Dev Blog - Project Geneva #01 - [Status Quo]

Work In Progress / 28 December 2019

The true start

Welcome to the second instalment of my 'Dev Blog'. Glad you found your way to this one!

Well ... technically it's the second one, but it's the first one with 'real' content about the project, hence #01. Also this will be the last post this year (obviously). :P

So here we go ...


Let me give you a bit more information about this project. 

'Project Geneva' is the current working title of my custom Overwatch map. It won't only try to match the iconic artstyle as closely as possible, but will also inherit some basic game design concepts. The map will focus to incorporate a couple of elements typically found on Overwatch's 'King of the hills' playstyle maps, also known as the game mode 'Control'.

Typically those maps are built symmetrically and are split into 3 single maps with one control point each. 'Project Geneva' will represent one of those smaller maps and will have the control point in the middle of the map. 

For the setting I chose a subway station ... I figured out later, that those places can be a bit of a pain to design, especially if you are trying to build a fun and fair FPS map for two teams with a central objective. What was the problem? Sightlines ... oh boi is it hard to make a space look interesting and make it work at the same time, when it's this enclosed and stretched. But well, enough of that ... I'm gonna post the design process later on in another issue of this series.

Here are some more interesting details and features I plan(ned) to have in this map:

  • A unique environment obstacle, which kills players who don't pay attention ... I let you guess what that might be :D
  • Indirect storytelling will be implemented ... most likely something about the 'Omnic Crisis'
  • The map will be directly linked to one of the heroes
  • Despite it being heavily influenced by the current sci-fi maps in Overwatch, it will also house some classic elements, which most people might associate with the town and country it's located in
  • And of course ... all the other stuff you can commonly find in a subway station ... small shops, vending machines (a lot of vending machines - who doesn't like breaking them in the game?!) and many other - sometimes kinda crazy - things

Let's get down to some more technical stuff:

  • Modelling will mostly be done in 3ds Max, with some assets getting an additional sculpting pass in Zbrush
  • For texturing it's a bit harder to specify ... Materials will mostly be made in Substance Designer, with some being made in Unreal Engine 4 - the texturing will then happen in Substance Painter ... some masks, alphas and decals will also utilize Phtotoshop
  • The game engine in use is Unreal Engine 4.23 ... I might update the project later on, but will most likely stick to this version
  • Mechanics and other technical stuff will be build using UE4 blueprints ... but getting a coder on board isn't completely ruled out yet

Status Quo

Currently I'm working on a couple of fronts. The biggest one is 'detail modelling', but there is also some more blocking to be done, also I started to set up some base materials in UE4. I know this might not be the best approach, but I needed some changes while working on this. Sometimes I just want to model, other times I feel more like doing a bit of blueprint work ... as long as you keep track of what needs to be done, do whatever you like.

It's more important to have fun and not loose motivation on such a big project, than pushing every step to the limit from the beginning!

Ok ... after all this text, here are some screenshots for you to (hopefully) enjoy. :D (They should be big enough to enlarge them a bit.)

UE4 Screenshots - Spawn Room


UE4 Screenshots - Transition


UE4 Screenshots - Control Point

What's next?

Those angles in the screenshot above ... you will see more of them. They are fixed WIP cameras I set up in the scene ... thought it's gonna be easier to document and follow along, if the screenshots can be compared to each other - without the influence of different angels and perspectives.

And of course I'm gonna fix all the gaps in-between the modular pieces ... but maybe more colours next? I honestly can't stand all this grey any more....

Let me know after the next couple of posts, if this is a good idea or if I should only focus to highlight the major changes. :D

Cheers :D

Oh I almost forgot ... hope you had an awesome Christmas and I wish you a happy new year! May the next decade be full of awesome stuff!