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My Journey in GameDev & Other related Stuff

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Greetings and Salutations.

I can't think of anything that justifies the risk to add at this stage, So end of day seven for me.


I spent the day mostly adding polish, Which includes: Laser pointers for the turrets, No ammo sound, Low health sound, Changed the colour on each alternative entry in the credits.
I thought I solved the performance issue (which was some kinda base static light pass, Which I could find no info on :( ), It runs faster in the editor tho.
The AI(FrogMen) is a bit iffy, They should shoot or melee you on sight.
Yet they don't most of the time, But the work well when they do.
There is a text field in the options menu you can use to execute any UE4 console command, I have included a file "CVars.txt" with some graphics related commands.
You may want to drop the quality setting down to medium, I had to for the game to hit 60 FPS.
This has been fun, I look forward to playing the other entries.
I may even do a review of them.
Dang, I forgot to credit @riuthamusfor his asset pack (Sorry @riuthamus).
Link to my entry: Here
Title: Invasion of Planet Frog
And the picture:
Thats all for now,
Thanks for reading.

Greetings and Salutations.

A prior commitment has meant I have not been able to spend as much time on my entry today.
So most of what I have done is basically QL and polishing.
Some things done today:
  • Enemy frogmen go into a ragdoll on death, Then deleted after five seconds
  • There are sounds for: damaging turrents & frogmen, player being hurt, no ammo
  • Some playtesting done
  • Added a difficulty option that can be changed at any time (It changes the amount of health & ammo regen you have, Base regen value of 1)
  • Reducing the packaged game size, It is now down to ~200MiB on disk, And ~145MiB in zip archive
  • Finished the credits screen
  • Added a prologue and epilogue (text messages)
  • Added option to change screen scaling & shadow quality, The game runs kinda slow for some reason.

Some things to do tomorrow:

  • Investigate the performance issues
  • More play testing
  • QL improvements
  • See if I can get the bush & rock materials to package, For some reason they are not even tho they have the correct settings,


That's all for now,
Thanks for reading.

Greetings & Salutations.

End of day five for me.
I have completed the boss battle levels, I had to split the level into two parts to avoid spending an extra hour or two to get a savegame for the boss battle so that you don't have to do the level over if you die.

My packaging test resulted in a failed copying of files due to some kinda resource updating issue, Deleting the saved and intermediate folders solved the issue.
But now the starter content showed back up.
So either it was not deleted when I told the editor to, Or it is adding it back on its own.

There is a post on the UE forums with:

I think that is the culprit, Actually just seen a post on the UE AnswerHub where Eric Ketchum(Epic staff) says that is what it does.

Overview of things done today:
  • Did the boss battle
  • Added tracer fire to the enemies
  • Added some sounds
  • Did a quick tutorial
  • Shows a random tip on the death screen
  • Got some options that can be tweaked(Engine scalabality, mouse sensitivity)
  • Did some work on my pickups (health, ammo)
  • Set the frogman's armor to be partially metallic


Tomorros todo:
  • Remove the unused starter content, Again
  • Do a full playtest
  • See if I can get a family member or two to do a play test or two
  • Add some enemies to the tutorial
  • Add default map as a practice ground for players
  • Add full input contols listing to tutorial
  • Add readme file
  • Do some general polishing
Here is a screenshot of the first level from a low angle:
Kinda late now, I can sleep next week :)
I guess some other people will too.
Thats all for now,
Thanks for reading.

Greetings & Salutations.

End of day four for me.
Today has gone really well, I am sure I will hit my deadline.
And I have done quite a bit according to TDL, But then a lot of those where small things like adding sounds and such.
I am planning to be 90% finished by end of tomorrow, That way I can spend Saturday and Sunday adding polish and finishing up the non essential things.

I am not sure if having events take place in a castle and a single (till the end) alien invader will cut it for the themes, So I am going to put some more thought into that.

