SP-Security is a single player level I created with the April build of the Unreal Development Kit. The level was constructed over two and a half weeks. The first half week was dedicated to paper and pencil outlines for the intended level progression and then whiteboxing that design. Once the layout was loosely designed, I spent the next week scripting the kismet events, debugging, and starting to mesh the level. The last week was spent completing the meshing, adding blocking volumes, optimizing, and lighting.
The primary gameplay element of this level was the use of turrets. Early on I created a floor panel that would rise off the ground, fire two grenades at the player, and then lower. The intended method to destroy the turret is to stand on top of the turret’s panel, at which point it will fire a grenade up at the player, bouncing the grenade against its own panel and returning it into the turret’s inner workings at which point it explodes. When the turret takes damage, its material and light change briefly to red, and then return to white. After the player damages the turret twice, it deactivates and the door to the next room opens.
After I created a polished version of the turret, I toyed with variants of it. One variant, a turret that could be made friendly and fire at bots, I kept. This required the turret to differentiate between multiple enemies (which I did by comparing distances and finding the closest), determine if the target is destroyed, and allow access to the next room once all targets have been destroyed. The greatest challenge in this was confirming if the target was destroyed because the kismet’s pawn death event is not functional for bots, so I used a combination of take damage events to the bots’ attached volumes, and a fail safe event to see if the bot has been immobile for more than 10 seconds. I used the latter if the player killed the bot when the bot was out of the turret’s range, thus disabling the possibility of the take damage event.
The final room of the level required the player to cross a gap to reach a door on the other side. Originally the design had been to damage a pillar that would fall across the gap and create a make-shift bridge, but this had two problems. First, the pillar would have to be enormous (destroying some suspension of disbelief) to cross the chasm, or the chasm would have to be narrow enough that a double jump would have sufficed. Second, other meshes and pillars had not been destroyable, and explaining that this one was would be impractical (and further destroy the suspension of disbelief). Instead, I created conveyor belts running perpendicular to the player’s path. Through two toggle-able buttons in a room overlooking the conveyors the player could pause the conveyor for 10 seconds—just long enough to jump across the crates on the conveyor and safely reach the other side.
The visuals are based loosely upon those of DM-Deck as included in the Unreal Development Kit. I chose this because of the limited assets in the UDK. Making use of an existing style saved time, which I used to add further detail and differentiate the level from its stylistic parent. The result is an eerie feeling environment.
Credits: Sjosz, for helping me solve several bugs.
Download: Temporarily Unavailable!