Role: Level Designer | Team Size: Solo Project | Engine: Unreal | Jan 2022 - May 2022
Urban Market is a greyboxed level I created in Unreal that utilizes Call of Duty scale and measurements to provide industry standard gameplay in a smaller level. This project helped me further my experience with Unreal Engine both in the level design pipeline as well as getting more experience with Blueprints. To create the play space, I utilized multiple static mesh variants to quickly be able to swap out one version of an asset to another. I also utilized Blueprints to create doors that players can interact with, as well as an elevator within one of the buildings that allows players to reach higher floors quickly.
When I started this project, I knew that I wanted to have this map be to the scale of other Call of Duty maps. My first drawings set up the scale to be similar to the maps Seatown and Resistance from Modern Warfare 3. This turned out to be way to big for a scale of one semester with other classes happening on top of this project.
With that realization, I turned back to the drawing board and looked to keep the same feel and themes of Seatown and Resistance but on a smaller scale. For this I looked back at maps such as Shipment and Rust that are extremely small in scale, but have been fan favorites for a long time. With this new insight I drew up the new version of the map that you can see to the right.
Top down map showing the third level.
top down view showing the second level.
Top down map showing the sewer layers and map boundaries.
Top down map showing the third level.
In my first rendition of the level I wanted to get the exterior spaces fully blocked out with simple shapes that would help me get a sense of scale. This helped set the ground work for making sure that the size of the buildings would work with the static mesh assets I was beginning to create.
Once the exterior spaces were mapped out I began work on getting the few interior spaces placed in as well as getting all the walls turned into multiple static meshes. By having the walls be cut into multiple static meshes, I was able to customize the look of each building to determine where doors and windows would go.
In the third version of this level, I focused on creating static meshes to replace the various white boxes I had around as props. This really helped me see how the space would truly flow. Along with this I got feedback from my professor about the flow around the various buildings. With all this, I made some drastic changes to switch up the flow of the level that can be seen around the three main buildings.
In the final iteration of this level, I focused on further filling out the static meshes within the map and applying colored dev materials to indicate map functions. I also got some final feedback on possible expanses I can make from my professor. Based off this feedback, I added more room for players to explore on the top floor on the hotel, and I added a sewer system below the map that had entrances placed around the market.
One of the interactable aspects of this level that I created was sets of doors that the player can open. I took inspiration from the doors in the newer CODs that can be opened and closed both by pressing an interact key while near it, but also by sprinting into the door. The GIFs below show the doors in action!
Another interactable aspect I mapped out with Blueprints was the elevator within the hotel/café. This was a fun object to map out as I needed to have there always be one elevator on each floor. The design decision behind this was that I never wanted players to need to wait on a floor and call an elevator up to them. In the GIF's below you can see the elevator within the level as well as it working in an open environment.