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Doom Challenge - Update

Just a little update on my progress for this challenge. Instead of making pixel art for the items and the enemies, I have used Blender to model them in 3D and rendered them in images. All that remains now is the necromancer character, which I have done but not totally satisfied with it. Especially the animation which I had problems with, due to difficulties with the rigging. This was my first time with Blender modeling a character so the result was not convincing. But I have to say that they have greatly improved the UI in Blender 2.8, it feels more like 3DS MAX. You have the option to use a flashlight in the levels. This was inspired a little by Doom III. But since you can see all the 2D characters, the challenge is found in searching your way in the map and not really to uncover enemies. The map is about 75% done but subject to change.  Your main weapon is a wand called the Nebula Wand with which you can shoot mini suns with it. You will be able to pickup crystals to change the projectile type of the wand. The music is a remix I have done of Internal Mechanics by LPChip, added some electric guitar in one of the channels.  

Hermetix

Hermetix

 

Total Doom

I have decided to try this challenge, which should be fun. But since I will developping on a rather low end laptop, I have chosen to prototype the game using THREE.js, and might use Unity later on.I personally do not like Javascript, because it is easy to make mistakes and not know where they are, and also that you have to depend on a gazillion other modules to have a working program. But I will not complain since the dev environment I am in does not give me much choice. The story: Necromancers from another dimension have invaded Earth to gather and manipulate Terran (human) souls to help them gain enough power to conquer their known universe. You as agent K. Kryss, a cybermage working for the V.I.P.E.R. (Very Intelligent Powerful Empyrean Rulers) agency, must infiltrate necromancer infested locations, and assassinate their commanders, to restore peace on Earth. The game is, of course, going to have DOOM gameplay elements such as keys to open doors, armor, health packs etc. Implementing Movement The first thing I wanted to implement was the particular DOOM movement, which has an up and down head motion. I simply used a sine function to emulate this motion and the result was close enough. To make it move fast enough I multiplied the phase by a scalar (10). moveForward(elapsedTime) { var dir = new THREE.Vector3(0,0,0); this.camera.getWorldDirection(dir); var newVelocity = new THREE.Vector3(dir.x*this.axisSpeed,0,dir.z*this.axisSpeed); var deltaHeight; deltaHeight = Math.sin(10*elapsedTime); // head motion runningTime += elapsedTime; this.position.set(this.position.x + newVelocity.x, 0, this.position.z + newVelocity.z); this.camera.position.set(this.position.x, this.position.y+deltaHeight, this.position.z); }   The rest is easy enough to code, simply move along the x and z axis according to where the player is facing. Map Editing Since I do not use an engine (for now) and this is my first time using THREE.js, I do not have a map editor. So basically the map is a collection of cubic walls and tiles that are stored by a coded number inside a 2d array. There is a number code for keys, health packs, armor, enemies etc as well.  Time to make the sprites now. Since this is my first try at pixel art, things are going to be tougher from now on. 

Hermetix

Hermetix

 

Dungeon Crawler Challenge - Store Update

Had a little spare time and decided to make the store you access after you complete the first level. You can buy 3 weapons with higher damage rate than the sword. The Hatchet, the Great Blade, or the Forging Hammer.     Also just found out that Epic released their free marketplace assets today and there are dungeon assets in there, so I might start doing the second dungeon soon if I have time.  

Hermetix

Hermetix

 

