SG-1 Abydos Project - Part 1

Making Of / 28 January 2019

After a year of learning UE4 materials, and trying out some personal level designs that failed badly because of lighting and some bad concepts I had of level design in UE4, I'm gonna start this project from scratch.

This is a project that started a year ago, when I made the Stargate, DHD and a MALP props. I thought: "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to replicate some of the iconic environments of SG-1 while you learn?". And so I did. I thought I learned enough at my master's degree, to make it so, but knowing Unity is not knowing UE4. Besides, I had still to learn a lot of many other hints and tips I've been gathering throughout a year.

Therefore, I began this level design with a rough blocking with BSP boxes, to get the Abydos Gate Room done. For me, a hard-die fan of SG-1, it was a nightmare to see that Abydos Gate Rooms I had as references from both film and TV show was a lot different in proportions and props. Even within the TV shows, the temple changed from season 1 to 10! That's why I finally decided to take it only as a reference, but with free moves for proportions and positions of elements such as columns and corridors.

I finally learned the use of Blueprints as the Prefabs Unity has. I created all the prefabs (basic ones, will extend different versions of each to add more variety) and learned to export them to 3ds Max. This is something that I never thought I could do if I still used Unity (except if you buy plugins, of course).

Once All where imported, I duplicated them on 3ds Max, just to save the rough blocks as reference of sizes. Then, I moved into the low poly and high poly versions of each.

One of the tries I gave it last year, failed because I thought I could really do it all with planes and then use bumps or tessellations to give it a good resemblance. This time, I added more polys because nowadays polys are a lot cheaper (I'm used to model for a 13-year-old fan mod of an MMO who's engine is a lot trickier). And  a bit more polys is a lot better than complex shaders.

This was my truly first day into UE4 as level designer.