[Devlog] Project XB (Untitled prototyping)

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jonaz.dk
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Re: A peek at Project XB (Dark alien shooty shooty game) early work in progress

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 03 May 2021, 10:52

Tak tak @ZeroHero :)

Faktisk er karakteren allerede godt under budget på tricount. De nuværende Unreal Engine mannequins er på 41K tris. Og der er helt sikker plads til at trække den længere ned hvis der bliver behov for det. Blender er forresten **FLIPPING MAGIC!!** når man har en skinnet mesh og hiver lidt i tri count med decimante modifieren. Bortset fra det bliver lidt en trekantssuppe. Men det kan man ikke se in-game alligevel så det går nok når UVs og skin weights informationen overlever.
Der kommer så flere bones i min karakter som koster lidt. Men tror det går!?! Skal i hvert fald holde øje med performance og antal bones. (Update: Eller nej ved nærmere eftersyn kommer der færre eller ca. samme antal bones!) :)

Og så er der selvfølgelig spawning og AI cost. Men har allerede lavet noget arbejde der som det kører ok nice. En C++ optimering længere henne i projektet vil helt sikkert kunne give en del.

Men som udgangspunkt har jeg ikke de store bekymringer. Er generelt imponeret over UE4 performance.
Selv på et gammelt GTX 650 skulle seneste build faktisk køre fint i nuværende form. (call me super surprised!) :D

Og hvis det skulle være helt galt kunne man kigge lidt på Niagara til crowds... it's amazeballs! Har godt nok ikke brug for SÅ store crowds som det viste. Sådan i hvert fald liiige indtil jeg finder på noget andet senere måske. ;)
Og nok ikke noget jeg får kigget på nu og her. Men en mulig fremtidig optimering. Skal lige få set lidt på denne her video om hvor brugbart det er til mit formål.

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Re: A peek at Project XB (Dark alien shooty shooty game) early work in progress

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 11 May 2021, 01:15

Work in progress rigging.
Rig almost done.. I'm done for the night at least.

Also!! First rig in Blender EVER! :) Learning lots of new stuff and hoping I'm not screwing too much stuff up!
Trying to get as much procedural animation in the rig as possible with the standard tools. Hope it works out!
Also also... I really like rigging in Blender.. It's flipping awesome so far! Can't wait to get the character up and running in Unreal with physics on guts and gory parts. :cool: I'd rather have to scale it down a notch than not do cool stuff. :)

Also super happy I chose to do the character myself as opposed to just grabbing some random monster off the shelf which I did consider. Really nice to go through the full learning process and pipeline in Blender to Unreal.

Skinning will be interesting.. hope everything goes well when I get some time!

Pulling around single bones in Blender.
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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled)

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 18 May 2021, 01:39

Small update for tonight's work.
Biggest challenge still remains finding time+energy to work on the project. Busy life!

But skinning is done! And exported to Unreal. Stuff works first try! :D Yay!

Though skinning was not as smooth in Blender as the rigging part. It's quite tedious when you have to do manual tweaks going back and forth between the modes of weight painting and posing. I'm used to working in 3dsmax years ago and there are no special modes like in Blender. The process more or less blends together making it a lot easier to skin and check the poses.
Though the out of the box automatic skinning in Blender is pretty sweet! But it does need some manual tweaks to get really going. Especially on this type of more complex character with some special functionality.

The whole shading looks a bit different from Mixer with pretty default shader setup in Unreal. Obviously the lighting is different. Some limbs are detachable so I hope I will be able to shoot them off at some point and have them ragdoll around with splatter splatter/gore particles all over the place.

