As my second personal project in The Game Assembly I decided to stick with the theme I used for my previous project, the flamethrower, and create effects for a top down game. The effects are supposed to be two different area of effect spells with ice and lightning effects. The effects were created in Unreal Engine 4.
The thundercloud effect is made up of five different parts; the cloud particles, the rain particles, the puddle decal, the lightning strikes, the two different lightning particles, and the spark particles.
The ice effect is made up of five different parts; the ice decal, the frozen wind decal, the frozen air particle emitter, the magic light emitter, and the rotating crystal in the center.
The Water puddle
The base of the lightning effect is the material that is being applied to the water decal. The material is a simple black and white texture with some shapes that is being heavily distorted by Simplex Noise that is being panned on the z-axis in the world position. Panning the noise on the z-axis helps created the feeling that the shapes in the water are growing and shrinking.
The other bigger part of the effect is the lightning shocks that move around the air and ground. The effect is two different particles using a material with amplified emission that is playing through a selection of different lightning sprites to create a feeling of randomness. The lightning textures were all created in Adobe After Effects. The two emitters are then played on top of each other with one of them having their rotation locked on the z-axis to make it seems that the shocks are also playing in the water puddle. The same method is used for the bigger lightning strikes.
Frozen Wind circle
When I was working on the ice spell I felt like the wind particles were not enough to get across the idea of the direction and force of the effect. My solution for this was to add thin snow drifting across the floor, something that you usually only see on roads after recent snowfall (Reference here). I made a material using two panning noise textures multiplied with each other and added that material to a circular mesh with a UV that helps the snowy wind slow down towards the end.
The effect is very subtle but it helps create a direction for the energy of the effect.