Unreal Engine 4
Created in Unreal Engine 4, this arena shooter greybox is inspired by the real-world architecture of Sheridan College’s G-Wing. Set in an enclosed symmetrical courtyard, it features two opposing three-story bases which are connected by an overhead bridge. The map has a combination of open, closed, and vertical spaces—and was designed to support a variety of playstyles and game types (free-for-all, team deathmatch, capture the flag).
Freedom of movement was the main design goal for this map, and was achieved by creating a varied and fully accessible space which encourages the use of alternate paths and unconventional vantage points, allowing players to make interesting strategic decisions both when navigating the space and during combat.
The bridge is one of the most severe choke points in the map, but alternative routes exist for players skilled enough to use them. The map presents many opportunities for players to outsmart their opponents.
One of the most satisfying things in games for me is when you're able to use a game’s movement system to fluidly and elegantly traverse a space. Recreating this feeling was the goal for this project, and since I used a basic character controller that didn't have any dazzling movement mechanics (such as grappling hooks or jet packs), I had to rely on the design of the map itself to achieve this feeling.
I started by blocking-out a space inspired by a pre-existing piece of architecture (as that was an additional goal for this project), choosing Sheridan College’s G-Wing because, of all the other architecture on the campus, it's the most extreme—this is relevant because, to me, an often important part of creating a satisfying feeling of movement is a severe space which appears challenging to conquer (even if it’s not). To really hit this point home, I exaggerated stand-out elements even further, both spatially (the length of the bridge, the height of the building) and contextually (placing power-ups in open areas to emphasize the risk and reward of exposure).
After blocking-out this space, I found ways to balance each of these elements (which was a fun exercise in itself) by providing players with alternate routes and refuge areas wherever it made sense to do so. Overall, I am happy to say that this experiment resulted in some very powerful spaces and game moments.