During the final year of my degree course I created a short game modification (or 'mod') for Half-Life 2, which runs in the Source engine. It is called Dark Peak and its main purpose was to showcase my research, design and game development capabilities. I then had to compile an 80-page report documenting the various stages I went through during the creation process and the main features of the finished product. I completed the project in 6 months, and it eventually earned a 78% pass mark. Dark Peak is very short due to the limited time given to create it single-handedly, however in the future I may continue to add content, due in part to the warm reception many people have given it.
Dark Peak is a survival horror First Person Shooter mod which sees the player start the game in a public house after being knocked unconcious by a strange earthquake. They are then sent onto the streets and surrorunding area to find help, supplies, and ultimately the cause of the chaos. The environments are all based on real-life locations in the town of Glossop in Derbyshire.
Naturally in a 3D computer game, a lot of models are required to represent various elements of the players surroundings. I used a combination of ready made objects from Half-Life 2 and those created by myself in 3DS Max 9.
Each model was UVW mapped and then textured before being placed into the game environment. Also, all objects had a seperate collision model built for them. This is a simplified version of the original model and is used for calculating whether two or more objects are intersecting, and if so, how to react.
The textures for the models and world surfaces (floor, walls, ceiling etc) were created in Adobe Photoshop CS3 once all of the UVW maps had been created and finalised. I used a combination of diffuse and specular maps to control colour and reflectivity, as well as using alpha layers to govern transparancy levels.
In total I created three maps for my game; one interior, one suburban street scene, and one country park area. These were created and compiled using the Hammer editor. Everything is brought together in this phase in order to create the environments that the player sees. Geometry, models, scripts, animations, sounds and lighting are all configured and put together into a map file, then compiled for use by the game engine.
Some simple programming was done to edit/create some aspects of the game. For example, new classes had to be added to deal with the addition of the Desert Eagle weapon and its ammunition. I also edited other values, such as the original player speed, weapon damage statistics and enemy health amounts.