Saturday, November 12, 2016

Game Design

My two great games are Skyrim and Bioshock Infinite, and they both fight for my most favorite game.

Skyrim revolutionized rpgs and the community that it built is incredible. Skyrim lets the player freely roam around a vast gorgeous world encountering hidden dungeons, surprise dragon fights, important side quests, and the occasional funny moment. The player is not limited to stay on the main storyline and is encouraged to stray from that path. No quest in Skyrim feels tedious or boring, and each one has in depth thought, lore, and in-game changes. The combat in Skyrim is fluid and responsive while given the option to play in third person as well as first person. The only thing that needed some work in Skyrim that I can think of was the clunky UI.

Bioshock Infinite is a more singular game that forces the player on one path. But it is a hell of a path. The story is extremely well crafted, the art style is amazing and crisp, and you truly feel for the main characters which most games are unable to achieve. The AI in Bioshock Infinite is probably the best I've seen in a game. Maybe not so much the enemies but Elizabeth is the best AI companion. She is able to give you weapons and health while in combat, she can get you out of sticky situations, and never gets in the players way.

My two disliked games would have to be, this is tough, two MMOs Blade and Soul and Tera.

I've loved MMORPGs ever since my WoW days and it's difficult to find good ones nowadays. Blade and Soul was a game I tried after quitting the dreaded WoW. The game aesthetics were pretty terrible when you started off the game but I saw how beautiful the game could get if I progressed. Combat was fast paced but slow and clunky at first. The starting grind was pretty bad at the start and that was what probably made me quit it. One can only handle so many MMO grinds.

Tera is a beautiful game that loses players pretty quick at the start. Players are given a tease of playing a high level character in the prologue of the game and then sent back down to a lowly peasant after it. I actually like this feature because it shows players how the game will be like if you can get through the horrendous grind. And the grind is.......horrendous. Not the worst I've experienced but it's bad. I even had seen videos of amazing higher level gameplay and the tedious grind counteracted my previous feelings. I'm not saying just spoon-feed the player, but make the grind fun.. Black Desert is a good example of that. The combat in Tera was pretty open to the player but slow at first. The world was beautiful but the static AI made it feel lifeless.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


1. Pressing buttons of an elevator.
2. Steering wheel of your car.
3. Traffic lights while driving.
4. TV Remote for a TV.
5. Dials on a stove to cook.
6. Pressing buttons of a microwave.
7. Pushing down the lever of a toaster.
8. Crosswalk signals.
9. Radio dials or stereo buttons.
10. Buttons of an alarm clock.

If I had to give a specific example I would say the addition of hand controllers to the Vive. They are easy to use yet you can do a vast amount of things with them. Coming from an artist point of view, seeing artists able to paint in 3D space in a virtual reality setting is amazing. The Oculus started off using an xbox controller which limits what a player can do, but they are releasing hand controllers to compete.

A bad example is one that was great in theory but terrible in practice, the Kinect. Most likely because there weren't really any good games for it. All the Kinect does is track your form in 3D space and relay the information to the xbox. Microsoft could have made a great push into VR since they already had a good tracking camera for it.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


#1 Fairness
Our game should be fair to the player yet challenging, The housemother shouldn't be able to catch you every time she sees you, but it will be a challenge to get away from her when she does. As well, the game will get more difficult as you progress.

#2 Challenge vs Success
Again, it will be a challenge to not be seen by the housemother and to get away when she does. When you do succeed in not being seen or getting away then you can progress to the next level of the game which will be more challenging.

#3 Meaningful Choices
The player has the choice to hide where they want to hide, use which weapon they want to use, and go where they want. It is in a controlled environment and the choice to do nothing is still a choice and will have a specific outcome.

#4 Skill vs Chance
The players skill comes into play when trying to navigate around the map without being seen, finding different paths to take, and getting away when in danger. There will always be the chance that the housemother is right outside a door ready to catch you or a chance that she may or may not check the room you are in.

#5 Head vs Hands
Our game is fairly simple on controls as long as you are familiar with standard game controls. Walking, running, crouching, pressing to interact with objects, and attacking will be basically all of our controls. It is up to the players skill to react quick enough in some situations. Regardless the controls are fairly easy.

#6 Competition vs Cooperation
I wouldn't say this applies to our game since it is singleplayer. You could see how fast you can beat the game and compete with others but there will be no feature that displays how fast you did it.

#7 Short vs Long
Our game will be relatively long and the player can make strategies to win on one floor but when he moves up a floor it can get more difficult. Thus, making the player find new strategies. You will also have to backtrack to the basement when you've completed a floor adding another challenge that the player must overcome.

#8 Rewards
There aren't really rewards in our game other than the accomplished feeling of succeeding in your goal. Maybe a reward is the motherly love you receive from the venus weed after completing a level.

#9 Punishment
The punishment for getting caught in our game is that the night you are playing starts over. If you completed a floor already you will still have that complete, but the progress you made on a different floor up until you were caught will be lost. As well the player may be thrown outside the orphanage needing to find a way back in.

#10 Freedom vs Controlled Experience
The player has the freedom to roam around the level at the risk of being caught, chose which weapon to use if you find it, and how they go about completing the level. This has constraints as you can tell. The player is constrained to a specific level, we control where weapons are places, where you are able to hide, and how difficult a level will be.

#11 Simple vs Complex
I would say the premise of the game is simple but challenging. It is very complex behind the scenes to make AI run how they are supposed to, how items are able to be equipped, when certain things spawn, when the level resets, etc. The player may not directly see the complexity of the game, especially if they have played other games of a higher quality.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Assets Into Unreal

I showed off some of the models we have made already but I'll just re-show a specific one I made in 3DS Max. I prefer Max to blender because I feel it has a better interface. Here is the dresser I made relatively quickly in Max.
I UV unwrapped it and exported it to Substance Painter. Applied a Smart Material and a little bit of edge-wear for the clean material then increased it to create a more worn look. Exported the textures from Substance Painter, imported them and the model into Unreal, and created the materials and placed them on the model. There are three materials because one is the knobs just in case I want to change that material.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Game Assets

Created a 3D bed model for the orphanage with different blankets using cloth physics in 3DS Max. UV unwrapped everything and made it ready for Substance Painter. May need to make lower poly versions but when I tested the hit to FPS in Unreal it was virtually non-existent, at least on my rig.    
Just starting to texture it in Substance Painter.

Also worked on a dresser that will go next to the beds in the game. I may implement animations for the drawers so the player can open them. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Unreal Mini-mini Game

Started off with a completely blank scene. Added a directional light, skybox, and floor. Attached the skybox to the light. Set up the axis and action inputs in the project settings. Created a new character with just a camera and capsule, and game mode to use the character.

Got stuck because the axis events weren't showing up in the character blueprint. Turns out I just had to reopen the project. Then setup all the movement.

Then I created a box out of cubes and set the glass material on each. I then modified the Sparks blueprint a little, placed some inside the cube, and set some things in the level blueprint.

Hopefully this link works: