A small update on progress of Raptured.
As you can see above I have now got a good foundation for the white box level and have started to move these boxes into 3DS Max to use as size guides to make the real models.
I used an average female human made in Make Human (http://www.makehuman.org/) as a guide for sizing along with the Unreal standard human.
I also made a start on one of the core parts of the game, the dialogue. The script itself isn’t very extensive but the amount of different voices and sound clips is going to be. Each piece of dialogue gives more hints toward the overall story and as such is quite vital they make sense, are short enough to hear all of of and are coherent with the rest to make a solid story.
In the coming week I hope to have the white box entirely populated and coloured to make it clearer and then to be well on the way to starting asset creation.
After watching an interesting documentary called ‘Minimalism: A documentary about the important things’ (https://minimalismfilm.com/) which was inspired by The Minimalists (http://www.theminimalists.com/) Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. The Minimalism philosophy is the idea of minimising your possessions and as such distractions, this helps to provide a clearer picture of your life and what it takes to be happy. After watching this the game design quadrant of my brain fired into action.
Scribbled ideas for the concept and design.
This documentary really interested me and although I probably won’t be minimising my life (I like my stuff too much) it did remind me a lot of meditation. If you’ve ever tried to meditate and clear your mind you’ll know how difficult it is to keep a clear mind without every little thing slipping into view and becoming a thought or internal discussion.
Scrawled style ideas and list of distractions the game throws at you.
I loved the ideas of that constant struggle for peace and minimalism, so I designed a simple game/experience to demonstrate this and perhaps give your mind something to focus on that could almost be a form of meditation in itself.
If I make this I’ll be sure to send it to Josh and Ryan.
Over Christmas I worked on idea of a realistic game (in terms of gameplay), using titles such as Wurm Online, Ark: Survial Evolved and Don’t Starve as templates to build on. These games are excellent games and enjoy a strong following yet rarely do the mechanics in the game have a strong grounding in reality. Most focus on creating a fun and engaging gameplay system that modifies reality to suit that need, though I digress this is a topic of a whole other post.
I started to toy with the idea of holding only what you can carry ie. one thing in each hand, an item “holstered” on each belt side and a bag on the back. This then allows for the interesting mechanic of swapping tools in hand with the other hand and the holster, all very interesting and much more realistic than a set of quick slots across the bottom of the screen.
Moving on to a more realistic inventory system than a UI window or quick slots. I toyed with Unity’s World Space Canvas and made it so that you only have an inventory if you have a bag equipped. This also means you can only look in your inventory if you have a free hand to hold the bag, the code would simply check for an empty hand and move the bag to the hand, this allowed the inventory to be looked at and altered.
I then tried out the idea of gathering and collecting resources in a more realistic manner, instead of grabbing items and them appearing in your inventory magically. In my system the bag must be in hand and the other must be free to be able to grab object in the world.
Overall this seems to work quite well, but obviously is a long way off a clean and finished product. The concern now is, does all this swapping of hands and rigidity of mechanics cause the flow of the game to be disrupted or do the systems themselves become part of the fun, having to think about what your carrying and where it is on your person.
Only time and testing will tell, I hope this will be an interesting project to continue in spare time and look forward to showing it off more.
After having a small break from work over the Christmas period I then decided to take a break from University work and recharge by working on some of my own projects.
This time it involved revisiting the much loved survival sandbox type game. I have always had a love for the concept of a realistic game that leans more toward a simulation than game, but the issue that always arises is “When is too much realism not fun?” or “Does realism have a place in games?”, both of these questions are interesting ideas and will perhaps be the subject of a later post, as will a more detailed look at the project I started.
I also watched an interesting documentary on Minimalism and this inspired a game design idea that you can see more about in this post.
Before I knew it my time was nearly up and the beginning of another semester loomed, so back to hard work I went.
Now we are back and our first week is done and already we are pushing on with the final project and as you will see in the next few posts things are really moving forward.
This week after getting a foundation into the basic mechanics of the game I’m moving into the prototyping stage of the level design. White boxing is a strange concept in my mind, but after doing previous projects and modelling the level out then bringing it into engine and it being 3x to big made me realise the benefit.
Using the rough map layout I drew in Photoshop, I begin creating some modular building blocks that match the scale of a standard Unreal human.
This week the beginnings of the level designs are being implemented using a modular building blocks. My entire level will be constructed of around half a dozen generic blocks with varying textures and positions.
I was hoping this would save a lot of time and save a lot of hassle as i’m not the best 3D modeller/texturer, sadly (as always) this hasn’t quite gone to plan. There appears to be some issues with the UV maps of the wall sections which of course is being a bit of a pain to solve.
In the picture above the same piece of wall section is side by side one with and onw without normals maps, I’m quite please with the detail the normals add and of course the amount of polys they save. Though you can also see the issue of the materials not assigning correctly to the window frame and the wall, as if they are almost bleeding into one another.
Hopefully I’ll get a bit of help with this and sort it out and get back on track by the end of the week.
So after some frustration while getting to grips with Blueprints I have got the player rotating as the camera pans to give a little more fluid movement, it felt way too rigid for a floating creature.
Obviously there will be more tinkering to perfect it, but for the moment I have moved on to the Souls and how to collect them and have them follow the player.