Lecturer in Game Design | PhD Student

Honours Blog

Posts tagged Unreal Engine 4
19/02/15 Project Update

As stated in the previous blog entry, i'm starting to shift my focus a bit from my honours project to my dissertation. This week's work consisted of 2 larger models and 2 smaller prop models. Alongside modelling I also attempted to migrate my project to Unreal Engine 4, sadly to no avail. 

Models:

  • Book Shelf
  • Side Table
  • Telephone
  • Record Sleeve

Textures:

  • Book Shelf
  • Side Table
  • Record Sleeve

Engine:

  • I attempted to use Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) once more as I had sorted an old lighting issue with walls. Unfortunately this was another failed attempt as for some reason a much less populated scene in UE4 was far more processor intensive than my fuller UDK scene.  I am once more abandoning UE4 in favour of UDK. This is my last attempt at using UE4 for Forget-Me-Knot. 

Gallery of Updates:


Another attempt at using Unreal Engine 4


Summary:

At my supervisor meeting we discussed plans for my honours project and what to focus on. Myself along with my peer (who is in the same allocated meeting slot) were told that our focus should be on 'selling' our projects for their art value. If this is the case for the honours submission and showcase, I will have to cut down the scope of the project and limit it to one room setting. This will strip most of the narrative progression and a lot of the intentions out of my honours project, but I can see why he has suggested to focus on making a more visually striking piece. I still intend to complete the project with a full narrative and progression at some point, but with 6 weeks until the deadline the focus will be more on creating a room with strong environmental storytelling aspects to it. By narrowing the scope further, I will try to concentrate on creating better textures with more "depth" to them so that the wear and tear on certain objects will hopefully spark thought in the player.

In terms of the dissertation i'm nearly at a stage where I can start properly writing my case studies. These will make up a large sum of the dissertation so this will be my primary focus for the time being in terms of the dissertation.


Next Steps:

Models:

  • Typewriter
  • Magazines/Newspaper
  • Magazine Rack
  • TV Remotes

Textures:

  • Typewriter
  • Magazines/Newspaper (A few variations hopefully)
  • Magazine Rack
  • TV Remotes
Terrain, Lighting, Fog and Player POV

While looking through the settings in UE4 I noticed more in-dept control over player view, fog, terrain, lighting etc. The most interesting for my honours project was the player view controls, I found a way to make the character short/long sighted. This could prove interesting as I may implement a mechanic around the character requiring glasses to see properly. Unreal Engine 4 appears to have more accessible controls over the more intricate details which I am finding quite enjoyable to explore.

Further Exploration in Unreal Engine 4

These tests in Unreal Engine 4 were done to test the export/import pipeline into Unreal as well as testing 'mood'. I feel with the screenshots above the game has more of a horror vibe to it, I'm not sure whether to stray away from this, or attempt to embrace it. After more research in the illness has been done I may try portray the 'aggressive' symptom with this method of visual portrayal. There were few/no instances of lighting or shadow issues which I encountered in UDK due to light mapping issues.

Note: Textures applied to models are tests and not final.

First experiments in Unreal Engine 4

This was my first experience (first time opening) Unreal Engine 4. I decided that I would experiment with a few of the features that I enjoyed the most in UDK: Terrain Tool, Skybox, Lighting and Water. The experiment was just a quick 'play around' with some of the tools later on in the evening, but I still think the results from just building an environment without any tutorials or assistance were quite nice.

Honours Project Subject: Dementia

For my honours project, I wish to create a game which brings awareness to the illness that is dementia. The game will be an interactive 3D exploration based art experience similar to games like Dear Esther, 9.03m and Gone Home . Narrative will potentially be delivered indirectly through objects, but could also be implemented through some narration of the characters thoughts. The reason I chose to create a game based around dementia was due to the lack of awareness, support and the fact that the illness is one that has effected people close to me. I realise that  such a sensitive topic must be handled with utmost care as not to offend or cause controversy with people, thus extensive research into the illness and portrayal of  character must be taken.

Dementia effects people differently be it changes in personality, insecurity, forgetting faces and loved ones etc. But the one thing that is a constant is the constant deterioration. Once someone begins to suffer from dementia, there is currently no proper way to halt the process. For my project I will have to create mechanics or find mechanics that will best represent the symptoms and the constant deterioration of the characters condition.

I intend to base the narrative from stories of people who have had loved ones who have suffered from the illness and memoirs/diary excerpts from my Grandfather (Opa). This will inject a more personal element into the game and will hopefully allow for more self-expression in the final piece.

Areas I will need to research further into for the project to move forward:

  • Dementia (And Alzheimers)
  • Unreal Engine 4
  • Delivering narrative both directly and indirectly
  • Studies on similar games

Deliverables for first semester:

  • Concept Art/Storyboards
  • Game Design Document (or rough template)
  • Working Prototype of mechanics & visuals