For anyone who is interested; I Highly recommend ToDoList by Abstract Spoon

Things done today:
        Stop sprinting when the player starts targeting
        Play sound when foot reaches ground
        Regenerate health
        Show death screen UI on death
            Target player on attack (take damage)
            Increase movespeed when using melee
            Allow frogmen to fire through each other
            Trace through other frogmen
            Go over Asher's YT AI tut
            Klaxon sound when player detected
            Add range helper
        Main menu:
            Set engine overal scalability
            Make list of FreeSound.org credits
            Ingame menu
        Death screen
        Weapon fire
        Turret fire
        Frogman fire
        Frogman melee
            Add some rocks
            Add some bushes
            Display message when data is gathered
            Make sure the enemies with guns actually shoot you
            Create draft in Krita
            Model after draft
            Place enemies
            Load next level
            Place props
            Do defense system disabling
            Place some turrets
    Day 4 screenshot
Things on tomorrows todo list:
        Add camera blocking volumes to stop camera from going past edges of maps
    Build list of uneeded starter content:
        Remove Floor_400x400
        Remove SM_Chair
        Remove SM_Couch
        Remove SM_CornerFrame
        Remove SM_Lamp_Ceiling
        Remove SM_Lamp_Wall
        Remove SM_Statue
            Fire at player when in range instead of moving closer
            Add weapon tracer fire
            Add tracer fire
            Use range helper to detect when player is in range instead of always tracing for the player
        Main menu:
            Set mouse sensitivity
            Make list of FreeSound.org credits
    Ingame menu:
    Do a packing test
        Frogman ambient noise
            Smoke PS not activating!
Two screenshots:

Thats all for now,
Thanks for reading.

Greetings & Salutations.

End of day three for me.

Today has also been good, But I feel like I am going to fall behind schedule.
I need to improve my level design skill. I seam to start okay, But tend to make the rest bland or "boring".

I am having the player be the invader.
The EAF(Earth attack force) has found one of these elusive UFO's and gotten a flight path to the alien world.
The player has to infiltrate the castle where the alien defence system is run from(movie cliché huh?), And disable it.

Things completed today(From TDL):
        Main menu:
            Load next level at end
        Load next map
    (Main) menu
            Function to get next level based on current level name
            Move player from A to B
            Consume ammo
            Generate ammo
            Don't fire when out of ammo

Things to do tomorrow(From TDL, Again):
        Regenerate health
        Show death screen UI on death
    Build list of uneeded starter content
            Fire at player when in range instead of moving closer
        Main menu:
            Set engine overal scalability
    Ingame menu:
            Add some rocks
            Add some bushes
            Display message when data is gathered

I think I've spent a bit to long staring at the screen today, I plan on managing that better tomorrow.
Dang, I forgot to get a screenshot.
I have added that for tomorrow.

That is all for now,
Thanks for reading.

End of day two for me.

Today has been good.
I have the enemy that can have either a knife or gun and will attack the player with it.

I am almost finished doing the first level.
I have 5 levels planed, and may add more.

Things completed today:
    hip Aim offset to point to mouse
    Ironsight Aim offset to point to mouse
    Add laser pointer when targeting
    Use mouse X axis to change rotation like moving left/right
    Turn to face player on gun attack
    Get closer to player if out of gun range

    Give gun
    Attack with melee
    Attack with gun
    Make melee damage player
    Stop fireing at player if out of range
    Allow frogmen to pass through each other
    Make killable
    Fire at player
    Fire tracers in direction of player
    Add small purple light to knife

    EnvArray - HISM array of selected static mesh

        Damage actor on trace
        Add weapon fire beam PS
        Auto fire option
        Laser pointer sometimes does not show

I have been using "ToDoList" by AbstractSpoon to track things to do with my projects.

Things to do tomorrow:
    Finish first level
    Start second level
    Make the player weapon consume ammo
    Add a main menu
    Make the enemies target the player when the player damages them
    Look around for some sounds to use
    Upload a new screenshot


Thats all for now.

End of day 1 for me.


