Development state video #4 – 28.08.2017


One Gun

Recently, I put a lot of focus into the gun. The game is named after it, so it damn better be iconic! Or at least recognizeable, I don't dare to compete with the likes of the Portal Gun.

Also, I went to an interview for an internship at a large gaming company. I'll see how it went in two weeks time, but in the meantime, instead of counterproductively waiting, I plan to get at least some upgrades done, both mechanically and artistically. And, as always, a more detailed breakdown on the video in the rest of the post!

New gun HUD

My friend recently sent me a video (be advised, in Polish) saying "hey, maybe it could be of use". And as it turns out – it was.

The video was talking about where the player looks during a game, how putting a diegetic UI in the center of focus (think: Isaac Clarke's suit in Dead Space) is a good design, since people look at the middle of the screen regardless, how peripheral vision is imprecise, et cetera. So I decided to implement those ideas, and put the most important parts of the HUD onto the gun. It's near the center of the screen, it's in focus, and if you want more precise data you can always look at the bigger bars at the bottom of the screen.

New weapon sounds & projectiles

The sound needed the biggest overhaul. So far, the gun sound was the default sound that comes with Unreal's default FPS template. Not a good long-term solution. The new sound also better fits my vision of what the weapon should be and what it should feel like. It's not a plasma cannon that sends projectiles that break sound barrier twice over – it's a fancy grenade launcher, and the new sound better gives that feeling away.

As for the projectiles, their new shape is somewhat of a byproduct. I intended there to be an energy sphere inside a metal cage, but... Yeah, the whole energy sphere deal didn't quite work out. So I just applied the previous projectile material to the cage itself and left it at that. It's 100% a subject to change.

I created new explosion particles too. Not as big, not as flashy, and don't look like a party popper. I'm still not pleased with them, though. And with my particle making skills in their entirety, to be honest.

Last change to the projectiles was new trail. The previous one was using the same texture the explosion was, so it also looked like the projectile was leaving a trail of ketchup&mustard-coloured confetti behind. New trail uses a different material, and it looks much smoother, however it's still not perfect. It's choppy. And if I try to make it any smoother,, I fear the performance hit will be significant. Nothing that cannot be solved, though!

New skybox

Not really a new skybox, but rather a skybox. The original scene had a default blue sky skybox, so I removed it, and was working with no skybox at all. But I'd like the levels to have at least some windows, so I had to make a replacement.

Thankfully, I found Spacescape, an amazing, if a bit coarse, program that allows the user to create space skyboxes, with galaxies, stars, supernovae, all that good stuff. The current skybox is a slightly modified version of the one that comes default with Spacescape, but one day I'l make my own. With blackjack and hookers.

New gun design

In my eyes, the highlight of this update. 100% original model and 100% original textures, created by yours truly. Finally a worthy replacement to the default Unreal asset. Does it look kinda plain? Perhaps. It should. The upgrades you collect are what will make it pop! You know how crazy Isaac can look in TBOI, and that's the goal. Just with a gun instead. So probably there won't be any tonsil stones or rag dolls. Or will there..?

Afterword

Full steam ahead! When the upgrades are largely done, it'll be time to tackle the beast ? enemies and enemy AI. And although I already have some enemy designs ready, that's the easy part.