‘Infinite Gallery’ – Changed Concept

Grads in Games Search for a star. Page 0: Changed Concept.


  • Theme: “Don’t look down”.
  • Setting style: Prison or Hospital

Originally, I had designed a slightly different environment. By this, I mean the infinite mirror and staircase remained the same, though the themed setting was different. The building style would be a town hall, being used as an emergency medical station for a nearby emergency. A 1900-1920’s time period with late nightingale style features. In terms of gameplay, this could also be a relief station for the player to seek medical attention. The game would be narrative based, role playing a character in that setting who follows the mission from the emergency to the relief station.


Why did I not use this concept? The answer to that is easy: the 1900 hospital setting did not fit with the modern infinity mirror style. That concept is more fit for an abstract modern exhibition, or an expensive modern space. Therefore, I changed the concept to something similar, I decided it should be an old building that had been modernised to a certain extent and then reused as a gallery space. This gives me the excuse to have old and new features in the space. I wanted to have both old and new qualities for two reasons. Firstly, so that the the infinity mirror matches the settings. And secondly, so that I could add as much wear and tear on to the models, to make the shape more interesting, to show off my Substance Painter skills, and to have more authentic qualities to the models. I believe that this will provide me with the best environment to show my skills and create a visually pleasing environment with the appropriate concept.


Four Assets Required – Check List

  1. Centrepiece focal object – Infinite Mirror
  2. Large decorative piece – Medical table on wheels with equipment on it.
  3. Supporting prop – Medical equipment, hospital related furniture, rashly hammered door signs with nails or boxes of supplied at the bottom of the staircase.
  4. Architectural piece – the circular staircase


  1. Concept- hand drawn sketches, photoshop (digitalise), PureRef (for mood/ref board).
  2. Maya- blocking, modelling.
  3. Z-brush- details, welding (if necessary), cloth details.
  4. Substance Painter + Substance Designer= texturing.
  5. Texture set merging tool app (is it needed?).
  6. Unreal 5- Lighting, SFX, rendering, packaging.

Design Details

  • Two-story staircase with multiple doors on each floor. (Implies the rooms connected to the stairs are large as well, therefore it makes sense that the building would be used as a hospital.
  • Skylight on ceiling to let in light. Exaggerates the grandeur of the place).
  • The space limit that I have is 30x30x30m.
  • The ceiling could have a sky light around the mirror to let in light. This would also be aesthetically pleasing when looking at the ceiling mirror.
  • Walls could have quickly made door signs, hung up with nails that hang out. On the signs could have too numbers and departments (e.g. surgical) department
  • .Stair architecture (note to self): All I need to do in my architectural design sketch is to work out how many steps I will be needing for the height. Then note down all of the measurements for each step, the stair width, landing width etc. Realistic measurements. The curvature angle should arrange the issue of where the stairs start and end. I can simply make the other assets fit with the stairs by taking note of the initial plane width of the stairs and adjusting accordingly. I can this way repeat the process for the banister. Though, thinking about it, it may be better to position all of the curved meshes at once, in their correct positions while the stairs are straight and then bending it all together.
  • First priority is to check if and how the infinity mirror will work. I should do this during the blocking stage. The back up plan is to create plane with mirror materials that have one reflection in them. This will be enough to elongate the space if I cannot create the infinite effect.
  • VFX: healing station plus signs rising in a column shape in the middle of the staircase. This could be a nice visual that would emphasise the purpose of the environment, although it would set the type of game it is. Including visual symbols in the environment instead of leaving out everything with will take away from the immersive qualities, this sets the type of game it is e.g. the Last of Us vs Fortnite. It fits in Fortnite very well but not the former game.
  • Extra: narrative element: bricked up archway wall/door. Need at least 2x brick asset. + crumbs? This could count as the decorative piece in the brief requirements.
  • I believe that the final rendered image should have focus on the infinity mirror and the architectural structure, however, the atmosphere and lighting will be most important to the quality of the final image.


  • Electrical lighting domestically – 2/3 homes had electrical lighting in the 1930s (Electrifying: The story of lighting our homes 2020).
  • Electrical lighting commercial/industrial – common in the 1920s to have electrical lighting in public areas…
  • There is the exception of Nicola Tesla research and public work that was done in 1890s. (Tesla, nd)
  • Would an elevator be needed. Answer=no (Dave, 2018).
  • Geissler tube research, shape/ concept design (Geissler tube 2022).
  • Infinity mirrors- how to (Villani, 2021).
  • Pre-baked or planar reflections (Games, 2022).
  • Light bulb- “squirrel cage” style.
  • Staircase reference (Dreambox, 2022).
  • Use the bend deformer in Maya to make the stairs.

