The build is up for download at Production build
This week I finished the blockout for level 1. It’s now fully playable, initial feedback says it’s too hard though. I’ll add some easier paths later.
It was my job to implement the Avatar mesh with correct animations in the game. I started out with finishing the low-poly mesh. That meant finalizing the design on some aspects of the character. The hardest design elements to create were the legs and the feet. After some experimenting I was pleased with the result.
Low-poly mesh of the legs and feet of the character
After this I rigged the main character, this was a pretty straightforward process.
Stress test of the character rig
Then I started implementing the cloth physics on the main character. Since I already knew the workflow of APEX cloth, this went relatively smoothly.
Apex cloth setup in 3DS Max
However, when I started implementing all my work into the Unreal Engine, everything fell apart. Apparently Apex cloth doesn’t work with the 4.14 release of Unreal. I realized this after about a day of troubleshooting.
Cloth errors in Unreal 4.14
When I tried to implement the cloth physics in a 4.13 Unreal project, everything worked fine.
Correct Cloth implementation in Unreal 4.13
Also everything else related to animations and skeletal meshes is broken in some way in 4.14. We wanted to use animation retargeting to use some animations we found online, but this feature also doesnt work with the newest Unreal version.
Early test of animation retargeting in 4.13, it still has a lot of issues, but at least it works.
This week I have mainly focused on implementing a wall run to give a better platforming feeling. The wall runs are predefined to make sure you cannot break out of the levels.
I also started with a collectible to test an implement a base saving system, this can be further expanded for other stuff
This week I’ve made around 10 rockmeshes to fill up the natural space where humans didn’t build their big structures.
I’ve also combined them into a bigger wallmesh to easily fill up big spaces at once.
This week i began with implementing the menu and option menu with graphics and sound options.
Added a action combat mode to the aiming for easier aiming.
fixed and improved a lot of systems.
This week I worked on some sketches for our levels. We decided to make one big level and let the player visit different areas of it as levels.
This week I’ve spend most of my time working on taking the idea of the artlevel Olmo created and making the portalhub out of it. The main idea is that you have 4 sides with 4 differnt portals to go to the different levels. With a small jumping puzzle you get to the desired portal.
After that I started with making the hi poly meshes of the environmental rocks. Those will be used to fill up the non human made environment.
Now that we finally established a definitive artstyle for our game, Tigo could continue to work on the environments while I designed the main character. Since the player is always looking at the avatar model, we wanted to make sure that the mesh looked and animated nicely. The main idea of the character was to design a simple, female, sci-fi character with a cloak. From early on we decided to give her a slender build to represent her speed and agility.We also wanted to accentuate legs of the character with clothing, this reflects the fact that running and jumping are the main types of interaction with the environment.
Early design sketches, illustrating the slender build with accentuated legs.
After making a fair ammount of thumbnails, I decided to block out the big volumes of the character in 3D. I used Zbrush for this. After I was happy with the main shape, I detailed the parts made of cloth, to later bake down to normal maps.
WIP sculpt of the main character
The final shapes blocked out in Zbrush.
Then I took the mesh into 3DS Max to create the low-poly mesh and design the hard surface elements of the Avatar, like the helm and the legs. I wanted to create a clean topology for the character, but I allowed myself to use a fair ammount of polys to get the shape definition that I wanted.
CloseUp of the topology flow of the low-poly mesh.
The final low-poly mesh, optimisation still needs to be done. Some elements need to be added.
After I made the low-poly basemesh, I imported it into unreal to see the result. Some optimisation still needs to happen and some detailed elements still need to be added.
The final basemesh rendered in Unreal, with testmaterials applied.
This week I implemented a ledgegrab (without animations). It uses 2 raycasts to determine where the ledge is and if you have to grab it or not.
I also started with the mainmenu with placeholder items and graphics. We wanted to not have a menuheavy design for the game so I played around with a smooth camera transition to the playercharacter when starting the game, to give the illusion that you where always in the gameworld.