Friday, September 25, 2009

Post #8

Proper Door Measurements:

As I start to do my actual elevation maps for this level, I'm currently stuck on the big debate of what a good door size should be. I feel like with a proper door size I'll be able to proportion the rest of the property off of that. I have a couple concerns though on choosing a good proportion. While I could easily replicate the building off of standard door measurements I want to make sure that players (specifically the UT3 Avatars) are able to fit comfortably in and out of the doors during game play. I tend to find the default UT3 avatars to be very wide in their proportions which leads me to wonder whether I should make the doors a bit wider than standard in order to accommodate them.

For reference, I started looking back to Call of Duty 4's Overgrown Map (which is probably my favorite map in the game aesthetically). This map has similar sort of architectural structures as my environment will have. The majority of the buildings are just small farm houses and during game play I think they are pretty easy to slide in and out of.

By reviewing this map, I'm finding that the developers seemed to use real to life proportions for the entry ways. Based on my playing experience this doesn't seem to leave the player feeling cramped going in and out of doors. Since the standard door measurement is about 3 feet by 7, I think I'll stick with this.

Just to be sure though, I took the frame work of an Unreal3 character and decided to measure his proportions.

Based on my rough calculations the character seems to have a 7:3 ratio of size.
I also did the same with a character model from COD4 (since it's from the same game as our actual door measurements). At his widest, he is also 7 by 3 heads.

Since most game characters are never actually standing straight upright when rigged we can assume that the characters will actually be slightly shorter. We also shall assume that a standard game character is 6 feet tall. This leaves the standard height of a door (7 feet) to not be an issue, the only issue here is the width. I don't necessarily imagine this level being used in a shooter game aspect, but I do imagine it in a first person perspective. Since an average game character is 6 feet tall, based on their height width ratios we can assume that one head height is .85 feet. So at their widest a hulking UT3 character would be 2.5 feet wide.

Now I doubt a character from the Unreal universe would be tip toeing around an old English estate, but since I plan on importing this object into Unreal, I'm worried about collision with the character and the doorways. On top of that I don't want to have to increase the size of the building just to be able to allow the character access but then throw off the scale of everything else in the environment. This isn't necessarily a problem that will come up in this class (since no interior space will be finished by finals) but its still a general problem I want to address now as opposed to later.

I think for now based on the measurements I've calculated it shouldn't be a problem. So I'll deal with a typical 7x3 door while I do some actual research into how collision works in the unreal engine. So I can be sure that this won't be an issue later on down the road.

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