Time Warp – Day 4: Ride the Rails

Fine, I’ll do both our jobs!

The last part of the my level that I needed to complete to get it ready for testing was the monorail line at the station. Although UT3 has a train model and some tracks… they are unfortunately not in UDK. As a result, I had to try and make them myself. Anyone who knows me knows that that is a bottle of liquid fail. I spent some time relearning 3DSMax controls, and how to make models. It took some time and the end result has way too many polys but it looks decent for what I need.

All aboard the improvement train

Once I had the rails, I put in a series of rail meshes to complete a track. I had planned on making the rail a walkable area (up to a point, I don’t want the player to walk out of the map), but as I tested to see what it was like, I noticed that I could see over the wall at the edge of the map. Since I don’t want to have to create a ton of areas outside of the playable area that look good, I decided to prevent the player from seeing over the edge and raised the walls.

After this, I did a variety of minor fixes to improve areas in the map. My railway wasn’t casting any shadows on the ground, so I uped the light map resolution on the landscape. The images in the portals in the map was too low resolution and it was making everything look pixelated so I increased the resolution of the texture that is rendered to for the material. I also made some changes to my material set-up to try and improve it, though I think I’m going to have to add a particle system in place of the rotating rings since they don’t look good. After that, I decreased the size of the landscape mesh so that it was just a bit bigger then the playable level. The extra was going to waste since the player won’t be able to see it and it was increase the time to bake its lighting. I also did some work with the pathing in the level, since I plan on testing with bots. The doors of the shops weren’t showing properly as being walkable, so I changed the door mesh and increased their size. I also changed the bridge design to make it feel lees crowded, to cover some exposed portal texture on top of the bridge, and to improve the look of the short area behind the bridge.

Bots and Gravity

I tried to test the level with bots, but unfortunately they seem to not be pathing properly. They will attack and will occasionally head for some pick-ups properly but mostly stand around and do nothing. I have to see if the properly AIController is being spawned in UDK and see if maybe they are getting stuck on something.

I also added in pillars under the railway to make it look like its not floating.

End of Day

At the end of the day I had a fully formed map section that is ready for testing. Bots don’t seem to work, but once I can get them moving I can test the level, then I can duplicate it into multiple sections and start working on static meshing it.

Zipped level File