This week in map stuff

Hi everyone!, over the past week i have spent most of my time doing minor changes to the map, most of these being changing the length of lanes and other such things to allow for the implementation of assets into the level, as well as this i have begun creation of textures and unwrapping models for texturing, with my textures they’re mostly just basic colors and shapes with some added noise to make them more visually interesting, then when i am happy with the base texture i create a normal map using an Nvidia plugin that can generate a normal map and then i edit this partially to get the desired effect.

Below is an example of the textures i have so far created along with their normal maps and specular maps, the normals maps are used to give the effect of 3D and the specular maps are used for the engine to figure out how to properly light the texture, Their is also an option within Unreals material editor to let me create a specular just using the blueprinting system, for this project i have tried a combination of both to try and get some cool looking lighting out of the textures.

TextureSheetAfter i have create the textures,normals and sometimes speculars i then take it into UE4 and begin creation of the material, depending on what i want this can be either a very straightforward process of a bit of a tricky one, For instance the below gif is a material that i have created entirely within UE4, none of this has been animated within another program.

MaterialEffect

In order to create this effect i had to create several different nodes, within the emissive area which gives it a glow effect when rendered in game i also have a cloud texture that i quickly made in Photoshop using the cloud filter which i am overlaying on top of the colors and then panning to the left.

Within the pulse section of the material i have set it up to occasionally make the material glow slightly brighter than what it is default set to by the emissive, Above this is the specular map input which also contains two variable which are plugged into roughness and metallic which further help to make it feel like a real object in the scene.

Above that their is also the default material that is overlayed on top of everything else and then also the normal map which is used to give it the pretend effect of 3D lighting.

MatExampleSo other than all that stuff which i have greatly enjoyed doing i have also been slowly optimizing and unwrapping my 3d models that are already in the scene to be ready for when i texture them.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading and tata!.

Hi everyone here is another update on how the map is going, currently I have created multiple assets to populate the scene with, the major parts being Huge pipes which i guess would be used to transport sewage,water or house electrical cables for connection between the higher and lower part of the city, Below is a gif of a brief fly over.

MapFlyOver

Mostly i have been working on trying to make sure the pipes phase in and out from top to bottom using either fog or at the top of the level a massive block, which is meant to represent part of the unfinished city, Originally i was going to use a volumetric fog to cut off both the top and bottom, however currently their is no such tool in UE4 to allow me to do this eventually i will try and create a fog particle effect to try and block out the upper sections.

I also had help from one of the lecturers who helped me improve some of my already completed assets and i plan on creating some basic textures for the level so that we have something more tangible to show off for a presentation that is coming up soon on the project.

As well as all this both myself and another class mate have begun designing what the HUD will look like, below you can see the most current design for the HUD, it has to show all three placeable towers, the players crossbow as well as a wave counter and a bolt counter for the player, We decided to position it at the top center of the screen instead of the bottom as having the HUD and the crossbow in the same section of screen space would be to confusing for some players.

HUD

Aside from all that i haven’t been doing much else, i look forward to mocking up some textures for the level and seeing how that goes as i always enjoy creating assets, anyway hope you’ve all enjoyed the read and ill see you next time.

Work stuff

Hi everyone, apologies that i am a week late in posting this blog so expect another blog post this week around Friday!.

For the past week i have been mocking up really basic high level concept HUD’S for our project as well as creating some minor details for grey box to give the level a sense of scale, On top of all of this i created a technical document for use with the project, it is incomplete however this document will likely continue changing depending on what happens with the project so this is not a problem realistically.

So with the HUD high level concepts I’ve been doing i just created a Photoshop file with a canvas size of 1920×1080 created some text elements called “Wave counter, Money counter and Selectable turrets” and with these i can easily place them around the scene and get a rough idea of what the HUD would feel like in game, obviously their is only so much i can do with this before taking it into UE4 but because of UE4’s UI widget tool this isn’t a problem, as i can easily create multiple types of HUD’s and try them in game.

As for the level, for the most part all I’ve had to do is re-size the level which only took a few minutes, then set about creating spaces for the player to be able to navigate between each lane, The way I’ve gone about this is creating narrower lanes which the player can use to quickly get between each lane however these also offer a certain level of risk as the player if they’re not careful could easily fall off and die which could lose them precious building/defense time.

LevelExample

The idea behind the scene is pretty similar to one of my earlier concepts which was the two larger towers among the city, a map which can be downloaded Here, however this is more similar to Deus Ex human revolutions Hengsha map which i really love.

Aside from all the stuff on this project i have been slowly creating some basic mock ups for the final project of my course, I wont show these now as i want more time with them before i show anything on it.

Hope you enjoyed the read!.

Gratuitous mappernating

Hi everyone!

So our group has chosen to create a First person tower defense shooter, similar to Sanctum 2, For this i have chosen to do level greyboxing as well as HUD design, for the HUD i will be using UE4’s new UI tool, it’s really simple and allows you to very quickly block out the beginnings of what you want your HUD to look like.

Our game is set in the future were a Medieval engineer has traveled into the not to distant future and must defend himself from hordes of robots, He must do this by using his wit as an engineer to modify the available technology surrounding him.

