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.
As Lead 3D Artist at Strike GameLabs I was responsible for independantly creating all of the initial 3D content for the game including blockouts, the main player character The Mole, environments, props and FX as well as creating and maintaining the 3D content production pipeline.
3D assets were created using 3Ds Max, ZBrush and Quixel Suite with the game being built in Unity.
The Access Tunnels are a neutral environment spread throughout the Underzone, connecting the subterranean labyrinth and providing safe points of passage for the player. These can be used to start a new game, access new zones, take a breather or even drop off any survivors that have been rescued so far if a Support Vehicle is present.
As these are transitory spaces they were purposefully designed to be small to mid side spaces and were the only environment not to have been created at the concept art stage. Japanese sewer tunnels provided the inspiration for these chambers when I began thinking the development of these spaces.
One of the main design requirements for the Mole was for it to be able to pick up and drop off passengers. The most logical place for them so be stored was the head/ cabin area so this meant working out a way for passengers to gain access to the area. The animation below shows how the mole goes into a crouch position and the face plates open up to expose the cabin interior. A folding ladder was also added for survivors to climb in and out easily.
Initially the game design featured an interior view of the mole in the inventory screen and the passengers currently in transit however this design was later scrapped due to time constraints and so the Mole's interior was never built.
In order for the player to drop off passengers, a Support Vehicle must be present. These were only located in the Access Tunnels due to their quick links to the world above.
As with the Tunnels themselves, the look of the Support Vehicle was created by myself later in development.