Well here is that progress update I promised, Ive re-built a much larger, more complicated and better finished test maze which is still tiny compared to the final full scale maze. The main update is ive decided to have elevated areas of the maze. Initially I didn't want to do this, I wanted a pretty much one level, open sky maze, in keeping with traditional mazes, however thinking about it hard and after experimenting with making some pieces in 3ds max I came up with 4 new pieces that will enable me to elevate the maze. This opens up far more interesting design possibilities and features for the maze but still maintaining that traditional, classical garden maze feel

Below are a few screenshots of the work ive done over the past few days, along with 2 videos.

Some things to note before or after seeing the screenshots / watching the videos:..

- Some objects are only temporary, like the hedges, topary..etc I need to workout the best way to approach making a hedge that looks someway realistic and fits with the LOD of other parts ive made.

- The flooring on the whole elevation section of the maze I made in rectangle sections.. I did not measure out the sections correctly so I had to overlap the sections, resulting in really bad clipping, so in the videos on those floor sections you will see flickering, also this clipping of meshes means the shadows and ambient occlusion wont be seen on the floor.

- The fire touch and general lighting in the darker underground areas (not really underground, under the elevated areas) are only temporary and will be improved.

- This test version of the small scale maze is not very well populated with prop objects and other interesting curiosities I have more or less used the same objects as I was using before, but in general the maze will be far more densely populated with objects such as vases, plants, benches, statues...etc etc

- Lightmaping on some objects needs work, you will notice on a few objects the light is not sitting correctly (such as the gate/fencing), I need to remake lightmap UV`s for these objects.

- Inside walls of the archway sections as you can see have clamps on the side, when a gate section is placed there is looks like thats where the gate is secured to the archway... however in the video i forgot to make a version of the texture on the archway without those side plates., Only a few of the archways will have gates.

- Although ive not made any new object the walls, pillars, arch sections, and pieces to elevate the maze will be the final game models, however some will be variated, and have different textures so the player dosent see the same repeated texture on every wall ..etc

- Although the moss is more or less the final result of what I want, eventually the mossy areas will have some patches of grass and weeds growing out cracks on the ground to make it look a little better. In other areas there will also be vines on walls..etc

- Only 2 general maze themes are shown here, for example the regular walls area and the hedge/garden area, the final game will have more different themed areas.

- This test maze layout is only for testing reasons, and is not laved out in a very challenging way, there is goal, no exit, entrance..etc

- Videos show no actual game play in terms of interaction, There will eventually be puzzles to work out to gain access to other areas of the maze such as locked gates, and there will also be various clues about the maze hinting at the right route.

- Video shows example of the "open areas" as mentioned in previous posts, such as the courtyard area, and larger open area at the hedge/garden themed area.

- Parts to elevate the maze have been designed in such a way the player wont be able to work out routes from looking down on a lower part of the maze from an elevated part of the maze, such as the exit/entrance parts at the top of the stair sections, the angle is too acute to make out enough detail, tall side walls to hide more and arch sections "look" like regular wall sections when viewing from high. All those factors combined means no matter where the player is in the maze , and no matter how much of a view of the maze they see they will never see enough to be able to find a route out.

- The whole of the elevated area of the maze need work in general and prop objects..etc

- Vertex blending (moss blending on ground/objects) needs to be improved in some areas

- There are some graphical issues, such as flashing vertical white lines when the camera moves fast that i need to resolve. In general the general render quality on the videos may not a represent final game.

- Video frame rates are a little on the slow side, due to the fact im recording with fraps + UDK open in background + game testing over all that.. so the recoding was bound to be a little slow.

- Game and Editor video capture is not at a very high resolution, final game will have full HD modes and other high resolution modes.

There is much much I wanted to say, but meh.. its enough for now ... :)

This new test maze is only really a few 100`s squard... the actual game will be miles squared.

Please Select 720p Video Quality

Please Select 720p Video Quality

Here are the 4 new key sections I made in 3DS Max that enable the maze to be elevated and
the few objects Ive made for the maze so far, a few of them are only temporary in particular the hedge. Eventually the game will have 100`s of different objects to populate the whole full size maze.