Sunday, 20 April 2014

UDK: Trivial problems and actual ones

For our game production project we were tasked with importing our assets we have made for the year into UDK with collisions working and with basic materials set up for a pass. 

When we were first handed the project I jumped straight into UDK tutorials and created a basic layout in UDK with the BSP brushes, also importing in my wheelie bin mesh to test the import process.

Since the holidays I have done little game production work while I tried to catch up on visual design. Over the last couple of days I have decided to jump in to the rest of the work while also attempting to fix parts of my earlier assets.

I went to work on importing my architecture project to find that there was some weird issues with the materials back in 3ds max in that the brick texture wasn't showing; I checked slate material editor and there was nothing abnormal, I restarted max several times to see if there was a bug to no avail, even the material IDs didn't make sense when I was attempting to 'fix' them. Several head-to-desks later I hit a eureka moment, that the materials shown in the slate editor were not the ones used by the model and that the actual materials were set up in the compact editor...



After some reflective time I continued importing the rest of my objects into UDK: Building, trees and phonebox. All I have left to do is the van and other little parts from my workshop week street scene.

My UDK scene with trees, phonebox and wheelie bins

This is where I hit the next problem, which is more trivial in nature. Together all my assets did not look substantial enough to fill the scene. It states in the brief that we should add more objects to fill the scene but in that aspect I have created more barriers for myself as I look through my textures and reference folder to find nothing I can use for wooden fences, concrete or other things I can use to make the scene more cohesive.

However this shouldn't be a problem, the point can be made that I should have been a bit more vigilant in my general texture gathering but this is more a problem with letting things become obstacles for myself. What I have to do is improvise with what I already have, rather than fixate on one particular solution to a problem. It's a skill essential for the creative industry as project specifications can change and the deadlines can loom over like a dark overlord.

I am a crippling perfectionist and it's something that I'm trying really hard to drive out as it's stops me from experimenting with things without worrying what the final outcome might look like. This issue with populating the scene could be solved by me doing rather than me thinking too much into whether a certain method is correct, or adding more stuff than necessary to my to-do list while time is short and I already have other more important tasks to be doing. I have spent a lot of this holiday in front of the computer or drawing and most days I feel unhappy with my amount of work achieved, it's these little barriers which I think attributes to the cause and maybe why I'm not progressing as fast as I want to be right now.

What I need to do is not let these things get me down. If a obstacle should arise, then find another way around it. Improvisation is the key word here. Also sticking to my action plan should stop me straying into unnecessary details.

I'll provide quick updates on the game production front tomorrow. :)


-James

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