Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Brief

Year 3 FMP Project Brief

The Bank


Group project by Tom Lawson (the interior) and Steve Jones (the exterior)

Initial Idea

The final outcome of this project will include a Street scene of a major city with the main focus being a Bank. The project is split into two parts. Tom Lawson will be creating the interior of the bank and myself creating the exterior and the surrounding environment.


The style of the environment will be based on a metropolitan cities within Europe (including the UK). All major cities have a majority of Banks whether they were once banks and now have been referbished into restaurants or coffee shops etc. This makes no diffrence as its the exterior architecture that is of importance to me. Roamanesque Revivial, Medieval Gothic Revivial, Jacobethan, Neoclassical, Romantisism, Renesance Revival are all architectural influences that contributed to the look and feel of grand buildings within Europe's historical cities.

The Bank

The bank will be the main structural building of the environment. It will be grand in design remnant of the architectural style I will be researching. Elements to include will be huge pillars at the front of the building that sit in front of the main door ways into the bank. In front of the pillars will be a wide, stone staircase that leads up to the entrance of the bank. The walls of the building will be built from ornate fixtures and fa├žades and tall windows. A dome structure will crown the top of the building. This will be visible from within the banks main lobby.


In front of the bank will be the main playable area. This area is included to draw the players attention to the entrance of the bank and add interest the area. The plaza will include seating areas. Surrounded by plants, shrubs and small trees. The main focal point of this area will be a large fountain that will reflect the architecture of the building.

Surrounding Buildings

The boundaries of the environment will consist of modular built buildings that will reflect the financial district of a bustling city. This will immerse the player and add to the overall feel of the city environment as a whole.

Planning (gathering referance etc)

Initial planning will consist of using the internet and books from the library to gather information on influences and art movements in architectural design. Alongside that, first hand photographs will be taken from visits to cities for the chosen locations within Europe. Surrounding building will be designed from this research and planned out on paper and fitted together to create different layouts of possible environment designs.

Along with plans I will also create conceptual work to help visualise the atmosphere of the finished scene. A meticulous list of all assets and buildings will help keep my workload within the time frame of the project. Also a week by week work structure will keep me on track to achieving the finished project.

Game influences

In Left for Dead 2 although the game is set in a bleak zombie infested world some areas of the levels have a beautiful feel about them. During the start of the second level of the parish campaign you go through a park.
The time of day is set early morning and although the sun is out you get a sense of cold air about you. I would like to capture the atmosphere of this environment in my project.

Another recent game that came out had captured some of the architectural styles that captures what I have planned for the end result in my level.
Seine Crossing from battlefield 3 had some very interesting buildings from the French city of Seine.


The game will be a First Person Acton Shooter. The premise of the level will be set after a well executed bank robbery. Specifications of the level will coincide with limitations for current gen consoles and PC but excluding Wii. All assets in the game will have along side the diffuse textures Specular and Normals maps and alpha masks were applicable. Texture maps will not exceed 1024 x 1024 in size and may share multiple assets to utilise texture space.

The layout of the level will be reflected by a realistic amount of work that is achievable within the time frame of the project. In order to prevent having a large city environment police blockades will be used to section off the streets that will lead away from the playable area. A road will be placed at the front of the bank just after the plaza with possible roads with blockades adjacent to it.

All street scenery will be present such a zebra crossings, traffic lights, bollards advertisements, mailboxes, etc. Ambient cars will be parked on the streets and police cars will be used for blockades.

Due to the fact that building will be of a modular design, the pieces that make make up the buildings will be instances. This will help keep Tri limit to a minimum. All assets will receive enough detail to easily identify them by silhouette and have enough detail in the textures to be of a realistic nature. but not exceed the limitations of the engine the game is intended to run on and not require a powerful machine to achieve a steady frame rate when in game.

Buildings will be designed in such a way that street level details will be higher than those at higher places were the player wont be able to reach. This will also be present with the ends of the streets that the player will only be able to see from a distance, but not actually be able to reach.

LOD or “level of detail” meshes will be added to all assets so improve performance when the player is either indoors or out as both projects will be added together at the end. We will also look into occlusion culling if possible, so that only the interior or exterior is rendered when the player is in one or the other.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

London trip

Me and Tom visited London and have taken allot of pictures. The main areas we looked at was around the bank of England in the financial district. Here are just a few of the images that were taken.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

2nd Crit

Had my second crit and proposed my new idea. It went really well so I'm very happy. Just need to write my Brief now. I feel I have enough information to document all my proposed plans I have for the project. Me and tom have planned a trip to London to get some reference pictures to help us get a better feel of what were intending to achieve.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Top Down Plan

Did a quick top down view of what my environment could look like. This may be a bit ambitious so I may have to reduce the size down and maybe have just one main street adjacent to the bank entrance.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Architectural Sketches

Got loads of books out from the library. One of them had these interesting sketches of buildings. I'm going to adopt this style when I design the buildings I will be making for my scene and also the bank itself.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Architecture in Leicester

Been walking around Leicester and found some really nice buildings. These are just some of the pictures I snapped.
The last one shows a picture of a bank I found. Me and Tom managed to get inside for some pics too. I think this is the building ill be doing for the bank itself as its easy access for reference and textures. The only changes I think I will be making is adding large pillars out the front. I really like the domes and will be adding one large main one that will add some interesting lighting from the inside of the bank. Me and Tom have been discussing this and think its a really good idea.