I spent several minutes deciding on what genre to use, And I ended up going with a side scroller.
As I am UE4, I could start with the side scroller template.
And so I have done most of the basics.
The themes I am aiming for are: Alien invasion, Castles.
But I am looking for ways to incorperate the others in some way, Unless that is a no-no.
So far the basis of my game will be that the Player has to infiltrate the enemies castle to eleminate the leader to help make the invasion easier.
I am trying to make the game be "simple" so that I can focus on what will make it fun, And no feature creep.
What I have:
  • Player: Jump, Run, Left/Right, Targetting(Ironsights), Crouching.
  • Enemy: AI that will move to the player onsight, Or wonder around randomly if the player is not sighted.
  • Basic weapon that uses raycasts (traces in UE4 speak)
  • Riuthamus's asset pack


What I plan on getting done tomorrow:
  • Getting the AI to use melee
  • Getting AI to use a gun
  • Making the enemies killable
  • Making the player killable
  • First level
Here is a picture:
That's all for now.
And good luck to everyone else.

Day 323

I think I need to start off with this tip from uncle Eck "If you see yourself being lazy, call yourself out on it and get back to work!"
I have gotten a little lazy, I have been spending too much time reading and watching youtube videos instead of working on my game.

There are one or two things that I did that have not made it into this list.
Progress (September):
Just about finished the Teleporters.
They play a sound when: sending, receiving, warming up, cooling down.

Spent a some time Prettifying(TM) the HUD, Used some icons from "Game-Icons.net"(Currently added stuff from: lorc, sbed) for the UI.

Event channels now store a name, And that is now used in the HUD.

Create/Get some sound effects to play instead of the dummy/default brown noise sample I am currently using.

Get UE4 to use Tortoise SVN, But apparently the problem I am facing is a bug in tsvn.

I am finding that certain tasks are easier and or faster to do in C++ then with BP's, Most of that has to do with structures and containers.
As an example, UE4 BP's do not have maps exposed to them (probably to do with the template nature of them).

Yesterday my 4GiB RAM stick died on me, ~30-45 minutes of: checking connectors, moving GPU to other PCI-E slot, trying ancient NVIDIA 7200GS, Moving RAM sticks around.
And the problem turned out to be one of the sticks of RAM that I had in, So now I have a 4GiB RAM stick for a desktop ornament.
That stick of RAM may be related to the page fault BSoD's(and there were other ones as well, I did not get BSoD's till I added a 8GiB RAM stick, So that could be a contributor ) I have been having, Which occurred when Win8 did its disk stuff(indexing, and what not).

I was supposed to take some screen grabs for the stuff marked in square brackets, But I did not get around to that.
I do have this GIF I made that shows the teleporter working:
(this is actually a excert out of a recording showing the infinite teleport loop bug)

Thanks for taking the time to read this entry.
That's all for now,

So I have done some stuff since the last entry, Unfortunetly I am unable to recall them.
I NEED to take better notes...

I have just changed the handling of objectives for the UI.
I have changed it so that it displays a entry for each event channel along with the number of completed and total objectives, It currently looks like this: "Channel N [{Completed}/{Total}".

I started writing the handler for that in blueprints, But I again found my self wanting to do it in C++ as it will result in clearner and easier to read code.
The metrics for the tracker is (SourceMonitor settings: Modified complexity metric, Not counting blank lines, Ignore continues header and footer comments) : Lines=246, Statements=141, % branches 19.9(mostly debug related).

I am currently focusing on updating the UI side of things, So there should be a few updates and changes there.

Thats all for now.
Till next time,

So, Here is the postmortem for my entry.

What went (mostly) right:
Using UE4 meant that I could get right into building the game and using stuff I don't think I would have completed yet by this time.
It is a time saver my WIP engine where I more or less spent the first day setting up the project and getting a blank window with 3D device attached running.

I also used some materials(shaders) from the ToyMission rewrite, So that helped to establish the look quickly.
It turns out that I did not need to use Blender to make any content for this as there were a few meshes provided with the template.

Things that did not go so well:
You probably noticed that the AI and player can and do bump into each other when navagiting constrained areas.
The reason is that the lights are based off the [Character] class, And I was unable to make default capsule collision from ignoreing the player without it falling through the world.

Development of the PC would have been faster if I used the C++ template instead of the BP one.
The PC BP would need to be recompiled when making adjustments to it, And the compilation would sometimes take upto a minute or so.
I have found that node heavy BP's tend to take longer to compile, So a C++ base would have sped that up as core functionality would be untouched.

Fun facts:
The materials (expluding player) are just a base colour with mult using some aluminium normal map that was listed in the content browser that I tiled.

