Unreal Engine: Heldskalf



Specifications:

Project Time: 2 Weeks 50%
Engine: Unreal Engine 4.18
Game Type: Exploration, RPG, Walking Simulator, Scenery, Showcase
Assets: Assets from Infinity, Epic Games and Marketplace


What I learned:

  • Unreal Engine settings: Lightning, fog and atmosphere.
  • Planning, drawing and creating a project in a short time.
  • Updated my UE4 blueprint knowledge and skill.
  • Blocking out and building a believable environment in a game engine.
  • Planning and creating a playable environment in Unreal Engine.

    Gameplay Video


I began the project by biking out in nature with my trusty sketchbook, some snacks and a blanket. Getting inspiration from nature I began designing the level piece by piece from the ground up. 

Once I felt happy with my ideas I went back home and tried them out in Unreal Engine, creating the interactive switches, platforms and bridges which would later be used in the final scene/level.

As I worked, I took inspiration from other games I had played such as Darksiders and God of War. Both games are heavily based on fighting monsters and bosses but also focus a lot on overcoming obstacles and challenges such as lifts, moving objects or puzzles. Due to the project only being a week long I decided to concentrate on the latter. 


Using Blueprints


Creating this piece was both absolute joy and hair-ripping frustration.
It was quite some time since I last worked in Unreal Engine. Updating myself through videos and forums helped and after some experimentation, failure and success I quickly got a hand of the node system to a point where I could create a few basic patterns and interactable objects.

I decided to create at least 3 different objects I could active using a button. Drawbridges and platforms which were triggered using panels located either beside or hidden away from the player and interactable chests. The bridges were really fun to create with some trial and error before I got them to work as intended.
The Chests were made by toggling between the visibility of one closed and one open chest, some bright effects and sounds helped to give the sensation of joy and accomplishment once the player reached them.


Slider showcasing First Iteration


About half of the trees and bushes in the playable area was “painted” using the Unreal Engines built in foliage tool and the rest was placed either using “Single Instance Mode”, allowing me to place single objects or placed by hand in order to make it look natural. The sun and fog were set to give the scene a bright and warm feeling, the ambient sounds of singing birds and blowing wind also helped to bring the level to life. A lot of the terrain was remade and iterated upon as I playtested and measured.

The first time I created the scene, about one-third of the foliage (trees, bushes, small rocks and such) were painted using the Unreal Engines brush tool and the rest were placed by hand. The terrain was scrapped and adjusted several times and the level was iterated upon as I went.


Slider Showcasing scenery of Version 2


Now, one year later, the scene has been updated with more than 70-80% of the objects in the scene being placed by hand. The middle part of the map has been remade completely, replacing the road with a challenge where the player has to jump from rock to rock to get to the other side.

The project was a fun challenge and I feel that I have learned and accomplished a lot in a short time. I am overall pleased with the result and will most likely work on a larger hobby-project in the future.


Slider showing WIP Pictures