Around 6 years ago I began working on an idea for a personal level design project based on the original BioShock. I always wanted to make a level for BioShock as I imagined a story focused DLC being released for the first game. Shortly after I started however, my son was born and the project slipped into the misty realms of parent brain fog!
Strangely enough, I came across a lot of my files recently while sorting through my hard drive and managed to sort through a lot of what I started. I thought about it a little and and decided I wanted to start up the project again and document my process and work flow. Plus, it would give me a chance to delve back into Unreal after using Unity for quite a while.
World building: Rapture
Bioshock is one of my all time favorite games and I always wanted to design a level which would introduce the player to a fictional DLC.
Where ever you look, Rapture is always trying to tell a story through its environment. Its alive and the city itself is arguably the most important character in the game. I always loved how Rapture is constantly reminding you of where you are, far beneath the ocean in a crumbling city. Its sustained struggle to hold back the relentless pressure of the water. As a player, you can hear the city groaning under the weight of the water as the blue filtered light fills the environments.
Reference is key!
I decided (yes this is crazy) I would begin by reverse engineering the iconic Lighthouse by spending a huge amount of time walking round in game taking screen grabs, writing notes and testing scale. I’ve included a small sample of the reference material I gathered during my exploration.
From here, I began by creating an asset list of all the static mesh actors I could find and began the process of modeling the various aspects that constitute the Lighthouse.
I think that’s it for this post but I’ll be back with an update on modelling and level layout.
Thanks for reading!