The raised U and L platforms where done with a Blueprint/prefab, Two versions: One with AI markers and one without.
It seams that using lots of child actors in blueprints can slow down BP compilation when signatures are changed.
I also had to add a delay to the spawn and light manager as they would collect the list of spawn points and lights to handle before the prefabs AI was spawned.

I also had a few instances where the AI would not move, It turns out that I forgot to add a navmesh bounds volume.
There also appeard a bug or something where two or three times the levels lost there navmesh, But moving the bounds volume fixed that.

There may be some other details I am unable to recall at the moment.

Thanks for reading,

Final entry for WoA IV

I have finished adding sound effects, I should probably have spent a bit longer tweaking some of them.
Overall, I am happy with what I have achieved.

I had to cut some planned stuff due to how close it is to the deadline.
One really good thing I am going to put to use soon is what I have learned about the AI subsystem.
I should have done a simple project to get acustomed to UE4 before starting on ToyMission, I would have done things differently and avoided a few headaches.

Not much to say right now, Will probably do a post-mortem sometime next week.

Good luck to those still working on there games.
And a commendation to the judges who have to go through them.

Thanks for reading,

End of day 6 for me now.
I've managed to get some good progress done.

Some things done:

  • Added sound effects for: Shadow mode, walking, taking damage.
  • Added some music for ingame and the menus.
  • I've done the menu's, Just need to go back and scrutinize the credits screen to make sure I got everything right.
  • I've got a "hard" level done, bringing the level count to two.

    Some things to do:

    • Build a bunch more levels :D
    • Save game support so some stuff can persist
    • Using the points for something

      A quick screenshot showing what the game looks like right now:
      Screen shot 0_Day6_Norm.jpg
      And then in shadow mode
      Screen shot 0_Day6_Cloak.jpg

      That's all I've got for now.

      To my fellow competitors: Keep up the good work!

      Thank's for reading,

End of day 5 for me, It is 22:50 local time (UTC/GMT +2).

Things done today:

  • Created a prefab(Blueprint) of a raised platform in the shape of a U with two ramps and AI and spawn markers.
  • Started working on the first Ruin.
  • Created some basic materials.
  • Some other things that I am unable to recall at the moment <_<

    Things I want/need to do:

    • Model some wall's that look like they are crumbling and or falling apart.
    • Work on implementing the suggestions made by Thaumaturge in my last entry.
    • Setup the Hub level with entrances to the Ruins.
    • Savegame support so that progress can be saved.
    • Use the points for something(improving move speed, Shadow duration)
    • Add sound effects
    • Various menus (Pause, Main, Ingame)

      Here is a screen shot of what the game looks like with the shadow mode enabled:
      Screen shot 1_Day5_Cloak.jpg

      Anyone know if there is a name for this effect?

      That's all for now,

Hello again.
End of day 4 for me.

I have some AI lights that can: Patrol route, Move randomly Or do absolutely nothing :)
I've got a tentitive title of "Shadow raider of the Ruins".

The basis is that you are a ruin raider (people leave valuable stuff in ruins all the time, right?) that can become a shadow to avoid detection.
You take damage from lights, So you becom a shadow to avoid that(maybe I should change that...).

I plan on having a central Hub that can be used to enter different ruins, Which I plan on haveing them change a little procedurally each time you go there.

I also plan on making some textures to make the place look more like a ruin, But that is more of polish right now then actual gameplay or level design.

Thanks for reading.
That's all for now,

Greetings and salutations.

This is day one for me.

I am using UE4 for this.
So, I have the basics planned out.

You need to navigate around hostile lights to get to the treasure in the ruin.

Here is a screenshot of the viewport:
Screen shot 0_Day3.jpg

So that's all I have to say so far.

Entry N+3

Hello one and all.

I have not done much (other then thinking and reading) on ToyMission.

I am going to switch over to either monthly entry on the last friday with entries inbetween if necessary, Or every other week on a friday.

I have had an idea to add two platforms to ToyMission: One that fades in and out like the platforms in the "Glass City" from Keen4, And platforms that tilt down after N seconds of a Actor landing on it and then coming back up after another N seconds.

