This past weekend I decided I would like to start experimenting with Unreal Engine. Since picking up 3D full-time the past number of months, I've been enamored with creating game worlds that I would like to see, but obviously haven't been explored by the main-stream gaming industry.
Which lead me to creating the exterior for the former Shermer High School from John Hugh's Breakfast Club. My greybox looks like this:
Why a "school"? And why such an old film? The Breakfast Club in particular is a limited-scope film, with a limited number of cast and a single location. This, in my mind, provides interesting grounds for an interactive story.
Unreal Engine's lighting setup provides quite a few features that can make even grey boxes look semi-real and I thought it would be intriguing to see whether the environment (particularly the exterior) felt "real". The nostalgia part of me wanted to see if it actually could work, whether or not the exterior was "fun" to be a part of. Which is why video games as a storytelling medium has yet to reach it's full potential, the feeling of seeing a film come together at any angle, to be immersed in an experience.
Self-Aware-Opinion-Arty-Narrative-alert: One thing I wanted to do, was to look out from the doorway windows at the cars leaving. I over-zealously believe that you become the character once you realize your game character's situation. That isn't just limited to guns and explosions - it could be what ultimately confines you and separates you from what you rather be doing. Video games' levels are somewhat like school constructs, they keep you "in-line" with the path of learning and shuffle you from one place to another, without having to give too much thought as to why. Even though the students in the film are free to run off and do whatever they please (with repercussions of course), they still find themselves back to where they're told they should be.
Overall, the short project was fun, had a fun wade in the shallow end of the massive pool that is Unreal Engine and hope to return and dive in deeper later.