Game Engines: Term 2 Week 2

Well, my plan to post these every Friday night did not last very long. However, this week I do have a good excuse.  From Friday to Sunday I participated in the Global Game Jam, which I will get into later.

First I want to discuss the progress I made with my dissertation and honours project.  I started of the week by creating more 3D assets that I can add to my game to make the environment look more cluttered and real. 

The photo is of my great grandfather, who was a tailor in the  1920s . There was no significance behind this, I just needed an old royalty free image and remembered I had this on my phone.

The photo is of my great grandfather, who was a tailor in the  1920s . There was no significance behind this, I just needed an old royalty free image and remembered I had this on my phone.

I spent a decent bit of time with each model, yet was very disappointed with how they turned out, which is always a demotivating experience. I had been asset modelling for over a month by that point and it was starting to feel like I was just making 3D assets in a vacuum, with no real results or visible end to the project.

 In order to combat my disinterest in the project I decided to take a break from 3D modelling and try to work with the Unreal Engine 4.  I hadn't touched the actual game file in several weeks so it was very out of date.  I pretty much started from scratch and began importing all the old and new assets in the engine.  Seeing all my work come together to create a reasonably okay scene was actually very inspiring and made the projects scope feel far smaller and doable.

Here is a video of the environment in it's current stage. -

While it doesn't look like much, it took a significant amount of time to get everything imported and set up correctly.  The stairs themselves look several hours just to line up correctly and I still think they need a lot of tweaking.  I tried to bring  this version of the game into uni to show my supervisor and group partner, but unfortunately the exe was too intensive for any of the PCs to even run.  I'm pretty sure it's the rain particle effects which are causing the problems with performance, but I have yet to check properly.   As I was unable to show the game in person to my supervisor I instead emailed him the video asking how I should proceed.  His main advice was to just keep on making more assets that can be duplicated and reused to make a realistic cluttered environment, which I agree is probably a good idea.


As for the Global Game Jam, it was definitely an interesting experience. I had never participated in a jam before, so I'm glad I was able to take part in at least one before I graduated.   Considering we only had 48 hours I feel reasonably happy with the game we created,  though I can't say I'm in a rush to take part in another game jam any time soon, I found the whole experience physically and mentally exhausting.  One thing that the game jam was helpful in was ensuring me that I had made the right choice with using Unreal Engine 4 over UDK.  Kismet isn't bad for basic gameplay and prototyping, but I had completely over estimated what it could do.  Now I can only hope that blueprints will be easy enough for me to pick up and create the game I have in my mind.  Anyway, if you want to see a video of the game my team created you can view a video of the gameplay here - 

As for dissertation research, I haven't done much at all this week.  I started watching  "Masters of Horror"  while 3D modelling but it was coming up with so many fantastic quotes I decided I should probably put of watching it until I can give my full attention to it.  I only watched the very start but these two quotes stood out quite a bit to me - 

"Last reason for reading horror: it’s a rehearsal for death. It’s a way to get ready."

- Stephen King


"It's that anticipation, that's the thing that always kills you.  You know, the things that I've learned, I guess, is that the things that you imagine is always much worse than anything they can show you"

- Stuart Gordon :  7:22 mins


As for next week, the plan is just to continue making more assets, import them into Unreal 4 and watch some more horror documentaries.  I may also try and start watching some blueprints documentaries if I have any spare time.