Unreal Engine 5 Project

I worked on this project as part of the 3D Engines module at Staffs Uni. The goal for the project was the expand upon an existing framework by designing and creating mechanics showcased in one single level. For this project I focussed on working with materials, lighting, particles and sound for the first time inside of UE5.

Water and Lava Materials

My level features a caludron of boiling water and a lava pit at different points. I wanted both of these to look impressive than things I had created before so I decided to do some research into how I could create more complex materials. From what I discovered, I decided to make use of Fresnel shading, panning textures and noise maps in order to create desirable effects.

Here is the blueprint graph of the lava material I created:

Cauldron Effects and Mechanics

In my level the player has to collect several ingredients to through into the cauldron to open the main door. However, they have to be quick about this as the fire burning underneath the cauldron dwindles over time. The player must add coal to the fire in order to sustain it. In order to highlight this visually to the player, I worked on creating a number of effects.

Firstly, the light of the fire lessens when it is decreasing in strength. The fire also produces particle effects to mimick smoke and embers which too lessen as the fire gets weaker. I also added sound effects to the fire which decrease based on distance from the player as well as the strength of the fire. All of these together, combined with a UI element on the players HUD, create a clear centralising mechanic which is easy for the player to keep track of in multiple ways.

The affects of what I have described can be seen in this video:

Who Did What?

Original Framework and Assets by Staffs Uni

When Was it Made?

The prototype was worked on from February 2023 to March 2023 for the 3D Games Engines module at Staffs Uni.

What Went Well?

I believe that I created a well designed level that utilised a unique mechanic which allowed me to explore areas of UE5 that I previously hadn't in such depth. I am especially proud of the materials which I created as well as the lighting and particle effects utilised throughout the level. I believe they give a unique look to the level whilst also serving a purpose by conveying the most important information to the player in multiple ways.

What Could Be Better?

I think that the level could have been designed better so that the player knew at any point what they had to do and where they had to go. I also believe that due to my focus on other areas, the enemy design in the level was severly lacking. If I were to create the level again, I would focus on building out a clearer layout, better UI elements and a much more well designed climax.


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Rhys Elliott 2023. contact@rhyselliott.com