Posted in Uncategorized

Business Card & Poster!

As the project technically is finished, I wanted to create a good scene for my showcase. To create this, I needed a professional edge with a business card and a poster. My friend gary works at a printing shop so he has hooked me up with a poster, and the business cards are from Moo. I wanted to create a mysterious poster with more intrigue than detail.

I then used this and mildly edited it to create the business card, and created a modern, sharp details page for the back.


(Poster template is a HUGE file, but its essentially the same as the image above!

Posted in Evaluations

Expanding the project

Hypothetically speaking, given the chance I know a lot of what I would like to add to the game and beyond. This map created very early on shows the area surrounding the base, which i’d like to design and create, so the player has some more room to explore, where they will possibly see where the residents of the base ran too and how they ended up.


This would then lead to another area where the factions ‘Coiled Snake’ and ‘Sinister Serpent’ are hiding. These factions are briefly mentioned on the radio stations, and intrigued test players when they heard of them. The Icons around the globe are calling to you, and you are the destined person to shut them down and stop them erasing reality.

I’d like to go on to explain that the Icon not only shrouds the reality to a chosen few including the player, but also creates a warped, hell like reality similar to that of Event Horizon, which would explain why Eugène Gabritschevsky drew the paintings he did: After such a long time exposed to the Icon, his reality had shifted to the reality the Icon is from: Another dimension. HOW COOL! I want to make it now.


Posted in Evaluations

A debrief of the project

2 days before the deadline, everything is finished and I have a little time to reflect on what I have achieved this year.

My first ever post on this blog, this was written 8 months ago:


I read this and in reflection, i’ve definitely stepped far in the right direction but I do not feel completely ready for industry. This project has certainly helped fix a lot of weaknesses, but also exposed a lot too. I still struggle with scale, now as it is too late, I’d like to fix the grass texture so its smaller and thinner, but to do that would require a lighting-rebake and I don’t have time for that. My modelling is still strong and I love doing it, but with the scale I chose, I couldn’t focus as much on sculpting as i’d like. It’s my own fault and I should have learned, but nothing suffered too badly. I still made a lot of interesting assets, but a smaller scale would certainly have made everything look better.

I have made a list of things I will take on board for my next project, hopefully over the summer unless I get a nice job!

  • Next project, much smaller scale. Focus on one asset and make it amazing.
  • Don’t accept average assets, work a little longer to make them nicer.
  • Trees. Learn to do trees.
  • Create something a little more architectural next time for more variety.
  • Modular kits are incredibly useful.
  • Learn to use lighting more efficiently.
  • Spend more time texturing and making sure the maps are actually PBR in relatively to the lighting set up.
  • Create or download a character for checking scale more frequently.
  • Learn more techniques of creating good maps, and get better at sculpting them.

I’m certainly on my way to being industry ready and a 4 year course has taught me a lot, and i’m nearly there. Maybe an extra year, but i’ll get there. I just need to focus on my weaknesses and not forget my strengths.

As you can see, the narrative and overall project has changed dramatically, mostly due to experiences that inspired me leading up to december, and researching cool stuff that inspired me to build it. It definitely turned out more sci-fi than I had originally hoped, but with the narrative I have built, it’s understandable.

I also made the project a lot harder for myself by not using any specific reference or concept art, it all just came from imagination. I feel it came out well, but if next time I used a more direct source of inspiration the project would be a lot stronger.



Posted in Completed Project, Professional Practice

Making a trailer!

Unfortunately, my wireframe fence STILL suffers from framerate issues and I had to deal with it for the trailer. I wanted to create a trailer for the showcase because I could have it on my phone while my partner for the week Caitlyn is showing her project, I could show other people the video.

I rendered it using the matinee sequences, and edited it all together in Premier from 1920/1080 png image sequences. I created the music on my own by adding 2 piano layers, a violin and drums to create a nice, ethereal emotional soundtrack which would suit my environment well. Trailer can be viewed here:

Posted in Practical Work, Set Dressing

Set dressing for Level 1

Level 1 is the first level I began working on and I really wanted it to feel open and unthreatening, with players more curious than anxious about the plot. The worry comes later with the foreshadowing and set dressing inside, but here the player is free to explore. I added narrative content on the main stretch, being the warnings in chalk and blood near the entrance, and the plinth with text data.

MovieFrame00475.pngI wanted it to feel like when the player explores, their curiosity would pay off. In the far corner I set up a roadblock for the train, which would show that the residents either wanted to keep people out, or something in. That is unclear but that’s what I want. If a player questions what it is he is seeing, he will want answers and they come in the next level. This helps to build up an emotional bridge not only between the assets, but between all the levels.


This room was simply meant to be a small box with nothing in it to show it would’ve been a guard post or something similar, but every player went to it and looked inside. To reward their curiosity, I added some set dressing to indicate there was fighting, with grenades and war boxes, showing the box was now used for refuge and perhaps cover.

Posted in Practical Work, Set Dressing

Set dressing on level 2

Level 2 is the first interior environment the player encounters. From the start I wanted it to feel like the player had a choice of where they were going to an extent, but also to feel more guided than the previous level. This was to make them feel more anxious about the upcoming information, and the amount of narrative detail in this level is a lot bigger than level 1.

There was going to be a lot of rationale needed for a lot of my set dressing, so I will break it down through screenshots.

