Reflective Journal #3 Week beginning 20/03/2017

Entry #1- Idea generation

This week i began my work by generating some ideas for the puzzles that i want to include for my half of the project, as we have planned to do two puzzles each. I started out by making a list of puzzle considerations; things i will take into account when designing puzzles for our game. I read though a number of articles on Gamasutra, which i feel really helped me when it came to thinking of ideas and considerations to take into account. It has also given me a few good examples of games that i can play to get an idea of how to structure the puzzles within our game.

I then began to list some ideas of puzzles; along with some sketches and descriptions as to how i want them to function and look. This will help me when it comes to modelling the actual assets as i already have some idea as to how they will look. In addition to this, it will also help me when i come to create the blueprints within Unreal for the puzzles as i know roughly how they will work and what the player will need to do in order to solve them. I used my sketch book to record all of my idea generation within.

Finally, i started to draw out floor plans for both of the puzzle rooms that i am planning to do. I did this so i know that the room flows well and that i know where to place assets, clue and the keys for the player to obtain. The first room i am planning to have the puzzle which i have called in my sketch book "The sword in the stone". There will be 4 mascots each with their own weapon and the player will have to solve the riddle in order to find the correct weapon to open the door.

Entry #2- Modelling

In today's session, i created a few more models for the level. I have decided to follow my level layout and begin to create the assets that i need in each room. At the moment i am currently on the "Living Quarters" of the level and so i have just finished modelling a bed, a cupboard and a fireplace. I think this method is helping me a lot more as before, i was just modelling random assets that i could think of and now i have an idea as to what i need to do for each room. I have not yet unwrapped any of these models as Callum is still working on the modular kit that i sent him and as i do not want to drop a lot of work on him at once, i am planning to send it in small bulks so that it is much more manageable.

This is a screenshot of the models have been working on recently

Entry #3- Unreal Engine 4

Today i decided to export the modular kit that i had created last week and start block out the level within Unreal. I am following the level layout that i created last week so that i have an idea as to how i want the level to be set out. Callum is also creating a separate level, with his own two puzzles, which we will connect at some point to create our level. None of the walls i have imported into Unreal at the moment have textures on, so when Callum has finished the textures i will just re-import them and the level will already be set up to put the other assets in.

I managed to block out the starting area of the level, however i did run into a few problems. The first one was that Unreal kept crashing on me, which happened multiple times throughout the night. Although i did not loose any work from it, it just meant that i had to keep re-opening Unreal which took its time and therefore limited me to the amount of work i could do that night. I did not figure out as to why this kept happening to me, as it was quite late, so i will have to have a look into this as i cannot work properly if this keeps happening to me. The other problem i had was with one of the models i had created for the level.

Once i had set up the room, i began to play through it to make sure that it played smoothly and looked okay. However when i tried to walk though the door way i had created i discovered that the collision box was too large and would not let me pass though. I tried to fix this problem by going into the model on Unreal and auto generate the collision box. This did not solve my problem and i think that i am going to have to go back into 3DS Max and either make the collision box within that or widen the doorway to make sure the player can pass though comfortably. I have told Callum not to texture the door piece as i will have to re send him that model.

This is a screenshot of the level i have created within Unreal

Above is a screenshot to show how far along i am in blocking out my level. I have currently blocked out around half of the level and i have just finished building the first puzzle room. I have also created a blueprint that allows the player to open some of the cell door by pressing f. I will use this as a base to create some other blueprints such as ones that can only be opened if the player has found a key and some opening when i player walks into a certain vicinity to give the impression that something opened the door. I am happy with the progress i am making, as i am already quite a way through blocking out the level layout. I am not worried that there are no textures as they can be imported later, i just want to make sure we get the flow of the level sorted before i concentrate on anything else.

I have now fixed the problem with the doorway being too small. All i did was enlarge the door model i have, duplicate it and then use the boolean to make a larger hole in the doorway with the door. I have now re imported the model, created the collision box and the player can now walk through the doorway comfortably. I am very happy as to how the level layout is coming along as i can really see it coming together and visualizing what the final product will look like.

Things to do

Next week i am planning to have the majority of the level blocked out within Unreal so that it is playable and ready to start importing the textured assets into. I will then start on creating the blueprints for the first puzzle as i already know roughly on how i go about creating them. I will look at a youtube tutorial on how to allow the player to pick up items, as for my puzzle the player will need to pick up a certain weapon and insert it within an alter in order to open a door. I will also continue to create models for the level and unwrap them ready to be sent of and textured.


Created with images by qiye - "xbox game handle"

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