I am also going to be working on a new set of levels to introduce concepts to the player like in Portal.

That's all for now.
Till next time,

Entry N+2

Hello again.

I have started getting back into ToyMission, Yay!
Tomorrow I plan on mounting the Win10 ISO and seeing what it says about my license key(A test in a VM resulted with some kinda null pointer access violation when trying my key).

That's all for now.
Till next time,

Entry N+1

Hello again :)

I have not been well for the last few days, So I have not done any development.

I should be getting back into the swing of things over the next few days.

That's all for now.
Till next time,

Hello again.

I have gotten the FPS template to a point where there are a few different weapons: Semi automatic gun, Fully auto gun, burst fire gun, Energy gun(semi).
The players can: Run, Walk, Jump, Pickup weapons and energy cells.
I also have a "feature" you can take another players weapon (I have since then added a option to disable that), So you can run upto another player and take his weapon and shoot him with it :)

So, It has gotten to the point where I have to decide what to do with it.
Keep improving it, Or putting it aside (for now).

Keep improving it:

  • Don't use RPC's for automatic weapons, Instead have the clients simulate the shooting and leave the host authoritive.
  • Adding AI that does more then: Find closest player ->Run to that spot->Wait->Repeat.
  • Add a inventory.
  • New weapons: Shotgun, Beam weapons

    Putting aside for now:

    • Getting back to work on ToyMission.
    • Just (randomly) throwing stuff together for player testing.

      Decisions, decisions.

      Thats all for now.
      Till next time,

Greetings and salutations :)

It seams i've spent my dev time working with replication in UE4.
It is suprisingly easy so far, You mostly have to set variables and functions to be replicated (and wheather they are to be done reliable and are to run on the server, client, multicast).

I will still think and ponder on my issue with coming up and designing levels, I will probably run into such problems with any game I work on.
Hopefully I can overcome this deficit in my abality to create games.

The project that I have been tinkering with is the FPS demo template.
I have started adding stuff to it like: different weapons, pawns, and other general ground work.

I have been thinking of making this into a proper multiplayer (LAN) game for now, I have titled it "Generic shooter".
Very original name :cool:

Anybody got some tips on how to get into the whole level design stuff?
I have been reading up on it, But it is not helping yet.

Thats all for now.
Till next time,

Hello again.

Unfortunetly I have not started working on "Toy on a Mission" yet, It seams that messing around with UE4 networking is rather interesting.
I have got the FPS template to have the player replicated (but still have to replicate the weapons pitch) and have got a basis for weapons done.

Right now I have started making a "use item" input action to pickup a weapon placed in the map.
Altho, there seams to be a problem with how the collision on the weapon and traces(raycasts) work in that I had to fiddle around with the settings a bit to find one where it would show up for a trace.

Thats all for now.
Till next time,

Hello again.

Development has stalled :(

Taking Uncle Eck's Advice: again, I have been lazy.
I have not made time to work on this and I let some multiplayer testing distract me for a few hours (Added MP to the FPS template & ammo counter(mostly)).

My biggest problem is designing levels, I have done some reading some tips and tricks for designing puzzels.

So I am going to do my best to get back into the fray of making "Toy on a Mission".

That's all for now, Till next week.

PS: I wonder if I should change this to a per monthly entry.

Hello again :)

Unfortunetly I have not been able to spend as much time as I wanted to working on the game.
And I have been unable to create any moduler puzzle pieces.

Creating puzzles is much harder then I thought <_<
But, I have started looking into maze generation algorithims to help with that.
I think I am going to have to reconsider the whole puzzle pieces, Maybe do them differently so that it is more of a pizzle per section instead of some giant puzzle going around a cube.

Till next time,

Hello again, And welcome to this week's Journal entry.

Things done this week:

  • 65% done on the new level
  • [100%] Workout why the player looks like he is moving though molasses with the reduced Drop impulse, Solution: I used a player start actor to place the actor, Must have been a setting.
  • A few misc tweaks to existing blueprints
  • Added a teleport blueprint that will teleport the player between two stations after a warmup/cooldown cycle

    I won't be here for next week, So I will not be doing a entry next week.

    That's all for now, Thanks for reading.

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