Next on the table.. doing the needed animation. And figuring out how the hell to implement an actual animated character in the game. 8O

Also this is just a test animation done in like 5 seconds only moving the pelvis to verify the skeleton and skinning works. No physics on gory parts yet. Might be a bit (or most certainly) overkill and should probably be done in animation and you might not even notice in the game... buuuut.. I'll give it a shot anyways. Because cool! :)
In that process of physics setup I would sadly have to watch a lot of Unreal boob-physics tutorial videos. It's a hard job but I will push through with vigilance for the greater cause!
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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled)

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 08 Jun 2021, 00:46

So! It's been a while with an update. Too little geektime in my life. :cry:
The individual animations didn't really take a lot of time. But finding little time and energy here and there has been challenging. Also I shouldn't work on the project till 2 in the night.. damn that sucks the energy out of my old system. :|
Maybe till 1 in the night is just fine. So I think I'll go for that. ;)

So now a first pass on the animations for the alien creature is done!
Pretty happy how the rig performed. I know it's not perfect for everything. But for these very specific animations it held up pretty great! :D
Obviously it would be suuuper nice with a ton of other animations to really bring the creature to life. But that would have to be pushed to much later in the project. Because time! Always time. :rolleyes

Also.. I'm pretty rusty in 3D animation in general. It's been many years since the last 3D animation. These are also my first Blender character animations ever! Used to do animations on Hugo the troll in 3dsmax many many moons ago and I got a bit bored with animation in the process and haven't touched it much since. A little here and there including 2D animation in Spine, but not a whole lot. Fun to pick it up again after some years on pause and in new software.

Pretty happy with the results so far!
Hope I don't have to go back and tweak too much when the animations eventually makes it into the game and things shows for real how it works. But that should be expected.

And now for Blender GIFs time!
Fairly close to the camera angle you see in the game.

Attack animation
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Hurt animation
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Idle animation (The GIF loop is not perfect and the animation isn't either.. so should fix that)
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Run animation (Should be faster.. but that is easy tweaking)
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Walk animation
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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled)

Unread post by ZeroHero » 08 Jun 2021, 11:12

Looks pretty sweet If you ask me! Good to see progress. Keep it coming!

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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled)

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 16 Jun 2021, 02:34

Thanks! @ZeroHero :D

And now for a small project update!

Wooohooo!! :D :D :D
This is amazing! I actually managed to get the creature into the game!
I did fear it would be suuuper cumbersome and would take ages to get working with animation. But then I just jumped into it and following the existing character's setup. And it wasn't that bad really with a bit of fiddeling around here and there. Took a few hours with no prior knowledge at all on how to do these things.
One thing.. Unreal kinda sucks when you are trying to trim frames in animation clips... But doable. As I could do loops easier in blender when there is a little fluff before start and end of the animation. Or maybe I couldn't find the proper place to adjust it.

Also tweaked a bunch of other stuff in the level. Expanded the test level a bit. Lots of light.. it was needed! Especially when you are playing in daylight. (I'm usually not) ;) Also a more blue tone in general. Works better me thinks.
Also turned up the character light WAAAY more. Just for you Jesper. ;)
Removed some functionality like the pulse scanner and added the second iteration of the force field (love it! still an ugly blue box).
Also aliens are now more visible with some reddish light. Perhaps not as scary but it communicates well.

And totally bailing on the jiggle physics for now.. would be fun and cool but I don't think it would be noticeable in the game and perf cost reasons. Perhaps saving for a later date.
Still getting some stuttering on my medium aging hardware. (4 years old now) :rolleyes

There is still LOTS of stuff to work on and do better. The walk cycle didn't work well with the slower movement of the creatures.
But I'm just suuuper happy I got stuff working after a small bit of tinkering.. there is just something about seeing your work in the game. Flipping magic! :D

Sunday my laptop went black screen of death! :cry:
So I had to do some emergency repairs and reinstalling windows+software packages on a new 512GB SSD. So that ate some precious devtime... But now I'm and running again with no data loss. :cool:
I have been battling the factory installed super small 128GB windows partition for years now. So finally getting a much needed upgrade.

Oh bugger.. it became late again. Not inteded. :rolleyes

Shorter GIF of video of Prototype Video 2.
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Protype Video 2 (Me sucking at my own game)

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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled prototyping)

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 16 Jul 2021, 17:43

Long time since last update!

