Scott Purcvial

Game Programmer Extraordinaire

July, 2016

Practice Production – Update #3

By on July 31, 2016

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Finally Getting Somewhere.

As the title says, we seem to be making progress.

The throwing mechanic is now all sorted, the animations are working, the HUD has begun to take shape with the throwing power bar and such.
I added a tree and a log to the enclosure, and I now have a spawner working!
We are still to replace the spawned Faller’s mesh with the fallen children mesh, it’s currently a sphere.
Oh! And I added a sound effect to the gorilla! 😀

Overall the game is really fun to muck about in at the moment, and feels fluid and fast paced. This is good.

I have learned a lot about Unreal and Blueprints in the past 24Hrs. More than I expected. I’m finding it to be a really intuitive engine.

Left To Do:

So we have a few things left.

  • UI  – Score, Faller count, Level all need to be added to the HUD
  • Gameplay – Need to make the Faller rate and count suit the level, make the level Win and Lose conditions, Hitboxes for the thrown people.
  • Menu – There is currently no main menu.
  • Art – Still no people or faller models. This is important! Leaving this in the capable hands of our Art department 😉
  • Sound – More sounds. For running, jumping, people falling, hitting walls, person returned to crowd. Maybe make crowd panic more, the closer we get to losing the game?

But we are out of time for that now! We will see how things go at the first submission tomorrow 😀

Scott out.

Practice Production – Update #2

By on July 31, 2016

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Wrestling with the Beast

So last night I dove into Unreal and some Blueprint tutorials.

I started with the version I pulled from the server and immediately realised the level was a pain to traverse due to no jump functionality. I figured this should be easy and a good place to start, so I set off to add the jump function.

A couple of videos and hours later that was sorted and I was on a roll. So next thing to work on was the pick up and throw functions, which I got working well.

I spent quite a bit of time on the throw function. Making the aiming feel natural, and learnt a lot in the process in regards to how rotators and vectors work together.

I changed the model to Harambe and a lot of the hitboxes around him.

Then Trouble!

I tried to reconcile with the Perforce server but hit disaster. The files would not reconcile.

From what I can gather there must have been an upload between my get action and checking out files? Or not checking out files?

Anyway. So now I have made a backup of my work, and am pulling the current build to try and merge by hand.

Moving on…

Today is all about making the spawner for the falling people, the hitbox for when you throw them back, and the HUD and score bars and such.

On to it!

Practice Production – Update #1

By on July 27, 2016

Lost at sea... like me right now.

Lost at Sea.

Today is the second day of Practice Production for me. Last week we met as a group and came up with the idea of a game based around the late gorilla ‘Harambe’.

As the tale of the gorilla goes, so does our game. You are Harambe the gorilla. Children are falling into your enclosure at an increasing rate, and you have to throw them back out to safety or the zookeeper will “end your tenure”.

We initially decided Unity would be the best engine to use, so I searched the asset store and found a free gorilla asset and a low poly crowd asset. These later proved to be the inspiration for our own assets that our artists would create.

Our programmers are struggling to a degree as we have been thrown in the deep end with production in engines and languages we have not encountered yet. The design and art students have both worked in these engines before and I expect presume we are up to the same standard as them to a degree, so I will have to work quite feverishly to catch up.

After speaking to some friends from the programming stream, I have come to the conclusion that Unreal Engine may be a better choice, due to a perceived low barrier to entry. The modular ‘coding’ approach has me confident I should be able to pick up the engine in minimal time.

Today I have watched the recorded class session (as I was unable to attend due to work conflicts), caught up on the discord conversations, and reviewed all the files in the Google Drive. I am having some trouble figuring out what, if anything has been done from the programming side. So I am going to err on the side of caution and start working on the engine myself.

I am currently watching some UE4 quick start guides on Pluralsight, and downloading UE 4.12.5 (and making this blog).

Will continue to report my progress here.