model: Amanda Deep. Grandmaster Model, Posing, Lighting: Aaron Higgins)
The next boss Arena that I created for The Grand Master is the Lava Wurm Pit.
Here is the level blockout I was given:
(Blockout by: Riley Bufton)
I really liked the idea that this arena took place inside part of a volcano. And I was really into the idea of the lava flowing down the mountainside. I watched a couple of tutorials online about making low poly water materials in Unreal Engine to get me started. I followed a tutorial to get a basic water material, and by messing with the values and adding more effects to the emissive map I was able to make a flowing lave texture that I think reads fairly well.
I also brought the giant swords back, because Giant Swords are very cool.
And here is a beauty shot of the environment that I set up with the help of Aaron Higgins:
(Lava Wurm mesh and paint: Amanda Deep, Grandmaster mesh, lighting, posing: Aaron Higgins)
I will cover the final environment in my next blog post.
Thank you for reading,
~ Ben Hiller