The set dressing here is one a lot of players will probably not really appreciate, but those who do will definitely like it. As you can see, doors have names, room numbers and positions within the base. I chose Psychologist becuase the German word for it, as you can see, is very similar and players who examine these signs will be able to understand that. I placed 2 chairs outside in order to create the idea that it is a waiting area for people to come and speak to the psychologist. It’s the only room with seats, so insinuates that it is the busiest of all the rooms, and therefore people within the base may be struggling mentally, which is a side effect of The Icon’s unknown power.


The signage indicates to players on a lot of doors why they aren’t enterable. This was to save time and I needed a way to justify no explorable rooms, so I decided using the colour code I found the German’s used in WW2, with yellow being the highest priority of secrecy. You, as a player, do not have access to here, and you aren’t going to get it.

The keycards allowed me to give an audio response to players attempting to enter rooms, as one of the main issues players had during playtests was that they were unsure if any rooms were explorable.


Here you can see the Computers set up. I wanted to create the idea the base is incredibly technologically advanced for its era, and is a high priority location for study. The data stacks above the PC’s are there to symbolise the sheer volume of data they are collecting, and the PC’s have unique textures. One shows dangerous radioactivity, the other shows magnetic damage. Both of these, as subtle as they are, can help a player understand that danger is afoot and not as far away as they might think.


To add more to this, the Geiger counter has audio responses with the clicking you associate with a geiger counter going at a relatively steady tempo. The asset gives the immediate impression radioactivity is of danger here, and there have been measures to understand and contain it. The radio gives out audio of ‘Achtung, kein zutritt, lauf’, which means Danger, access forbidden, run. This may be in german to maintain the illusion of this being a broadcast for anyone trapped inside to leave, but the tone and overall context of a repeated message over the radio should warn players that it isn’t a positive message.



Posted in Practical Work, Research, Set Dressing

Rationale behind setting up level 3

Level 3 is my final level, almost designed to shock the player using techniques from horror games. I looked into games like Amnesia and PT on the PS4 to see what they use for dark, scary hallways and the answer seems to absolutely be the colour red, flickering lights, darkness & chaos.

(Image from PT, Konami, Kotaku)

 (Image from Resident Evil 2, found on gamefaqs.)

In response to these findings, I created a variation of blood stains and dirt textures. I applied them as decals and covered my scene with a variety of oddly placed assets to emulate chaos and mess.


The radio plays a sound bite, which gives the player more narrative understanding of what has happened but not enough to explain the plot, simply more information for the player to help them contextualise and create their own narrative. The Geiger counter makes an appearance here for a very good reason. The counter made a sound in Level 2, which was a mild beep considered a lot of radiation but not ridiculous. On Level 3, the noise is 4x faster, edited in Reaper, with a dissonant beeping over the top. If players heard the Geiger Counter in level 2, they will become aware of the different sound and understand the radioactivity has shot up exponentially since seeing this new environment. The PC is also sitting along with the magnetically destroyed monitor, also helping to show the player of the chaos and panic the residents were in. The word ‘LAUF’ makes a lot of appearances and the way in which it is so imperative on the wall should make players very aware of the imminent danger they face.

The lighting is designed to flicker to add yet more unease and the wall textures are all rust. The rust is to show degredation and players are aware that rust is never good, especially when in abundance like here.


Posted in Iterative process, Practical Work, Textures and Materials

Updating the material on the ground

After working on the project for so long, I had started to ignore some of the problems I thought weren’t really big and thought they weren’t essential to fix. One, and by far the biggest, was the way the grass texture on the terrain looks.


I had seen in many different exterior scenes others had made, and of course reality and source images, that the ground was mud and the grass was spread around it to add colour variation. I downloaded a free mud texture and created a tiled 2048×2048 texture to try to see if that works.


I created a normal using NDo’s template for mud, and desaturated and heightened the constrast to create a specular map. I then inverted them image to create a roughness, and then I had all the maps I needed for another material. I tested it in a new project as my honours project is currently running a LOT of stuff, and I didn’t want to affect the lighting. It looked really nice so I felt confident to add it to the project.


Unfortunately, the glitch mentioned earlier to do with the terrain not loading when compiling affected my project, so instead of adding it as a new material, I had to replace one of the grass materials with mud.

At least the mud is in there, but a texture fell in the process.


RIP grass_1.material. I’d be lying if I said i’d miss you.

Posted in Practical Work, Research, Textures and Materials


As I mentioned earlier, my friend Andrew was telling me about his ‘Mess’ and how in the British army there are action shots of people rather than portraits adorning the walls. I decided to gather a few images of German soldiers and equipment for use on the walls to add a bit of interest and cohesion to the setting. I found these beauties and placed them all on one 2048 texture so I could UV 5 different planes to get all the photos in 1 file.


(Images from,, &

As you can see, there was some room left for a few more photos and I had a think about my plot, to see if there was anything there I could use. I tried to find a photo of Eugene Gabritschevsky, from my plot, the real life person who become mentally ill and schizophrenic and began painting strange otherworldly creatures towards the end of his life.

Instead of coming across him, I came across the paintings he had done that I had completely forgotten about.They were haunting and creepy, perfect to add a little lore and mystery to the game and something which will intrigue players to find out more about. I want the player to leave the game asking questions, wanting to play for and find out more of their purpose, their role as a player and follow up on the events.

(Images from & canalblog)

A frantic use of colour with tones of violence and anger, uncertainty and death. All great things to foreshadow the events that are happening in the base.