This is my first attempt assembling a blog online.
Firstly, let me tell you about this project of mine. I am making an early cyberprep room. Initially it was build as a guest's bedroom that got slowly used as a storage place and is now turned into a playroom. Mainly for D&D sessions.
And that's the key: for D&D tabletop playing. There are so many tables and setups out there for D&D that is solely purposed around the theme of medieval fantasy. So I wanted to combine it with a subject I myself am really invested in: early sci-fi - and era where advanced technologies are making life much easier, augmentations start coming in, and humanity is faced with the ethical questions of how much they allow themselves to temper with each other's bodies through technology.
From this day onward, I have roughly 12 weeks the time to finish this. It's part of my graduation project at IGAD (Dutch academy for game development).
Besides the mandatory documentations and planning for this project, I've spent roughly a week and a half on it so far. Majority of it is researching designs, environments, existing art projects, and the actual city this department is based in.
I started off working in Maya, coming up with various small room designs that feel comfortable and have at least one area elevated or lowered to give interesting height variations. It was first too conventional but once I began to use a similar approach like Steven Holl who cuts geometry with geometry to create interesting, abstract spaces.
The more I used boolean to create spatial areas, the more interesting and believable they became.
Once I had a rough setup that I am mostly happy with, I imported it into the Unreal Engine 4. There I setup the initial, rough blockout of the lighting, starting off with just the simple natural light and add more as time goes. With this, I made sure the whole project is working correctly, In that, the pipeline from Maya to Unreal runs smoothly, level with a functioning first person BP that got modded to fit the room better, and global settings adjusted to make proper lightmap baking.
I also snatched couple of IKAE models online to use them as reference for scale. And keeping yourself reminded to what real life scale is while working on models is essential. It's something I've learned over the past 2 years at this study by doing several of these game projects.
Now I am focusing on getting down with a proper style that I can use on other filler objects to keep the whole area consistent. This will most certainly require changing the room's design and shapes here and there.
I am concerned about the scope itself since I am designing this room myself and also try to focus at least 6 weeks solely on lighting itself. But I believe in myself that I can pull this through. It's an ambitious project and will provide me with plenty of stressful days. The end result, though, will be worth it, I am sure.
And of course, any critique or constructive feedback is welcome from anyone who reads this~
Michiel van Ommen