Welcome to "WoLD Insider" newsletter issue #6.
It has been a while since the last issue. But I am back on it!
Every single "WoLD Insider" newsletter features level design and game environment art advice, tips, ideas, inspiration, links, resources and updates about World of Level Design. "WoLD Insider" is EXCLUSIVE to you as WoLD subscriber.
Following Issue #6 of "WoLD Insider" contains:
- In-Depth Tutorial Series: How to Create Custom Static Meshes for UE4
- 4 Latest WoLD Tutorials
- 2D Games With Level Editors to Practice Level Design In
- 5 Ideas for Game Environments or Level Designs
- Color Correction Tests for "Abandoned House Project"
- I Have a Thing for Modern Architecture...
- Amazing Tip for Collecting Ideas
- What is the Purpose of Prototyping?
- When In Doubt - Sketch Things Out
- UE4 Color Grading Test - Which One? Blue or Green?
- Useful UE4 Tips and Resources
- 25 Amazon Reviews for "Preproduction Blueprint" Book - Are They All Positive?
- My #GameStruck4 Games
- Get the Edge: 5 Insider Resource Links for More Level Design and Game Environment Knowledge
- Why is WoLD on Instagram?
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[PREMIUM TUTORIAL] How to Create Custom Static Meshes for UE4 in 6 Easy Hours...
UE4: Custom Static Mesh Formula - video tutorial series features the entire pipeline for how to take your custom Static Meshes from Maya LT™/Maya®, export them and import them into Unreal® Engine 4 - covering all the steps, problems and solutions along the way that you will encounter during the process.
"Exclusive Insider" Discount Code to Receive Extra $10 Off:
Use this discount code in the shopping cart at checkout: InsiderFormula
Latest WoLD Tutorials Released
4 New Tutorials:
- UE4: Make Water Material in "Starter Content" Work Without Stretching or Distortions
- UE4: Night Time Lighting - Starry Sky (Static/Baked Lighting) Part 1/2
- UE4: Night Time Lighting - Moon Sky (Static/Baked Lighting) Part 2/2
- 11 Secrets for Level Design and Game Environment Ideas, Layouts and Reference with "Google Maps 3D"
UE4 "Starter Content" has 2 water materials - ocean and lake. These two materials are great to use in your environments and to study how water is created - ocean and lake. But there is a problem with these materials. If you apply ocean or lake water material onto any large Static Mesh plane, the texture will be stretched out, distorted and unusable. Here is what to do and how to fix it.
How to light night time outdoor scene with a "starry" sky in Unreal Engine 4?
There are 2 major obstacles with lighting night time scenes (or daytime scenes).
First is artistic. You have to understand color theory and how lighting works to communicate proper feel, mood, and atmosphere of the environment.
Second is technical. You have to know which actors to use, which properties to change and in what order. You also have to have the content to light the scene with, such as sky Static Mesh and sky material.
In this first tutorial of two you will learn how to light a night time scene for starry sky. No custom content is required and you can do this with default installation of UE4.
How to light night time outdoor scene with a "moon" sky in Unreal Engine 4?
What if you want to have more atmosphere filled environment with moon lighting instead of a starry sky?
In this second tutorial we focus on how to have a moon in the sky lighting our scene and all the steps that it takes to get there. No custom content is required and you can do this with default installation of UE4.
I spent half a working day looking at 3d maps. If you saw me during this time, you would yell "AG! Stop playing and get back to work!" But, I was actually working. I was searching for locations, collecting reference and getting ideas for top-down layouts.
Once I started using "Google Maps 3D View" option I couldn't stop. I would get lost in a neighborhood after neighborhood discovering interesting locations and collecting real-world reference. When I thought I was done, I would see another street corner, another building, another layout and I had to explore it further. So here are 11 secrets I found using "Google Maps 3D View" to get more ideas, top-down layouts, research and reference for your next level design and game environment art project.
2D Games With Level Editors
Which 2D games you know & recommend (old or new) that come with a level editor anyone can download & create maps with?
Here is the list:
- Superfighters Deluxe
- Stickfight The Game
- Blocks That Matter
- Battleblock Theater
- The Sandbox Game
- Elasto Mania
- Serious Sam's Bogus Detour
- Hotline Maimi
"Superfighters Deluxe, Stickfight The Game, Blocks that Matter, CS2D, and Battleblock Theater all have editors!" - Joshua G. @AnonFriction
"@TheSandboxGame I worked as a professional Level Designer for them, and the editor we used was the same that the players got later on." - Tozy @t0zy
"Jetpack" - scar3crow @scar3crowdotcom
"Elastomania" - Jehar @Jehar
"Elastomania, shyte, all the memories One super easy to use is Hammerwatch editor." - Jeff G. @JFGnorD
"Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, too!" - Nimble @codecatt
"Hotline Miami" - Simon S. @ScalesSimon
"Broforce have a level editor, but I think that you need to buy the game to have access." - Serventesio B. @ServenBurns
5 Ideas for Game Environments and Level Designs
In this issue I have 2 image references you can use and 3 ideas I found to be inspirational from Twitter.