For visual reference i have been using thing’s like Akira, Ghost in the Shell,Kowloon city, Deus ex human revolutions China map, Remember Me as well as Judge Dredds mega city one, My vision of the level in its complete stage is to create something akin to a heavily built up and eroded city that is still lived in, some great reading material for this is also Neuromancer and Snow crash, A great piece of reference that can be pulled from as well is Kowloon city almost a real world counter part to what i have stated above.

So with all this stated for the moment all i have been doing is the block outs for our level so Haigen our programmer can have something to work with, I have created four different versions of the map and currently the fourth one that i have come to appears to be the one we will stick with.

MapCurrently their are three lanes, enemy waves will spawn from these and converge at the same point, Eventually i plan on filling the negative space with smaller pathways that the player will be able to use to navigate easily from each lane to the next, Visually this will look like a built up industrial section of the city which people still live in.

Other than this i have been working slowly on a small side project, All it is at the moment is a relaxing exploration game were you sail a ship around to different islands, their are currently a lot of games focusing around this genre though so i think that i will change it up somewhat.

Bye!.

This new triemester

Hi everyone so I’ve become incredibly inconsistent with posting and we all know that!, I’ve finally stopped lying to myself about it to!

I’ve just started this new trimester and have been told that yet again i have to do a blog on it, following the end of today’s class i have decided to just get it over with and start it now.

Today was mostly just a meet and catch up, talk about what well be doing and such however! we did have a small have a small project today were we had to try and monetize an existing game that we’ve played, Recently (last night) i started playing Dying light which is essentially dead island at its core but with parkour elements introduced and a partially revamped leveling system.

I did not want to harm the games core mechanics by trying to add pay walls within the game but instead attempted to add a monetization system into it by adding a secondary currency.

This secondary currency “ZomBucks” can either be earned or purchased within the game, To earn you must simply play the game (killing zombies/finishing missions), this will earn the money at a smaller rate than the actual in game currency, For instance you earn money at a rate of 100% and ZomBucks at a rate of 25% for instance if you kill a zombie it will drop $35 and roughly 8 – 9 ZomBucks, however during nighttime this rate will increase to 75% (as the game is harder during nighttime) and you will earn 26 – 27 ZomBuck (This needs balancing i am using fudged numbers at the moment) .

ZomBucks are essentially the same as normal money within Dying Light however items that you can buy in stores are cheaper with Zombucks instead of normal money, I have done this to try and make the game feel as unaffected as possible by the integration of real world money.

This being said earning ZomBucks takes far more time than earning normal money, this is to try and make it not noticeable to players and also make them want to purchase it with their real world money instead, i have still not found a solution to stopping players from just “grinding” for said money, perhaps the longer you play a session of Dying Light the percentage of ZomBucks decreases?.

Now apart from this excersize we also have to come up with a prototype being it a design document or something playable for this trimesters project as we will all be working in one group on the same project, Currently my idea for this trimester is to create a first person or third person arena brawler, this is mostly inspired from my old work (Nox Brain, have a look if you haven’t its one of my earlier works) and also my enjoyment of games like Zeno clash and Binding of Isaac.

I want to attempt to merge to two styles of game play being brawler and rogue like and combine them within an arena style level with possibly some randomly generated style enemies as well as weapons in an arena that changes form depending on the wave.

Now apart from that i haven’t put to much thought into it but expect posts in the future as apparently i have to do one a week now! and hopefully you’ll see my idea evolve, I’m trying not to get to stuck into it as theirs a possibility that it will not even get chosen which I’m cool with.

Bye for now thank you for reading!

Addo

Addo

Click above image
(Visualization of concept, no play ability in current example)

So last week i started my fourth trimester at college, my first class of the new trimester involved us each having to design a mechanic based around an emotion, i came up with Addo, Addo is designed to invoke a sense of motherhood over the player through the use of minimal input and watching how your “people” change and react to you leaving “Markers”  around the world.

These markers may or may not lead your “people” towards objects that they will respond well to and will change the way they react towards you this will be shown through the use of audio, Currently in the background you can hear a Cello playing, depending on what happens the Cello will change, which will ultimately decide how the game will end.

Aesthetically the game is designed to be as minimalist as possible with visuals, audio and input, Addo is based of games such as From Dust, Goddus and Black and White.

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed reading this and I apologies for not posting anything in a long time, I hope people start reading these again and that you come back in the future as i am going to try and do these more regularly.

Jobs Done!

CouragesGatePic

(Click image to play, Game only runs in IE, No clue why)

So me and Reign finally finished it, Our final submission for this class, Courage’s Gate a turn based exploration game, It’s a take on both Pokemon and final fantasy With our own distinct art style, drawn by Reign, Granted not everything was completed to the highest level that we wanted, we feel it is both a great piece of work and hope that you enjoy playing it.

Maybe I’ll revisit this project at a later date, it is pretty feature complete and we could do a lot more to it if we wanted, anyway i’m going to be guy’s sorry its such a short read but i hope you all enjoy it, please leave feedback below!.