It’s been a week since our previous blogpost, I bet you missed us dearly, but don’t fret we’re back and we’ve brought loads of new stuff with us. This week concludes our first development sprint, spoiler alert we did make our deadline.
We made it an obligation to implement at least two interactables from every week forward. We are currently in the second week of that process so that means we’ve brought the total of working interactables up to 4. These include this week's creations namely the coffee machine and the fax machine. We picked these because they share similar attributes, they both require the *spoiler* Supervisor NPC for completion.
E.g. When the task: “Send this fax DAMNIT” appears, the player has to go and fetch the fax. He can do this by going to the supervisor and press the interact button, the player than has to proceed with his task by bringing it to the fax machine.
We’ve already mentioned our supervisor, but we’ve never really got round talking about him. Our supervisor is the grumpiest man you can come across on, he checks every little nook and cranny of the level in search of ‘naughty’ behaviour. The supervisor is also in charge of handing out the tasks so if you ever feel targeted blame him.
This character uses AI similar as seen in stealth games, the programmers provided waypoints, that the artists have to place in the level to provide the supervisor of his patrol points. The supervisor uses what's called a behaviour tree which in turn calls c++ functions.
A blackboard has to be used in combination with this behaviour tree to provide the AI with the knowledge about certain elements, these conveniently get stored in ai keys.
Seeing as the supervisor plays a major role in task completion and task starting, we had to link the supervisors AI with the task and interactables system, again we used the very convenient solution of using a event messenger to dispatch those messages to the respective subsystems.
Animation and rigging
Next to the programming side of things we had to provide the supervisor of a mesh, rig and animations.
We settled for a characters that is 1.5x larger than all the other characters, we did this to make him very noticeable amongst the players, the rig is based on the same principles of the other characters. The animations (idle and walk) were made in 3Ds max.
Other then this, we also made that the players could go and punch each other >:), at the moment you’re able to punch the interactables to break them and later of course your friends to slow them down.
Since a game without a score is no game, we introduced a score system and made this visible to the players. Tasks earn you points then these get added to the players state score variable. We display them using UMG in Unreal by simply getting that score when we need it. We also extended on the hud by added the prefered player beneath the tasks. The way the tasks work is they hold 2 scores, the first score is for when the prefered player completes the task and the second score is for when another players stole that task from him ☺, this usually means less points but this is entirely up to us to decide!
Finally we made the particle for the broken interactables and the particle for the steaming hot coffee of the supervisor. We used another cloudlike material because the particles would be to similar and hard to recognize in the chaos of the game.
Level and props
The level resembles an office from the nineties. There is a cafeteria, the supervisor's office, a meeting room, small janitor's room, and the workspace with small food corner. Defining the size of the level was an important choice we had to make. It should be big enough for you to walk freely and not to get stuck when you’re with a lot of players in the same room, but small enough to sneak away and lose the other players using mad gaming skills.
On each desk, there is a typical Macintosh Classic. It’s an iconic piece to this era and perfectly fits in the style we chose.
The picture on the right shows all the props used for this level. Since the walls are made using bsp’s in unreal, are they excluded from this scene.
Also some props are destructible, as shown on the gif below.
This concludes our first development sprint, I hope you’re able to see what we are trying to get at here. We’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us, but we are slowly getting closer to our end goal. The following sprint is another 3 weeks so stay tuned for that, following that we’ve planned a fornite to spend on a polish sprint.
That wraps it up for this week, have a good one. Cheers !
WYDT team !
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