top of page
Screenshot 2024-01-30 122321_edited_edited.jpg

Sci-Fi Horror

LEVEL: Third Person, Non-Linear, Open Hub // ENGINE: Unreal 5 // CGMA Project

Inspired by "Dead Space", "Aliens" and "Resident Evil" players must explore to find a way to gain access to the tram station while surviving multiple enemy encounters. I designed this space as a hub that would connect to a larger semi open world to be backtracked and reused with multiple objectives and systemic enemies.
Players can choose to explore the world and complete certain objectives in any order they wish while still eventually being funneled to their core goal. I scripted all blueprints besides the player controller.

SFH_MapOverview_00 (1).png

Concept and Design

Terra_Fear CQB_edited.jpg
JJewer_Week 05_Map.jpg

My goals for this level were simple: create an atmospheric semi open hub for a sci-fi horror game with non-linear objectives.

 

I start by creating a rough story for a full game and choose a segment that level takes place in, this is always a huge help during this phase as it gives valuable context and leads to a better realized level.

 

I then gathered my reference images directly from the media that inspired me but also utilized ArtStation for additional ideas, it doubles down on that context.

 

After deciding to restrict this hub to just colony quarters I was ready to sketch out my level. I try to use measurable metrics during this phase but there's so much iteration once in engine that I don't always treat these as the final layout.

I then block out the major locations to get a feel for the space, making alterations while I still don't have to worry about too many details and am not committed to anything. Unfortunately I neglected to take images during the initial grey box phase.

Once happy with the core loops of the hub, interiors, encounter locations and mission steps, I further develop the details to a white box quality in order to really sell the atmosphere.

I use a mix of primitive shapes merged together and models from SketchFab to create all of the temporary visuals for white box. I know all of this is throwaway work so I don't spend too long making my own models unless I have to, I just need to communicate what I can as a starting point for any artist picking up this level. I also created some simple materials, rain VFX, ambient sound and music, SFX and lighting to push it further. Personally, I really like the flickering lights I used in this level.

Progression

SFH_Progression (3).jpg

There is a golden progression for the primary objective but the player has the choice to freely explore the locations. The mission objective naturally branches with the player's choices even if they skip steps, while reaching the skipped locations will trigger alternative dialogue.

If they reach the apartment before the office, they will be directed to get the apartment key from the office.

After entering the apartment, the objectives become pretty linear again though the prior locations will have another set of alterative dialogue.

The side mission does not interrupt the primary mission and similarly can be done out of sequence with alternative dialogue.

Blueprint Examples

Some of the blueprints I created for this project. Most blueprints are designed with the intention to use them in multiple ways and on future projects.

LEVEL BLUEPRINT
DOOR BLUEPRINT