I have been asked to create a level in Unreal Engine based around the theme ‘Hammer Girl’. I will have to use and build upon existing assets in order to make a level. The game will be based around the Hammer Girl concept but, from there, I must adapt the project and make it unique. I will then design a level based around the mechanics I have learnt and I must learn to blueprint in order to create a working level. The end result will be at least one level containing all the mechanics for the Hammer Girl concept.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
The first inspiration for my level was the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone game. When I saw the trees provided for my level, I instantly thought of this game. There are a number of levels based in the Forbidden Forest where there is a pathway through the trees, the player must follow this to proceed to the next area.
I decided to include this in my design as it allows for progression and creates an order and flow to the level. By using a pathway, similar to the one in Harry Potter, I can direct the player through the level, preventing them from attempting to complete quests in the wrong order.
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
My second inspiration for Hammergirl was Warcraft III. I used to play this game a lot as a child so when I saw the buildings in the asset pack for this brief, I immediately thought of the human towns from the campaign quests.
Towns such as Strahnbrad and Stratholme are made up of buildings with a similar style to those provided for the brief. The Kingdom of Lordaeron provided a huge inspiration for the town design in my level.
Top Down Design
The first step was to sit down and create a layout for my level. I drew this on paper and created a pathway from the town, to the first task and then to the final step. I mostly kept to the original design as I liked the layout and how it guides the player through the quest.
The first blueprint was for the camera angle. There are 2 buildings in town that are larger than the rest which created problems for the camera. It would clip through the buildings, meaning that the player would be unable to see Hammergirl or the NPCs on the path below.
To solve this, I created a box trigger and placed it over the 2 large houses. This means that, whenever Hammergirl enters the box, the camera will zoom out to prevent an obscured view and the camera clipping through the roof.
The second blueprint was for the NPC. The first step of the game is to talk to the Priest NPC stood by the church. Rae walks up to him, entering the trigger box, this queues the preset text which guides Rae to the next NPC.
I duplicated the same blueprint for the Blacksmith NPC and edited the text to direct Hammergirl further through the quest.
I created one blueprint and chose 2 different collectable meshes. The first collectable is a mushroom, the second is a gem. Hammergirl will just run over the collectable to trigger the box collision. This will make the collectable disappear and cause the counter to increase to indicate the number of collectables picked up.
Destructible Mesh Blueprint
I created a blueprint for the log mesh in my game. This means that Hammergirl can hit the log with the hammer and it will break apart, allowing her to pass.
Once the player has collected 10 mushrooms, they must approach the cauldron. Hammergirl will enter the trigger box and the blueprints will remove the 10 mushrooms from her counter and will spawn 6 gems. This creates the effect that Hammergirl puts the mushrooms in the cauldron and it creates gems for her.
Quest Giver Blueprint
The quest giver blueprint was originally going to be assigned to the Witch NPC. It was supposed to contain instructions to make the collected mushrooms disappear and the gems appear.
I decided that, although I had made these blueprints, I would not use them as it fit the game better to have Hammergirl use the cauldron directly. Therefore I made the Witch a regular NPC.
The next blueprint is for the altar. Hammergirl walks into the temple and enters a box collision. This triggers an event in which the gems collected from the cauldron are placed on the pedestals and the gem counter returns to 0. The event simply causes the gems to become visible in order to give the effect of them being placed.
This is the final blueprint in the quest and simply causes the final treasure chest to open when Hammergirl steps into the box trigger.
Just to make the environment a little more realistic, I decided to add rotation to the windmill sails and the woodmill saw.
Final 200 Word Level Summary
This level is intended to be part of a larger game and the goal is to find the hidden treasure in the woods.
Hammergirl begins in town and must first speak to the priest. He has heard that the blacksmith knows about the treasure she is looking for so he directs her to the forge. She goes to the forge and is told that she must collect mushrooms out in the woods. She is then told she must take them to a witch who, in return will give her gems which can be used to open the chest.
Hammergirl must then go out into the woods and collect 10 mushrooms that are scattered throughout the level. She follows the track through the woods, destroying the fallen trees that block her way.
Once she reaches the witch’s house, she is told to drop the mushrooms in the cauldron. The witch then gives Hammergirl 6 gems which she will need in the temple.
Hammergirl must continue along the path through the woods until she reaches the temple. She will walk toward the altar and place the gems on each of the pedestals. She must walk up the stairs, to the chest and she will be able to open it once the gems are placed. This completes the level and would trigger the next level if this was a larger game.