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Geometry by me, most assets are third party

Textures from various sources

Top class student for Game Design at West Cheshire College

Nazi Zombies, Nacht Der Untoten - "I used to be absolutely terrified of this..."

Back when I was but a wee lil' boy, Call Of Duty was gaining popularity super quickly (within my high school), while I was more interested in the likes of Viva Pinata, Pokémon Platinum, or Mario Galaxy. Wow, I was so innocent until I played Call Of Duty: World At War. The campaign alone awoke somehting inside me, and got me mildy interested in historical warfare (for a short bit).


However, I was definitely not expecting the Nazi Zombies cutscene at the end of the campaign. At least, I think it appeared at the end? Or it may have been an intro video upon accessing the (then new) gamemode. The lone zombie creepily sprinting towards the camera literally haunted me in my sleep for weeks. Yet, I was so intrigued by the fear it provided and eventually gathered the courage to play Nazi Zombies. It was hard, ut with each retry I got better. I think it took me 3 weeks to just gain the courage to enter the next room!

First steps - "This was my second project of 2021"

I lost a lot of screenshots, sadly, but as you can see above, The basic box layout was made. That took a few hours to do, since there was a lot of going back and forth. The next step was to add textures. Sadly, I lost the entire file for the making of this map, and I acn't remember where I downloaded the textures. They weren't official textures ripped from this map, but were similar enough. They didn't have to be accurate anyway, since the map is typically dark, but the art style the game goes for is (somewhat) realistic anyway. Using realistic textures was all I needed to pull off a similar design.

As with any other project, it's always best to start with the basic skeleton of the environment. In one window I'd be playing the game, in the other I'd be using Unreal Engine to try and accurately recreate the main room of Nacht Der Untoten. I wouldn't use any fancy-schmancy mathematical measurement, I just timed my movement (between them both) from each each end of each wall. Simple stuff, but worked.

I also made a simple column model (in 3DS Max) and ported it over (to be used after the box layout). Trying to accurately place these in their respective locations was a chore, but I could also use a flattened version of these as details for the wall too.

Skipping to the pretty parts - "...Since the entire folder was lost"

Overall, the project took under a week. Texturing was easy, and so was creating the normal maps for most textures. Models were mainly downloaded form the internet. I'd credit them if I was able to access my files, but I can't. Any future projects (after 2021) will have full credits. Anyway, the only models downloaded (for the interior) were the sandbags, lanterns, crates and random debri piles. However, one of the debri models was a really high poly, 3D scan of a real pile of semi-destroyed bricks. It was a lot of detail, which wasn't entirely needed, but it came with it's own textures that saved me a lot of time.

The flags were created by me and use cloth physics to realistically react to the wind, which the physics for that are also present in this environment. That took some work trying to look right. You'll see in the videos how it interacts with the cloth of each flag. Not every flag has the same cloth physics.

The railings were made by me (for the barriers and stairs), but they're just simple, low poly cylinders with a metallic material.

In order to add some creative flair, a flashing 'NAZI ZOMBIES' title was projected against the floor, just to the left of where the player spawns. I thought this looks really cool. It was made to flicker, adding to the horror theme. To make this effect, I did some magic to a spotlight entity, but can't remember how it was done. But, trust me, it was magic! Simularly, the lights flicker in the same way.

Speaking of lights, the overall lighting was adjusted to mimic moonlight piercing into the building. There's foggy particle effects in the back of the main room to strengthen the effect of moonlight. The particles capture the light and add bloom. It's all dynamic and looks very nice (in my opinion). But speaking of that, the fog also represents a contrast between the warmer lighting of the sheltered area and the cooler lighter of the less sheltered areas. Artistically speaking, I am quite proud of this design I have followed.

The outline of the Kar98k rifle was a png, found via Google Images, but again I can't credit the original creator. However, it fits in perfectly with the design of the environment and is placed exactly where you'd find it in the actual game. I'd have loved to add to function to it, like giving you the gun in game, but my only goal was to recreate the visuals of the original map.

You can also see vegetation outside. There's nothing too special about that, since it's made using a tool in-built to Unreal Engine 4. The original map didn't feature a lot of vegetation (if any) outside, so I added some to add some realism, and to make the area look more abandoned.

Unfortinately, I lost the screenshot to show the exterior, which is actually really upsetting, because I put a lot of effort into the exterior (even though it wasn't all necessary, since the player cannot leave the interior. In the screenshot above, you can see a truck (covered in a tarp). The tarp has cloth physics (which interacts with the wind) applied to some corners. This is to give the ffect it has been blown onto the front of the vehicle and is stuck. Not to mention, it also makes the map look more abandoned and creepy. I seriously wish I saved a video of this.

Outside, there are also oil barrels. Some are on fire, some are not. They were downloaded (and textured) by another creator. There was also a wall circling the building, but this cannot be seen in any screenshots, sadly.

Trees were also scattered about. This was a model by another creator repeated around the exterior.

It may be hard to see, but the fog particle effect is also affected by the wind and rain. I added a 'spectrum like' effect to add more creative flair, plus it also looks good mixed in with the rain. Speaking of rain, I made sure it would drop at an angle. Again, this is to look like it follows the direction of the wind. There's a lot of physics you need to think about in envrionment design, it's insane!

If you see any red objects, they're not textured. In one of the images above, they are supposed to be stone slabs, but at the time of the screenshot being taken they weren't textured.

The final design - "Overall, I was really proud of this map!"

I'd love to come back to recreate this map (again) in the future. When I can be bothered of course. The reason I lost all the files was because my previous computer's SSD was glitching, but it was an OS issue, and not a hardware issue. One of the updates for Windows 10 royally screwed up my files. Nowadays, I backup EVERYTHING to Google Drive and an external SSD. I lost 3 projects due to that darn update.

However, this map was so much fun to make, and I was really happy to see it look good, even if I didn't get a chance to finish it. I'd say it was 90% finished, before my PC farted). I'd definitely recreate another location form World At War. The textures are reasonably easy to mimic, and the lighting is fun to experiment with in darker areas. A lot of World at War is dark.

Probably the most fun I've had on a project!

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