Nick Urko's Portfolio

Crystal Space

Team Size:
Production Time:

Lead Level Designer
Crystal Space
UDK (Dec 2010)
8 weeks (15 hrs / week)
5-10 minutes



Download Game


Game Documents

Level Map



This is a single player FPS "Cyber Funk" game made in UDK.

In Crystal Space, players navigate through the orbiting space station A1A using the Gravity Gun to augment movement and a melee or ranged weapon to defeat enemies and a final boss.

This futuristic adventure takes its cues from classic sci-fi pulp adventures. A dystopian society inhabiting a future Earth with a large ring of orbiting space stations provides the backdrop for the game world. The playable area, the orbiting space station, A1A, is composed of hostile robots and an evil Mainframe. The player gets a sense of disorientation as they embark on an adventure through the environment using the Gravity Gun while trying to fend off hordes of killer machines.

My Responsibilities

As the Lead Level Designer for this project, I was in charge of managing a small team of level designers.  I made sure that we all had tasks to focus on, and that my team was always aware of any changes to our game plan.

I took the responsibility for creating our particles and custom effects.

I also did much of the kismet scripting throughout the project.  This includes setting up the conditions to respawn enemy bots after they are destroyed, as well as determining which movement pattern the boss takes based on how much damage has been dealt.

Iterated Level Design

As our main mechanics were developed, the level changed drastically.  It began as a vertical tower with many difficult jumps, but testers found the verticality to be disorienting.  Version two had a wide open arena style layout, with floating platforms for the player to jump between.  Version three expanded upon the arena concept, but added extra platforms and spawnpoints.


The level evolved as our mechanics were flushed out.

Scripted Game Logic

Crystal Space uses Kismet to trigger the different phases of the boss battle, spawn in enemy bots, and a variety of other gameplay functions.


Scripting served a big role in Crystal Space

Custom Particle Effects and Materials

I created every particle system found in Crystal Space, and a few complex materials.


The gravity well is the most complex particle system in Crystal Space.

Mainframe's lasers threaten to destroy the player.

The force field material uses panners and overlays to give it a shimmering effect.

Full Playthrough Video

The Sandbox

Mainframe's Office