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Post by Nagual on Sun May 05, 2019 12:48 pm

A little background, an origin story if you will.

As a child I was lucky enough to get a computer! Not a console like the Atari but a real computer, a ZX81 with a 16k RAM pack. It was amazing to see little Horace skiing or 3d space invaders on my black and white tv. Not long after that I had the ZX Spectrum with an insane 48k RAM! I started to learn how to program, and managed after so much tears and blood to be able to have a program that asked me stuff and remember it all. It also went beep.

Playing all the different games that came out, as at that time it was new to everyone. No one had made games like these, no one had played them. Everything was so astounding. Things only got better as programmers learned how to do even more amazing things. It wasn't long before we were flying in space, or fighting dragons! It was around that time I found I loved everything to do with fantasy games both computer related and Dungeons & Dragons (Basic Ed first, Expert, then Advanced). I longed for a computer game to give me the same feel as pen and paper D&D did. Some came close.

Fast forward to around a couple of decades ago when Morrowind came out, and I felt that modern gaming was reaching a point where my dreams of a dungeon crawling, fantasy adventure were well within reach. Now there are hundreds of games that in their own way, do that. Not only that, but now thanks to the foresight of companies like Epic who give away everything you need to make games - the game engine, in game assets like characters, props, environments, sound effects, you name it you can get AAA game assets for free. Over the years the Unreal Engine, as it is called, has changed and evolved. It used to be the domain of serious programmers but now it's become much easier for someone with little or no programming experience to learn how to make games, and it's easier than ever to get something on screen and working that ever before.

I decided to learn how to make games with Unreal Engine, because throughout my gaming years the little boy programmer was still there wanting to make a D&D esk game. So I'm giving it ago. There is lots to learn, some things that everyone takes for granted in games like picking things up and putting them in an inventory of sorts, are much more involved that you might think. But that's what I love about it, learning how to do these things. It's like satisfying to be able to these things, and to actually understand what is going on and not just doing them by copying someone else's work.

To that end, this very short vid, is my little player with a working inventory. If anyone is remotely interested I can keep this thread updated as I learn. Or we can let it fade into oblivion.
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Post by halfwise on Sun May 05, 2019 1:53 pm

Picking up bushes, are we? Now need the bot to rearrange them like landscapers building a garden.

Next....write some music!

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Post by Nagual on Sun May 05, 2019 2:08 pm

halfwise wrote:Picking up bushes, are we?  Now need the bot to rearrange them like landscapers building a garden.

Next....write some music!

Adding in a landscape with bushes and whatnot is fairly simple to do. Getting it to look good, is a different story of course Laughing Music? Pfft I have no ear for creating music. I do have access to a free, royalty free, open licence music source. Which has some lovely pieces in it. Most of it not what I'd want or need, and there is a lot to choose from. Laughing

Am playing with animations as well, but that is a skill set that can take years to be able to do convincingly and in a timely fashion.

Hopefully my next installment, if there is one, will be resemble an actual game in looks at least.
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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun May 05, 2019 3:07 pm

good luck, learning new skills are exciting and sometimes frustrating, but always worthwhile, go for it.

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Post by azriel on Sun May 05, 2019 3:17 pm

Its great to look back on yourself & see the person who might have had doubts but, now, can do so much. A bit of self pride isn't a bad thing, boosts you up for the next challenge Smile

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Post by Nagual on Sun May 12, 2019 10:14 pm

Started to prototype characters. One of the first the player will encounter is the innkeeper. Things aren't off to a good start for our player, he gets left behind by his crew due to too much drinking the night before. He also owes the innkeeper a load of money for the drink, his room and his crew mates drinking too (total scallywags). So left with little choice, he has to find a way to pay back his debts.

The one wearing shorts was made with a online tool. The naked one was made using a cool free program. I tried to make him of mixed race heritage, which I think I've managed. Would love to hear what you think Smile

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Post by halfwise on Sun May 12, 2019 10:18 pm

Though I applaud the artistic choice to make a realistic looking naked middle aged man, don't we have enough of those? With that kind of power in my hands I think my aims would be a bit more, um...prurient.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon May 13, 2019 12:09 am

Dungeon Crawling you say? This is right up my alley!

