Level Design Practice #5 – Mushroom Caverns

This project was inspired by my time playing Ark: Survival Evolved, an open-world game featuring dinosaurs. When it was first released, Ark had only one map available to all players named ‘The Island’. The Island was an enormous 36-square kilometer level featuring different regions with varying heat levels, height discrepancies, and underwater portions. It even had massive cavernous regions featuring subterranean animals that can only be found in the dark underground complexes. These cave sequences were eerie and were lit by a number of bright, colorful mushrooms, and I loved the aesthetic, so I wanted to recreate something similar.

This was my attempt:

011 - Mushroom Cave (August 14, 2016)

  • Title: Mushroom Caverns
  • Time Spent: 3 hours
  • Assets Used: Luos Free Caves

Luos provides a free sample caves package with a bunch of great assets, and this cave sequence was created entirely using the pack. Caves can be extremely varied and random, so I wanted to avoid making things too uniform. The mushrooms are practically the only source of lighting in the caverns, so I emphasized their effect using point lights. I have a lot to learn about lighting and I feel that this first step was a huge leap forward.

What are your thoughts on the cave? Do you have any lighting advice?


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