The Stormfoot Catacombs is a blockout project in UE5. The methods and tools I used were UE5 new geometry tools, procedural generated stairs, brainstorming, moodboard, low fidelity sketches, mid and high fidelity game engine concepts.
I tried to recreate Stormfoot Catacombs from Elden Ring. I created 3 simple obstacles and a puzzle to complete, the same as the original level. The total time it took was 7 days.
The difficulty of recreating a level is to understand how big the level is, for my case this level had no documentation on it so I relied solely on my understanding of gameplay, video references, and image references to determine the size of the map. I created a very early prototype and sketches to play around with dimensions until I was satisfied.
After researching and testing dimensions in the engine, I was ready to start creating a top down view of the level. Made a total of 6 sketches to be created and connected. Although I did manage to get the sizes right I still needed to readjust some numbers as some walls were too big and other walls were too short in later iterations.
Grey boxing the level based on previous sketches. I had to work a lot with vertical and horizontal lines to achieve what the level designers originally did in Elden Ring. Some areas let the player view large areas of the level from far away. Some areas limit the view distance and you have to get closer to be able to understand what and where this path takes you. By using the geometry tools in UE5 i created a low fidelity level blockout. In doing so I understood that some of my sketches were not perfect and needed to change to match overall size. I also implemented simple obstacles and a lever puzzle similar to the original level of the Stormfoot Catacombs
To make the level more alive and accurate to the original level I had to implement meshes to the level. By using the geometry tools in UE5 I was able to create multiple meshes on the fly without worrying about using blender or Maya. Furthermore, since I had a lot of assets in the scene it was very performance heavy in the editor. To combat this I used Nanite on certain large meshes to reduce framerate drops.
procedural stair actor I made for a tutorial. Reusing it on my level.
Creating custom meshes using geometry tools in UE5.
I added decorations and color-coded the level for showcasing the walking area, obstacles, walls, etc. The last thing I did in this project was to determine the height of the roof, each room being different I used different methods. Some rooms use giant wall pillars to determine roof height, others use normal pillars and stone wall caskets.