Saturday, 5 November 2011


Been looking at what sort of buildings are within major cities. This is the sort of architecture I have I mind.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Changed my idea.

Decided to go with the bank exterior idea. The level will consist of modular buildings that surround the main playable area. In the centre of the level will be a plaza with seating areas and vegetated with plants, flower beds and small trees. The main focal point will be a fountain. This will sit outside the bank. The bank will have a massive stone stair case that leads up to the main entrance. I will be having huge pillars that sit at the front of the bank. Been thinking of architecture that and cities that I could base the level off. Looking at pictures of the internet I've been looking a places like Barcelona, Paris and London. London would be the best bet as it would be easy to get to for reference and textures. The scene will be set after or during a bank robbery. This will be help prevent players form walking around a large city environment as police blockades will be put across the streets to make boundaries of the level.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Other ideas.

So got a couple more ideas I had alongside the Antarctic one. The first and probably the one I wont be doing is a n American dinner. Got work there is supposed to be one in Leicester. Saw some pictures on the internet and it doesn't look very much like the ones you see in films etc. My other idea and the one I feel more inclined to follow is working along side Tom. He is doing the interior of a bank and we said before that it would have been a cool idea if I was to do the exterior of the bank. the more I think about this one, the more exited I get about it.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Feedback from crit

So I had my presentation and my idea went down like a lead balloon. The one thing I can say I can take from this is that the idea of getting first hand reference for this is a little ridiculous. It didn't involve me going to the Antarctica, but I was thinking of going to a ski resort. Even that would be out the question as it would be far to expensive. Time to think more on my other ideas I think.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Aerial plan

did a top down concept of the environment.
Some more pictures showing some possible themes for the playable area.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

What I Imagen it to look like.

I've been preparing some conceptual images to show off my idea for this Antarctic scene I want to do for my FMP. Gathered some photos I found on the internet to convey what I want the scene to look like.
This is a quick panorama I did. This is the sort of scenery you would see if you looked out form the camp-site situated in the middle of the scene.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Talk It Over

After a chat with Chris about my FMP, I've got some new ideas. My main worry was what exactly to set the main focus of the level on. He mentioned Captain Scott and his men.
Was lookin at the hut theat they lived in. It have been presserved to exactly how it was found. It still looks like it is being lived in .
The inside of the hut looks very complex. It would need allot of assets. Really like this idea though. I'll think it over.

Monday, 10 October 2011


I've been throwing allot of ideas around in my head about what I want to achieve from my time in the 3rd year. The biggest choice for me is to decide if I would like to spend the time improving on my environment skills or my character skills. The possible project that I have put the most thought into at this time, and the one I feel most passionate and confident about is an environment. I think this is the path I will choose to take in my final year at university. The most simple way to describe it is if you have seen the opening scene to the 2004 film The Day after Tomorrow, written and directed by Roland Emmerich. I won't go into the full film as its irrelevant but if you haven't seen it its worth checking out. Now I know it's probably not the best way to pick an idea for a game environment but my initial thoughts for this were to think of an environment that wouldn't include you typical bricks and mortar buildings. I also wanted and environment that would offer me a chance to experiment with lots of effects such as weather, time of day, atmosphere, colour pallet, etc. So I thought of the Antarctic. I had watched an episode of Human Planet on BBC1 that was about inuetes and the scenery took my breath away. Now this concept got me exited but it still felt as if there was something missing from the complete picture. A centre piece for example. It was at this point I thought about the film. The opening scene basically shows the hero and his colleagues as ice core scientists in the Antarctic. They have a simple camp set up with a portable laboratory. This would be the perfect eye candy to accompany the beautiful surrounding environment and also add a contrast from vast open areas of snow and surrounding mountains etc with the compact and confined working environment they had created for their research. I've done some research into this and there is allot of resources into ice core research on the internet. It basically allows scientist to construct a high-resolution record of climate and environmental change on timescales covering several thousand years. Lead character / NPC The project wouldn't include a lead character of a npc but I would like to make it feel like there is life around. Have maps or documents on the table used coffee mugs etc. Vehicle The are many vehicles used to get around the Antarctic but the coolest looking one are the piston bully and the sno cat. Both have tracks (or belts) hat help plough through the snow. The actual laboratory would be a portable attachment that would be pulled behind. Environment Obviously a vast open snow covered area with surrounding mountains. I could also include sea with floating ace burgs etc. Weather effects would add to the feel of the level such as heavy falling snow and snow blowing across the ground. Props / Scenery objects There wouldn't be a great deal of objects to model just enough to stretch my modelling muscles. Thing like the drill and tubes for the cores. boxes to hold equipment. In the lab there would be microscopes and screens and computer etc. One thing I would like to look into would be things like flags and tents blowing in the wind. There's a tutorial that come with max that shows how to create a flag animation using wind simulation I could also apply it to the tents and export the animation to unreal witch I've also found tutorials for. I probably wouldn't need to use Zbrush as most of the object would be hard surface so I would mainly be using max and Photoshop for assets. Also over the winter I would use my camera for reference for textures. The whole scene would be built in UDK creating terrain and sky domes etc. Particle effects for the snow. Also as the sun would stay in the sky through the whole day I could have the sun rotate around so I would be peering behind the mountains varying casted shadows instead of a day night cycle it would be a day day cycle.