Post-Mortem Of The Dungeon Crawler Challenge

First I would like to say that I had a lot of fun attempting this challenge. I never participated in anything like this before. I voted for the Doom and the Dungeon Crawler choices in the challenge poll and was satisfied to see that they both came out on top. What went wrong I will start with what went wrong when I started this project, which uses the Unreal Engine. Probably the toughest thing I had to code, was the AI. It simply did not do what I wanted it to do at first and it took me several tries just to get it right. I had to turn on and look at the AI debug screen to see what was wrong. Turns out that my AI's cone of vision was completely disoriented due to a badly aligned capsule component. I simply rotated the capsule 90 degrees and the cone of vision was correct afterwards. But later on I got rid of the 45 degrees vision cone and replaced it with one with full circle so that the enemy could sense the player as if it had eyes all around its head. It was more adequate for the kind of AI that this game would require.  Another problem that I encountered was that sometimes the AI would stop moving after I had made some changes on the map. It took me several hours to realize that I had to rebuild the map navigation data because the AI simply did not move otherwise. What went right This project uses Blueprints for the most part, with some C++ for the basic player movement, setup and camera orientation. I found that Blueprints are extremely easy to use and let you iterate and prototype your game much much faster than pulling up Visual Studio, write some C++ code and wait a while for the code to compile after you make some changes. This is one of the problems with UE4 in my opinion since it takes much longer to compile your C++ code, than to compile your Blueprints. Unity has the upper hand in this as the C# compiles very quickly. This is probably why Epic Games are considering creating an intermediate scripting language between Blueprints and C++. https://www.reddit.com/r/unrealengine/comments/aezhdv/it_seems_people_at_epic_are_considering_adding/   So, it was a breeze to simply code game logic using these Blueprints and it did not take me long to adopt them. I am considering nativizing them so I can basically learn how they map to C++, and also to optimize the code. If I do, I will publish the source code on GitHub. What I have learned I learned how to use UE4, in my view the most versatile and powerful engine there is to make games right now. You can do so much with it, not just games but all kinds of things from movie content to architectural design. I learned how to use Blueprints, which at first I thought they were kind of bad since the nodes take so much space and to perform common programming things like loops, branching, etc. it is not ideal.  I learned how to design an AI using UE4's behavior trees and AI perceptions. It was not easy at first, but it was satisfying to finally make it work. Level design is another thing I had to improve, and this time it was a bit better than the usual basic things I have done in the past, mostly with Quake 3's level editor. Conclusion This challenge helped me learn a lot of things, and I am looking forward to see which challenges will be proposed in the future. I will go back to focus on my own engine, which uses D3D11/12, and will use what I have learned with UE4 to improve my own code.  

Hermetix

Hermetix

 

Dungeon Crawler Challenge - Loot

So I have worked on making the loot assets for the game, using Blender. I used to be a 3DS MAX person, but the thing takes too much space on my small SSD for my needs and Blender can do practically everything that 3DS MAX can. And Blender is completely free. Not much to lose there. There are 3 types of loot that you can find in my game, health potions, resurrection potions and a single key, the Soul Key, that lets you pass through the Soul Gate to reach the next level. The health potion, which gives you back health points: The resurrection potion, which brings you back to life instantly if you die and do not have to restart the level: The Soul Key: The other thing is a credit loot, gold bars (probably the easiest thing to model, only have to find the gold texture to go with it). I am planning on making a store level after each completed level so the player can buy stuff with it. Hmmm shiny gold bars...  The gold pickup particle system is a simple particle system that I made in UE4 with a translucent emissive gold colored material, also made in UE4.    Well that is it. All that remains is to randomize the loot spawning so that the player can pickup more than one type of loot. And also assign keyboard input or an inventory system so that the player can use it.  

Hermetix

Hermetix

 

Dungeon Crawler Challenge - First Look and Introduction

Hi everyone, this is my first blog here, even though I have joined last year, so I will introduce myself first. I am a software developer from Montreal, Canada, with a B.Sc. in computer science and I have some experience making games, but this is my first attempt using the UE4 engine. I knew practically nothing about this engine until very recently. I only had to read some tutorials and the UE4 docs and was able to partially create this game for the Dungeon Crawler Challenge without too much difficulty. I have some decent experience with Unity but I really feel that UE4 is a superior engine, allowing you to have much more control over your product. I was a bit overwhelmed at first by all the parameters, to be honest.  So basically, my game revolves around a warrior character who is stuck in an "Underworld" type of series of dungeons. He needs to cross the 7 Soul Gates, scattered inside 7 maps, to ascend out of the world. Dante's Inferno was somewhat of my inspiration for this project. Each level has a boss to defeat. I will not say more than that. I am not sure if I will have time to make all 7 levels before the challenge ends, but it will definitely be a goal afterwards.  Most of the assets were taken from the ActionRPG game example on the Unreal Marketplace. They just look awesome. I only took what I need from it and migrated it to a new project, which is a lot more lightweight. I was able to make one map, the AI for the enemies (goblin type characters), the basic game logic with all the damage taken and given, all the animation logic (state machines and such), HUD, health bars, and part of the main menu which has an animated material on it that looks rather cool (will post images later). All that remains now is creating all the loot assets, spawning loot and making the game logic for using the loot in different ways, and also for map goal reaching.  Overall I am pretty satisfied with this project so far. UE4 is tons of fun to use. Much more than Unity in my opinion. I struggled a bit with Unity because some of the UI seems somewhat counter-intuitive. UE4 has a lot of nested menus though, which sometimes can make it hard to navigate and find what you are looking for. But I have adopted this engine and I will develop most of my games with it...

Hermetix

Hermetix

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