Update - 16 May 2020
So this is a project to keep me productive during quarantine and something about Eddie Mendoza's piece "Atlas Plaza" (https://www.artstation.com/artwork/ldk5V) just grabbed my attention. It allows me to make a full environment level in UE4 whilst working on hard surface and regular modeling skills.
I started the process by blocking out a few of the key shapes in the scene and trying to get a basic layout going on however this is definitely going to change due to my indecisive nature towards my own work
Started work on the building assets for the street level, since these are what would be closest to the player camera these needed the most attention. I made several parts that were all baked on to the same unwrap and material which needed to be baked, whereas the brick was a material I made inside of Substance designer (because why not make this harder on myself and teach myself it \_(0.o)_/ ) I then spent a good 2 hours or so placing them onto one building... that's far too long, in my opinion, considering I would have to do this process hundreds of times for this level so in the interest of saving time I decided to make a blueprint to do it for me....because why not be lazy.
This is the building I built from scratch, the shop front hasn't been textured and is just a basic mesh right now.
Please excuse the rubbish quality, my PC isn't the beefiest which makes recording kinda hard.
I tried implementing a cube map on the windows to give the illusion of depth and there being a room in the buildings, similar to the Spider-Man PS4 game, however, it didn't go exactly to plan as all the windows are on one texture and not in the same place it was difficult to line up the tiling of the cubemap to fit all the windows correctly if I want to use the cubemaps I assume I will have to fiddle with the UV map to be able to place the windows in places where they get a similar area of the cubemap to work with.
I decided to give myself some distance from buildings just to refresh myself. I decided to set to planning more of the level and what I wanted in it, collect references for more props and such. So I decided to do something I haven't done in a while and that was to create a rigable robot mesh. I wanted it simple and clean to match with a steam/dieselpunk vibe, I then added dirt into the texture maps just to show it wasn't too perfect.