So while I'm waiting for my new project file to load I may as well explain why I have restarted with less than 12 hours left in the competition. My previous level was meant to replicate a very modern style of architecture, however I am a semi-mediocre level designer and a very poor artist, and I was shoehorned into using models and textures I really didn't like to try and create that them, and it wound up looking very tacky. In addition the grass that I tried to add, made my project even more unplayable, to the point where I had to turn quality settings from low to all the way down, this is why I need that 980.
While I was showing my first project to a friend he asked what emotion I was trying to create, I could only describe it as that feeling you get after driving all day and getting to your hotel in the middle of the night. So... Hotel in the desert, why not.
I still plan on using a combination of black and orange to create sort of a tired feeling, I fear the lack of flashy details like many of the finished projects may hurt my chances, however this is the feeling I want to capture and no amount of lightning or vfx will serve that end.
Some reference images: (I feel like doing something halfway between the darkness of these.)