Asset List (preliminary)


  • str_walls_01
  • str_stairs_01 (inc. banister+blocks)
  • str_floor_01
  • str_railings_01 (will need railing assets for the top floor)
  • str_door_01 (inc. frame!)
  • prp_table_01
  • prp_tools_01
  • prp_clipboard (wood, metal and paper with printed patient info).
  • prp_cloth_01
  • prp_bed_01
  • prp_jug_01
  • prp_screen_01 (white metal  fabric)
  • prp_light_01 (wall)
  • prp_light_02 (hanging)
  • Prp_bulb_03 (infinity mirror) part of other lights
  • prp_light_04 (exit sign)
  • prp_chair_01 (make it with white coated metal- repeatable material).
  • mat_wall_01 (purpose= stairs, floor planks
  • mat_wood_01
  • mat_glass_01
  • mat_mirror_01 (50% reflect) – With surface imperfection roughness mapl
  • mat_mirror_02 (100% reflect)
  • mat_cloth_01 (rag)
  • mat_fabric_01 (screen sheet)
  • mat_paper_01
  • mat_clipboard_01
  • mat_iron_01
  • mat_waterstain_01 (mat override water stain).
  • mat_waterstain_02 (one for table)
  • mat_whitemetal_01 (white rusty metal for jug)
  • Mat_light_01 (main static emissive light- used for all mesh lights) – use instances to change the intensity and colour for different types.
  • mat_light_02 (light instance? For red emergency light)
  • mat_brass_01 (lighting)
  • Try make a tillable material in substance designer – applicable?


  • Prp Metal Jug
  • Cloth- not uniform?
  • Wooden wall frame.
  • Town hall furniture- moved out of the way. E.g. wooden benches, painting frames, boxes of content?

Repeatable stair asset will include:

  • One side of curved stairs.
  • Banisters and stair block ends.
  • Landing
  • Door
  • Walls

Mood/ Reference Board

Figure 1. Ref board- general

Consideration for Colour and Lighting

  • Red light exit sign – give a variation of lighting colour and mood.
  • Blue walls, hospital tiled style. Not an original idea but is often used? What is used as a town hall wall colour- beige?
  • Window content near the top of the staircase: green trees or ivy to show age. Will I need to make an assets for this? I could either reuse my previous tree asset or I could use an externally sourced asset.
  • Overall colour scheme (w/ brown wood)= red, yellow (dominant), and green?

Title Ideas

  • Razor’s Edge
  • Section 01/ Section 11
  • Ward 01

How can i push this further?

Glass Container Idea

I received this idea from someone I asked for feedback to about my concept. I can enhance my idea by having the main structure in the style of a Geissier tube or a Tesla Coil. Glass walls, possibly hanging from a chain or rope. Just like the plant pots in figure tow, in the middle images. This would create a more dynamic and fanciful concept, as though the environment is in a small container, hung up somewhere. I can imagine this looking very good with curling neon lighting or very dusty and dirty old glass walls, and an interesting shape (see figure 2). The dirty walls look very good with a black background. However, I could not justify this concept. There needs to be a use for this environment in terms of game-play. Realistically, this idea would not fit with a generic open world, or even a role playing game. This concept has very niche uses for it. Additionally, it may not work with the space restrictions of the brief, if I want to have a suspended tube hanging off something, then I do not leave myself enough space for the actual staircase.

Mood/ Reference Board (for the glass wall idea)

Figure 2. Glass container idea ref board.


Dave (2018) Elevator historyMedium. It’s Your Turn. Available at: https://itsyourturnblog.com/elevator-history-68e415cc7381 (Accessed: December 20, 2022).

Dreambox, D. (2022) Model stairs in maya | curved stairsYouTube. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7bbWPhwd-o (Accessed: January 2, 2022). 

Electrifying: The story of lighting our homes (2020) Science Museum. Science Museum. Available at: https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/everyday-wonders/electric-lighting-home (Accessed: December 16, 2022)

Geissler tube (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geissler_tube (Accessed: December 21, 2022).

Mirror room in Unreal with Ray Tracing is AMAZING! (2021) YouTube. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSWhY3R9Xis (Accessed: December 26, 2022). 

Tesla, N. (no date) Experiments with alternate currents of very high frequency and their application to methods of artificial illumination“Experiments with Alternate Currents of Very High Frequency and Their Application to Methods of Artificial Illumination”. Available at: http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1891-05-20.htm (Accessed: December 18, 2022).

UE5 l Mirror Effect Material with Planar Reflection l Tutorial l Unreal Engine 5 (2022) YouTube. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-fbSiN3yB0 (Accessed: January 2, 2022).

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