Saturday, 28 May 2016

FMP 20 - Finishing Up

It's our last week on the project! However there is still a tonne to squeeze into the project within that time, most of which involves me playtesting and fixing anything which isn't working, this naturally results in several massive lists of things.

Here is an example of just a few of the things I had to get through this week:

  • Fix player collisions
  • Fix animations
  • Tweak cameras
  • Accent lighting
  • Import remaining clutter assets and replace old textures/downsized textures
  • Fix texture streaming problem - Textures loading into level too slow
  • Fix AI
  • Add UI Markers
  • Population
I managed to get through most of it with help from Amber as she kept track of issues and did some playtesting herself to highlight problems, I got the last few assets and resized textures from Hazrat and then I began to populate the scene to it's final level.

I also managed to rework the title screen a little before we handed in:

Reworked title screen, based inside the actual map, saves texture streaming problem inside level in most cases.

Final rundown

I'll probably do a more in depth reflection of the project in my post mortem, for now though I can say I am happy with how far this project has came, despite having some issues along the way in trying to make everything fit. Over the last few weeks you could really start to notice how it was coming together.

So without further ado, here is some screens and a little teaser video I have put together:

Journey to the lighthouse

Stone bridge area

Olive's bedroom

Sunday, 22 May 2016

FMP 19 - New town centre

I was feeling a little unconfident with one of the areas in the level this week, a concern which extended to the rest of the team, the middle section of the level seemed uninteresting and boring and needed something drastic to shakeup the gameplay. 

I tried out the possibility of opening the level up a bit more to add some more variation to the level plan and encourage a bit of exploration, this seemed a vast improvement over the previous design and also gave us scope for introducing more interactive elements, so we made this into an area where the characters can collect objects.

The plan before was way to linear and forced the camera into a difficult position, planning the level around camera potential camera issues wasn't something that we thought would be a problem at the start but as we have went on it had affected major design choices in the level. Plotting in camera tracks in the original level designs is something that I would do from now on to minimise issues later down the line.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

FMP 18 - Cutscenes

I spent my time this week messing around with creating the matinee sequences in the scene and fixing any problems that may arise from getting through the game. This required some fiddling with the level blueprint so the matinee triggers in the correct way.

Working from the start of the game to the end of the game, I created all the cutscenes needed. The first cutscene is an establishing shot of Olive's room, with one of her drawings highlighting the lighthouse. This also shows Burnard and Walter popping into existence.

I also created the final functionality and cutscenes for the lighthouse rope burn, gate opening and activation of the lanterns leading down the the dock, this required a short rework of the lantern blueprint so they could be force activated by a matinee sequence instead of the usual means by interacting with Burnard.

Screengrab of first cutscene
The level blueprint has expanded with a lot of matinee controllers for different things, mainly these are for blueprint events to be triggered during the matinee. I also had to implement a workaround that forces the events to trigger if the player skips the cutscene.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

FMP 17 - The Dock

After last week when I lost work I spent the weekend trying to catch up to where I was and I tried to get the lighting back to how I wanted it, however as I was about to save the project my computer got a blue screen... *sigh*

So I had to then play catch up again (spending a lot of time copying a few backups in the process) but at the end of it I managed to catch up plus fix some other things in the process. I spent this time also including the dock part of the level from our original design, allowing us to actually have a proper end to the level. It has taken a tiny bit of time out of an already full schedule but this was an important area that was needed to sum up the game experience.

Other main points this week included going back and checking the camera switches, going back over the cutscenes and adding accent lighting to the environment. Mostly a lot of this weeks changes have been not so visual more functional, next week I'll try to include a gameplay video once it's tidied up.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

FMP 16 - Rain and lighting

A lot of this week has been working on trying to get as many assets as possible imported into engine while going through all the fixes on my list. My job from now on until the end of the project is jumping between creating remaining effects, fixing up gameplay and importing remaining assets. I knew this would be the case anyway as I'm effectively responsible for getting the final product working because of working in engine.

I did have a bit of a hiccup this week with my work though as the map file corrupted while attempting to save a backup, making me lose some work I did on lighting and the rain effects. Fortunately, I was able to transfer some of the uasset files from the corrupted version of the project to a slightly older version, allowing me to keep some of what I done.

The screenshots below are some what I managed to do with the lighting this week, adding in fog sheets, a new sky box and some more work on the raindrops which I will discuss next.


I received some help from Mike Pickton about my rain saying that instead of attempting to do it with in the materials as I tried before that I should instead just use a plane which particles spawn into, which are then animated in a flipbook. Using this technique I managed to create the rain splash particles as I needed, the particles randomly spawn within a radius, with each particle aligned to the Z axis to keep the effect realistic.