Underzone is a procedural rogue-lite game for PC that takes place in a future version of London; ground zero, in the aftermath of a national disaster. Taking control of 'The Mole', a re-purposed off-world mining mech, players must burrow through the 'Underzone', a sprawling subterranean network of living spaces and large industrial complexes buried deep below the surface of the city. As they carry out a search and rescue operation looking for survivors, players will uncover the mysterious circumstances of what happened above ground and soon come to realise they are not alone in the deep.
Thames Waterworks is the second of eight discoverable zones in Underzone. Responsible for cleaning and recycling water for a variety of uses across the city, Thames Waterworks presents a hazardous journey for The Mole through a network of small and large scale industrial spaces full of pipes, machinery and flooded chambers.
As a procedurally generated rogue-lite each playthrough of Underzone is unique, with players unearthing different chambers and rooms in various states each time they play. With this in mind, the environments were created modularly with the room structures generated from a 'grid tile kit' that could be arranged into various shapes and sizes, all discoverable in real time as the player burrows through the earth. Rooms were then populated with procedural prop kits to flesh out the room into a believable space. The front area of the room acts as the 'play space' where all the game play happens whilst the background serves to flesh out the environment and tell a story.
In the early stages of development it was decided that each stage should feel unique and that each industrial space should have it's own design, branding and purpose that felt integral to humanity in this futuristic world. As a primarily water based zone, Thames Waterworks naturally became a very blue-lit space due to the large scale water tanks and reservoirs that populate the area, with water leakages, electricity and steam damage posing a very environmental threat to the player.
I was responsible for working out the modular pipeline from an artistic perspective and modelling, texturing, rigging and animating the environmental assets including the tile kit and background props and setting these up in Unity. Further work assembling the environments into level packs and adding lighting and effects to the scenes was completed by the project Level Artist Frederic Fitzpatrick.