Things are great! Getting work done pretty much every day on the project. 🤓👍
Also the scope for the prototype kind of keeps growing. 😬😬🥵🥵🙄 Thinking the game needs an injection of more immersive sim like structure to take it to it's fullst potential. But that also comes with a lot of extra functionality beyond basic shooter with stealth elements. The goal is >something awesome<. So that's what I aim to do! Minus online/local coop things that would be just a too big bite for me personally implement. But could most deffo be awesome. Who knows maybe somewhere down the line.
Soooo might give it 2 years of sparetime development to hit the mark I want. And I could probablt call it a vertical slice by then.
🤔 lets see! Originally I was thinking about 1 year of prototyping.

Some things include
- Doors! That can squish enemies and player.
- mockup of square level tiles. Including sneaky paths where enemies doesn't folllow and walikng below the floor.
- Floor can be destroyed by acid etc.
- Force field enhanced visuals with a volumetric look.
- Lots of screen shake and particles.
- Physics interactions when shooting stuff.
- Explosive barrels spawns a field of fire that can ignite player/enemies.
- Removed minimap and pulse indication. Replaced with an always clear indication of aliens in the dark. There will be another map later.
- Some UI improvements.
- And tons of oher small tweaks and some bugfixes.

Video 3 (a bit shitty framerate due to grabbing. Otherwise it runs just fine)

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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled prototyping)

Unread post by Jesper Nielsen » 29 Jul 2021, 15:59

Det ser så fedt ud - og lyd gør bare så meget ved oplevelsen.

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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled prototyping)

Unread post by ZeroHero » 30 Jul 2021, 12:15

Nice progress Jonaz!
Your game is looking great, keep it up! 🙂

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Re: [Devlog] Project XB (Untitled prototyping)

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 09 Aug 2021, 01:17

Thanks guys! :)

I was planning to do a better update.. buuuut! I've just been to busy working on the game to do a proper update with GIFs and video.
Still progress pretty much every day! Love it! (Still !.. maybe I will hate the project at some point. But for now it's pure love. The current state of the prototype has certainly proven to myself that I indeed would like to continue working on it for the foreseeable future. So that goal has been reached!) :D

Also had a REALLY NICE!! 'workcation'! Got a lot of shit done!
- A lot of polish! Acid and fire is now physics based (simplisticly). Acid and fire leaves permanent marks in the world.
- Acid/alien goo floor decals has this really nice shader effect that looks like small worming creatures are worming about. In reality it's a tweaked water shader.
- Polished the force field with a bit of animation and particles.
- A map with radar ping thingies!!
- Improved doors and wall lights.
- Added an early pass on alien nest/egg thingies.
- Just did the first pass on a 3D printing shop this evening. Actually functional. Ammo for the handgun can be bought. But still super early days on that.
- Fixed some bugs.
- Made some bugs.
- Probably spent too much time on polish stuff vs. important gameplay stuff. But it feels soooo good to see the game with a tiny coat of polish. :D :blush
- Ate more performance than is probably good with a ton of spawning decals and particles.
- Added the Voxel Plugin just for fun. Removed it again. But was fun to shoot and create blobby voxels with the player
- Tweaked some weapons. Made the hangun the most stealthly gun but really weak. And made the sniper with one shot kills bad and loud.

And a few screenshots!

Current early pass on the alien eggs.. right now they grow after shooting an alien. Still stort of in a trial phase to nail down the role excatly. Also eggs and nest things kind of forces me to do a flamethrower at some point. ;)
Also 3D printer on the right of the image. Bright blueish round machine.
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The map! Zooms out directly from the player. Magic! Has a rotating radar thingine that shows enemies and loot as blips. More functionality will be added at some point. Like remote controlling stuff you hacked.
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Boring GIT commits!
http://www.jonaz.dk/PXB/pxb03.png
http://www.jonaz.dk/PXB/pxb04.png

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