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Showing posts from December, 2015

Winter Break

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Now that my projects for fall classes are behind me I can focus my time and energy on improving my capabilities with UE4 as well as work on a what I hope will be my first commercial quality project. Of course I don't expect to finish it with my one month off but I hope to have it in such a place that I will be able to enter it into a competition my professor talked about. What is the project you ask?

I'm drawing inspiration from a few different things however if you've ever played the game Shadowrun on the Genesis, and particularly liked the Matrix "mini-game", then you will love my project. For those that are unfamiliar you can see a matrix run in the following video.


In fact when Shadowrun Returns was created in 2012, one thing many of the backers wanted was a matrix much like they had back in the genesis version. Although the game was a great success the designers chose to go another route with Matrix combat. Personally I really liked the game however the matr…

The Dark Worlds and touching the Environment Query System

Our team was having a really hard time resolving an issue with our Ranged Tower sticking to one enemy and only changing to another if that one died otherwise it would just ignore the rest. One of my teammates has spent hours upon hours on this, had extensive help from the professor but no solution was working. I was convinced they had tried everything possible and the only way to do it was to edit the engine itself in C++.

I decided to do a search and see what I came across, if anything, that might help. It was basically a shot in the dark. The first thing I took a look at was something called "Environment Query System", referenced in the Strategy Game example in the online documentation.

By utilizing this code I was able to condense 10 nodes into 3. First things first I had to turn on the experimental EQS system under Editor Preferences. Out of the whole guide to do what I did I only needed to create the Environment Query blueprint. Editing it, on the query graph add a Acto…

Quick blurb about "Remove From Parent" node.

So while playing around with my Fire Simulator I had multiple Widgets added to the viewport at the same time. I had read some pieces about children however what I glossed over didn't explain it as well as I needed and what I ended up doing was removing all widgets then re-adding the HUD. This was inefficient and was readily solved by one single node, "Remove From Parent".

This node can be used to remove single widgets from the viewport just by linking it to the widget created. How did I miss this? I don't know, but now hopefully you'll have learned from my mistake.

Fire Simulator and Health Bars

On our Fire Simulator game for Simulation and Serious Game Design there is one thing I would like to discuss in detail. That is a health bar, in our game used for the health of the players lungs.

The first step is to create your health variable being either integer or float, its up to you, on the character blueprint. I feel float is better in this case because you can make very small changes to it on an event tick for debugging and such. Compile your blueprint, and give that a starting value of 100. Now you can do whatever you would like with that health on your character however for the purposes of this demonstration you could simply have on event tick linked to setting the health variable with that set to a get the health minus an integer or a small float like .1. Keep in mind there are 60 ticks per second so if you leave it at one per tick, you'll go from 100 to 40 in a single second.

Next create a widget blueprint. Within the widget blueprint you only need to bring in a progre…

Update on The Dark Lands

So the first thing I started working on was our monetary system. I thought it would be cool to instead of using money, use the bodies of our enemy for currency. This would then mean we build our towers out of their bodies, so maybe in the next week we can find or create a skeletal texture to use. Also our soldiers could be body-less ghosts and/or wraiths. Now the trick with any currency system is balancing. It can take a lot of play testing to find the right balance for your game.

To start with I went to our TopDownCharacter to create the corpses float, could be integer, variable that will be used. I went over to our parent enemy blueprint and simply added to the on death trigger we have. When one of the enemy dies the corpse value increases by one. On the HUD I had already set up a text box with a binding to an event. In that event I had to quite simply "Get All Actors of Class" being the TopDownCharacter where the original variable is. Pass the Out Actors into a Get fun…

Update of Fire Simulator

For my Simulation and Serious Game Design Course my partner and I are making a Fire Simulator. Essentially it is a simulator to demonstrate what to do and what not to do in the event of a fire.

Over the past week I've worked on the layout of the floors creating a semblance of realism to the size. In UE4 1 unit is supposed to be 1 cm, so 10 would be a decimeter and 100 units would be a meter. Now for us non metric folks, 1 meter is equal to 3.2 feet. A standard ceiling is roughly 10 feet high which would be 3.125 meters. Translating that to UE4 units it would be 312.5 units. For rapid production I've decided to go with a flat 300 units for the height of each floor.

Also the wall, floor and ceiling thickness is something I took into consideration. The default is 10 units, so 10% of a meter or .32 feet. Double that, one for each side its .64 feet which sounds about right to me. Technically a 2"x4" is normal for drywall and stuff. .1 meter or 1 decimeter which is 3.9 inc…