Project Information

Genre: First Person Shooter - Battle Royale

Developer: NHTV Breda

Client: Autotelic Design

Team Size: 30+

Platform: Steam

Status: Closed Alpha on Steam

DESCRIPTION

Steam Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/746070/The_Survivors/

 

100 players battle to be the last man standing in a 3km by 3km Arctic Western open world with various sub-biomes. A unique elimination system sets the pace and flow for the players, while AI encampments can be fought for additional loot. Through Twitch, viewers can impact the course of the game!

 

RESPONSIBILITIES / MY CONTRIBUTION

  • I created and sketched the final map layout. (with co-level designer/Jacopo Voce)
  • Designing, developing and maintaining 1/6 of the world.
  • Bringing new knowledge and innovative, faster work-flow methods to the level design team.
  • Being a point of inspiration by sharing my work, knowledge and work methods.
  • Creating the map / environment with modular assets.
  • I was the landscape shader artist, I looked into the technical aspects of the material and looked for optimizations.
  • In-game tiles: B3-B4, C3 & E3 (1/6 of the map)

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Coherent vision over the world amongst level designers and environment artists.
  • Improving work-flow methods (use of World Machine and other self developed methods)
  • World Building and Set Dressing to define a mood, I was able to work with the modular pieces that the world building artist gave us and use them in creative ways.
  • Released on Steam (Closed Alpha).

 

RECOGNITION

  • Praised for my technical knowledge in level & environment design.

 

A bit more information about my work

The Survivors is without doubt the biggest project that I have ever worked on with a Steam release. With 5 other level designers, we were in charge of creating and populating the 3km by 3km level.

 

Pre-production, Level Design Research & UE4 Technical Support

I did research into flow, landmark placement, spatial composition / focal points.

Next to being a level designer, my role in the survivors was a supportive role. As one of the developers with good insight knowledge on Unreal Engine 4. I was tasked with researching how we could optimize performance. I received support from the lead artist and lead programmer, who gave me more insight on what could potentially be bottlenecking our performance. I would be the person to talk to regarding optimization in the level.

 

High Level Design / Layout Creation (ft. Jacopo Voce)

Co-level designer Jacopo and I created the layout of the level together. We created the map on my Ipad Pro. It was a rough layout to decide a few key factors. How many Point of Interests did we want to have? The approximate walking distance between the POIs, possible division between areas (theme-based) etc. It served as a guide to keep the team coherent about the high level plan for the level.

 

Whiteboxing & Terrain Sculpting

For the project I developed a method of creating terrain with use of heightmaps. Using the heightmaps as an "alpha stamp" to add/subtract terrain geometry. This method was shown to the other level designers, majority of the level designers would end up use this method. With pre-made alpha maps, this method proved to be faster and more rewarding than hand-sculpting the terrain. We had the possibility to create our own heightmaps in WorldMachine or from Satellite data. Any small imperfections could be fixed afterwards by using UE4 terrain tools to hand paint important part back.

 

Next to terrain sculpting I also bashed some houses together. Jacopo and I had a shared Point of Interest, he made the initial design of the train-station, made a rough whitebox and I would improve it by replacing the whitebox with the modular kits from the artists and made some additional flow improvements before giving it back to Jacopo.

 

Procedural Foliage System

I worked on a feature, that in the end we didn't implement due to other time constrains. The feature I created is basically a perfect copy of the procedural foliage system by "Gokhan Karadayi". I got inspired how we could optimize our own workflow by using this method to spawn in our foliage. Using this method would allow us to create a realistic feeling forest with a button press. The foliage would be bound to it's paint layer, while at first it was bound to "nothingness" The latter being (in my opinion) a drawback of UE4 own foliage system. The old system was prone to bugs that would be difficult to fix, using the new system would had fixed all our problems regarding foliage.

 

If you want to know more about how this actually works, and why it would had solved our encountered bugs with the old system. Please contact me as this topic is too advanced, without posting a wall of text.

 

Technical Artist (Shaders)

As the artists were busy, I also filled in the role as the landscape shader artist and terrain artist. I made terrain shaders before so the task was pushed onto me.

I created a 6 layer landscape material that would automatically apply the textures corresponding to the set parameters (for example: at 55 degree angles, the material would display a rock/cliff texture)

© 2017, Trinh Level Designer, All Rights Reserved