Another quick update on our progress thus far. This is currently the second and coincidentally the last week of the prototyping stage.
Unity vs. Unreal
First of we would like to take this opportunity to talk about our choice of engine. At the surface level both engines look quite similar. Our initial choice was Unreal, so we decided to create a prototype in Unreal first.
After we’d established a working prototype we were tasked with creating a similar prototype in Unity. We had a bit of a rough experience working with Unity, upon importing our 3D assets into Unity we noticed a bit of odd behaviour. Since Unity works with y-up we had to go back into our modeling software to flip our objects, this wasn’t too much of a problem but it was a bit of a hassle.
When delving deeper into Unity, we noticed that creating special materials (e.g. Glow around object) was much steeper for artists than material creation in Unreal Engine, because this involved programming knowledge in a shader environment. Other differences between the engine include, that Unity uses C# for both scripting and programming while Unreal uses C++ for the programming side of things and sends of the scripting end to Blueprints. This may not matter for some people, but it did for us since we programmers want to give control of our game to our entire team and the blueprint way of handling things is way more appealing to someone with no programming background.
Ultimately we decided on Unreal, but we did wager over the option of using Unity.
Character & Level design
Since we really want the best of the best, we are still thinking about the main character designs and the level design, level design is especially important because this contributes to the fun factor of our game.
An important takeaway when prototyping is that you simply do not have enough time to do all things yourself. A prime example of this is the animation and rig of our main prototyping character. So we opted for Mixamo, it’s a website that provides automatically generated rigs and animations.This would be fine for realistic humans, but for our character this didn’t quite work out perfectly.
So we had to go back and modify the rig and skin since they used soft skinning and we had way to many joints then what was required for our character like elbows or knees.
To up the ante we added throwable object to our game, this just adds another layer of fun (as if our game needed more fun☺). These object make heavy use of Apex destruction in Unreal Engine 4.
The dawn of a new era!
While there’s nothing wrong with modern appliances, we are happy to announce that we will move back in time and replace our modern flat screens with sturdy CRT monitors. This means that we chose a new time era in which our game resides. Out with the stable modern devices, in with the unreliable old technology!
This week we will put the focus on starting our development sprint, this means we have to redo a lot of stuff. This means “fixing” code hierarchy, setting up perforce, setting up a new Unreal Project, folder structure and so on.
This about wraps it up for this week, have a good one.
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