GoldenIsland: The Treasure Map

3D Modelling
Unreal Engine

December 20, 2017

Models created in 3DS Max, textured in Photoshop. Game produced and packaged in UnrealEngine 4.

The creative computing course I’m currently undertaking includes a unit where I’m required to plan and produce a computer game based on client requirements. I decided to use my skills in 3DS Max and UnrealEngine to produce a 3D, first person adventure game.

GoldeIsland: The Treasure Map is a third-person adventure game located in a lost island. Delton ‘Four-Teeth’ Foy, the main character of the game, is a pirate who found a treasure map while going through his father’s old belongings, and determined to find the mysterious treasure.

The client required the game to be suitable for the age range 8-12, include collectable items, traps or AI that reduce the limited number of lives, and the player performance based on the duration of the gameplay.

Firstly, I produced a design document so to have clear ideas on what I should include on the game, the story behind it and think of game mechanics I could use as well as an art style. The plan included the creation of two levels (an island and a temple), use of simple game mechanics, a key required to enter the temple level, and parkour over the lava for the second level. For the art style, I decided to go for a mix of low-poly assets and realistic textures.

I produced a block out of the first level inside Unreal Engine, where I used the Landscape Tool to create the main island and BSP brushes to make a very simple temple. I then began modelling the assets inside 3DS Max: this included the creation of a variety of trees, rocks, the temple and a boat. Programming was next with the use of blueprints to trigger events and display user interfaces. I repeated the same process for the second level.

Throughout the development, I continuously tested the game, and this allowed me to find some issues. For instance, I had huge performance issues with the first level given the number of trees put in place. I was able to fix this using L.O.D. (level of detail) which loads the 3D model of the tree within a certain range of the player, while showing a simple plane with the tree as a texture in the distance.

A second problem arose with the scoring system: client requirements mention that the score is based on the play time, so the quicker the player completes the game, the higher the score. Fortunately, I came up with a mathematical solution with the use of the reciprocal function y = 1/x, with y being the score and the x representing the time.

Finally, I packaged the game for Windows devices and used cinematic cameras to produce some in-game footage.