This week I have focused on the mechanics of the Soul and how it will effectively fit into the gameplay.
The soul now has a collision sphere that when triggered, the soul will start to fly toward the player in a following state.
Once the following state has been triggered, the collider scales to the size of the soul and when it collides with the player it is removed from the scene, it also triggers a function which adds to the players collected soul number.
The next step is to now add a function for the player when they have souls collected they can interact with the scene.
Today’s efforts have been all about filling the scene with smaller objects to build a sense of detail and realism.
A large part of what will make this experience feel real will be having objects that the player can associate with real world activities.
I’m using my whiteboard kanban board to keep track of what models to create and to keep a sense of progression and as such motivation.
This last week has been spent making a really clear storyboard of the first level of the game, as I have quite a bit of story in this early scene it is vital it is delivered in a coherent and quite linear way.
Planning out each moment of the level like this will help deliver the right information at the right time.
For the subsequent levels that I hope to complete for the showcase after submission will have a much more free flow of information and player driven style of play instead of this levels linearity.
After some research and being pointed to a great forum post on the Epic forums I have pretty much solved my issues with a few bits here and there that can be covered.
It required adding an additional lightmap UV channel in 3DS Max, which then is specified inside Unreal.
After doing this for each modular piece, I then had to change the world lightmass settings to give a betrter quality of lighting. This all only looks acceptable with a production level light build.
So I’m back on track and churning out 3D models quite quickly now, the scene is becoming filled.
Today I was hoping to get quite a few tasks done and get back on track with my HacknPlan.
I should be modelling the elevator and the furniture, but because of my schedule upset because of the lightmap issues in Unreal I now only have a day to get on with the elevator and get stuck into the furniture.
The plan of action for today is to tie up the loose end jobs for the architecture and then get started making props for the reception room, which will give me a nice feel for how filled rooms need to be and it will give me a nice base of assets to spread across the other rooms.
I have decided to use HacknPlan as my macro project management and a kanban whiteboard to focus on the micro tasks such as each individual assets, this also gives me a nice tangible sense of progression.
The kanban board is a slight variation on the standard technique, but I will try it out and see how effective it is for my productivity.
This week the whole of the ground floor has finally been assembled, including all wall, floor and ceiling architecture. Though some major lighting issues have raised their heads.
As can be seen in the video, the use of modular wall sections in Unreal is not supported without a lot of extra work. This may mean i have to take each section of room and join it into singular walls. It’s not a lot of work and luckily I have a few days slack time before my next task completion in my hack n plan.
I did try to find a work around for the issue by posting a picture of the issue on the Epic forums (https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?134472-Modular-Environment-Seams).
I got a reply that directed me to the Unreal troubleshooting page about lighting (https://wiki.unrealengine.com/LightingTroubleshootingGuide#Shadow_Seams.2FShading_Differences_with_Indirect_Lighting).
Sadly this is a known issue and there is a work around but so far it hasn’t helped much.
So some additional modelling on the architecture is therefore required, but since I have already made headway on my prop modelling it won’t put me too far out of schedule.
So this week I have been working on creating assets and now have the core pieces to construct a test layout of the level. This includes all structural models for the ground floor and a few other models such as tables and chairs.
I’m so pleased with the walls, above you can see the basic models (not final textures) and below you can see the models normal mapped to give more detail.
I’m very pleased with the results and it looks even better when lit nicely and of course some of the little blemishes can be hidden with other assets.
Using these rough untextured models I will construct a storyboard to really lock in the story progression and flow of the level as well as helping to decide on final positions of assets, lights and trigger events.