Interior Warehouse/Store Door
click on image to view full size
Interior Parking Garage
click on image to view full size
Few More Ideas from Twitter:
Color Correction Tests for "Abandoned House Project"
Color Correction tests I did while working on "CS:GO Abandoned House Project" with Source Engine.
YouTube Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDhT5cvxC1E
Extensive 5-part workflow tutorial series on "Abandoned House" environment. Follow along from the very beginning of an idea to BSP block-in, texturing, detailing, displacement/terrain, foliage, beyond the house, skybox, lighting, color correction and final compile.
When working with color it is handy to have one of these color wheels nearby:
I also often use online color picker: color.adobe.com
Color is very important and should be used with purpose.
"Color evokes emotion in visual storytelling. AN audience makes a subconscious judgment about a scene in a movie, environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. 62%-90% of that judgment is based on color alone." - Matthew L
I Have a Thing for Modern Architecture...
I love modern architecture. There is something about simplicity of shapes and play of light/shadow. Over last few years I've created a few environments with modern architecture influence. All were created with Source Engine.
Amazing Tip for Collecting Ideas: Ideas in One Image
I have a folder called "Ideas in One Image" where I collect random images I find throughout the year as I work on various projects.
All these images were found during moment of inspiration "Oh, that's cool!" while working on something else.
Many of these image ideas do not become projects but keeping this image library going always keeps me inspired for potential projects.
Always something I want to create.
What is the Purpose of Prototyping?
Purpose of prototyping is to get something going quickly (something to playtest), without spending unnecessary time creating custom content when you don't need to. If you like how the prototype looks, then you can spend time creating custom content later.
When in Doubt - Sketch Things Out
Whenever I am having figuring something out, whether it is an object to model or map layout to do, I grab paper and pen and begin to sketch things out.
"In the research stage of your project, look at more than what is generally required. Expand your search into other fields, reading and absorbing any related information." - Robert Greene "Mastery" book
UE4 Color Grading Test
I asked "Which one Blue or Green?"
Here is some wisdom from Helder @[HP]:
"Having worked with multiple art directors, green is very rarely a good color to use. Its a very toxic and radioactive color, plus blue marries a lot better with warmer colors like yellow and orange. If you do go with green, red becomes your friend if you go the complimentary route."
"Using color to evoke an emotion is always a smart thing to do. Pixar for example, mastered this, where the colors in the frame always match the plot beats."
Useful UE4 Tips and Resources
Constant1Vector vs Scalar Parameter Nodes
"Scalar Parameter" node is the same node as a "Constant" node that has been converted to parameter.
YouTube Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiv1Ajut2jw
Importing Color Lookup Table
When importing LUTs for UE4, set "Texture Group: ColorLookupTable" and make sure "Mip Gen Settings" are set to "NoMipmaps"
Fixing Dark Gradient on Each Side of the Screen on Water
If you see dark gradient on each side of the screen on your water, insert a Sky Light and make sure it is set to "Stationary".
YouTube Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq579INzqV4
UE4 Soul Cave and City Assets
UE4 Soul Cave and City assets were released for free. 500+ Static Meshes!
Soul City: www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/soul-city
Soul Cave: www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/soul-cave
25 Reviews for Preproduction Blueprint
Summer time is a great time to dive into Preproduction Blueprint as it continues to climb the paperback and Kindle charts.
25 reviews at 5 stars!
My #GameStruck4 Games
#GameStruck4 was a hashtag trending on Twitter where you pick 4 games that influenced you the most.
Just 4? It was hard to pick just 4 but here were mine:
Get the Edge: 5 Resource Links for More Knowledge
Ten Principles for Good Level Design
YouTube Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNEe3KhMvXM
In-Game and Cinematic Lighting of The Last of Us
Level Design in Max Payne: Roscoe Street Station
Overwatch HQ: Creating A Game Level for Portfolio
Thinking Globally: Building the Optimistic Future of Overwatch
YouTube Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj56ejM5EcU
WoLD is Now On Instagram
I finally joined, so WoLD is now on Instagram.
Follow for unique content if you are on there. 80% game environment art and level design 20% behind the scenes. 100% WoLD!
WoLD Instagram: www.instagram.com/worldofleveldesign/
"Counter-Strike: Global Offensive", "Half-Life 2: Lost Coast", "Left4Dead 2", Source™, Source 2™, ©Valve Software. All rights reserved.
"Max Payne" ©Rockstar Games. Dev: Remedy Entertainment. All rights reserved.
Grand Theft Auto III, ©Rockstar Games. All rights reserved.
Unreal® Engine 4 ©Epic Games, Inc. All rights reserved.