Prisidium is a puzzle game that requires players to analyze their environment carefully in order to progress. Spotting subtle clues and spacial reasoning are keys to triumph in the long forgotten halls of the Prisidium.
Prisidium is a personal project created in 9 weeks using Unreal, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and Audacity. Sounds taken from freesound.org and edited to fit the project’s needs.
The idea manifested while I was exploring a maze in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The towering walls and tight hallways created tension and anticipation about what was around the corner that made me want to explore every corner. For the aesthetics, Tron and Egyptian art served as the basis for my colors and style.
I used the Super Grid pack available on Epic’s Market Place to establish the scale of objects in Prisisdium and took those measurements into Maya to build my modular kit:
Since one of my wall meshes was so tall I decided to assign two material ID’s (that’s what the pink part is) to it so the textures would have enough pixel density as well as ease of swapping materials when needed.
From there I started placing my pieces in the level while making a few preliminary lighting passes to check the quality of my light maps.
Most of my material are setup in a similar fashion aside from the actual texture files. Below is the master material for my walls. Base color, metalness, and normal information are straightforward, but as a way to save memory I invert the values of my metalness map to create my roughness map in addition to packing 4 masks inside my panner texture. The mask set up creates a scan line effect on the walls and the remapped sine wave ensure it is always illuminated at any given time.
Laying the ground work here meant I could change the emissive color with ease in material instances when needed, which I did for my columns on two occasions since I used the same set up.
I later condensed the wall shader into a material function called “base” with inputs for all the textures and the emissive color so one material in particular could stay organized. For the material transition on the walls of the portal room, I use the base function to keep to streamline the shader since I’m building 3 materials, one for each direction the wall can face. For the transistion to occur I set up scalar values to determine which material it transitions to and what color the emissive is by haveing a blueprint set the values when the player overlaps a volume in front on the wall.
From here Prisidium started to take shape
The portals were made by reusing the material that appears when a block enters a switch. The material is mostly math with two textures to give it its shape.
Though I found that taking 4 planes and rotating them 45 degrees created an interesting animation that i used for the portal. I created one more material with circles to layer on top of the planes so it felt more like a portal.
The portal teleports the player to the location of a billboard component in the blueprint which is stored in a variable so I can set the target location with ease in the viewport.
Sky Sphere and Lighting:
I used the default parameters in Unreals sky sphere to create my sky, but I did add a few textures to tie it into my architecture in the level. This created the vortex at the top of the sphere and I imposed the the criss crossing lines here as well.
The lighting in the level is only a sky light, directional light and some of the emissives on the objects. From there I set up my post process volume to slightly adjust the gamma and gain values. I also lower the bloom value significantly and set my min and max brightness to very low values to counter Unreal’s intense auto exposure.