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Post by Nagual on Mon May 13, 2019 10:11 am

halfwise wrote:Though I applaud the artistic choice to make a realistic looking naked middle aged man, don't we have enough of those?  With that kind of power in my hands I think my aims would be a bit more, um...prurient.

He's naked only because I don't  know how to model clothes. So I start with what I can do, make a semi realistic body shape. Clothes come later. You need the base model to the cloth forms to the body, as clothes in RPG style games are seperate objects ie the character is the base model + clothes models not a model that has clothes on, if that makes sense.
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Post by halfwise on Mon May 13, 2019 12:43 pm

So if you put a mini skirt on him you're not sure how to make it ripple sexily as he walks. got it.

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Post by Nagual on Mon May 13, 2019 1:16 pm

halfwise wrote:So if you put a mini skirt on him you're not sure how to make it ripple sexily as he walks.  got it.
Yeah, pretty much. You can make the character model have clothes by default, but that would mean you'd have to change the entire model for every option of attire. That could be a lot of different models to make. By modularising the clothes assets you give yourself a lot more freedom, and potentially save time. In games like Skyrim for instance, your NPCs that can accompany you can wear anything you given them in almost any combination.

Once you have the physical shape of the clothes you used a bunch of tools to make it behave like cloth or leather or metal, whatever you need it to be. It can be a very convoluted process of trial and error, but since I've not attempted that yet I don't know for sure how convoluted it is vs just lack of experience.
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Post by Nagual on Tue May 14, 2019 1:15 pm

Now our rough and tough Innkeeper is clothed... Wink

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Post by halfwise on Tue May 14, 2019 2:21 pm

Ha! You're going with the mini-skirt! Razz

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Post by Amarië on Tue May 14, 2019 9:06 pm

Laughing Got to please the fans.

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Post by Nagual on Tue May 14, 2019 9:35 pm

Amarië wrote:Laughing Got to please the fans.

Yup, if Gents in mini skirts are Halfwises thing, whom am I to say no? Very Happy
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Post by halfwise on Tue May 14, 2019 9:52 pm

Hey so long as Bruno the Bartender is cool with it.

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Post by Nagual on Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:43 pm

Work on the project has gone pretty slowly since I last posted. I realised that to do certain things, I needed a new tool. Since a lot of the project will have caves, dungeons and similar things I needed something to be able to quickly make them rather than plonk them down bit by bit.

Currently working on make this tool:
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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:16 pm

Yeah that seems pretty integral to the whole thing.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:29 pm

{{ I think Nagual may be underselling his achievement here somewhat.
What he has not perhaps entirely clarified is that he has created and written a new tool within the engine to allow for the much easier and quicker creation of tunnels, dungeons etc and 'cave scenery' that can be added such as doorways, stalagmites and the like in a streamlined and intuitive manner.
Its an impressive accomplishment- one that I hope and which deserves when finished and released to the Unreal Marketplace to make him a well earned bit of money for the work ( I know the hours he has put in!).
As you say Forest it 'seems pretty integral to the whole thing' and having a tool which makes the entire process of placing and positioning and connecting different tunnel/cave/dungeon meshes together is a great idea.}}

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Post by Nagual on Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:48 pm

It's beginning to look like something useable Smile
Thanks Petty. It's designed to take the stress and time out from making these kind of levels, normally you have to place all the 'bits' one at a time, this can take a long long time, and you may not even like it at the end of it. What this does is allow designers to speed up the whole process. Time is money after all. Very Happy

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Post by Nagual on Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:05 pm

For a long time there has been a program called "Blender" which allows people to create 3d models, animations and things. Just recently it received it's latest update. So I figured what the hell, let's see what it's like. What started out as just a nose, ended up with this monstrosity from hell...
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Post by halfwise on Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:52 pm

Looks like a sex toy gone wrong.

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Post by azriel on Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:02 pm

Oh yeah ? Very Happy We can see what Halfy gets up to in the quietness of his broom cupboard ! lol
I thought the thing on the floor looked like a cooked turkey with hands

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