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Showing posts from December, 2015

Unreal Engine DevLog #22: Reaction Shots & Prototype Cover System

I've been meaning to write down this dev log for quite some time. It's the last update on the X-COM:EU clone prototype that I was working on a while back. I would love to return to working on it sometime later, but for now, I'm concentrating on making tool kits for the Unreal Engine Marketplace.

The last update on the project was about an LoS based visibility system, which is covered here: http://unrealpossibilities.blogspot.in/2015/07/unreal-engine-devlog-19-line-of-sight.html

Since then, I had implemented Reaction Shots for the player controlled units, as well as a prototype cover system that displays the cover value of each corner of every tile.

Reaction Shots Preview Video:



Prototype Cover System Preview Video:



So that's going to be the last update on the project for quite some time. It's been a great learning experience for me as a starter experience in Unreal Engine 4. Also special thanks to Knut Overbye for creating one of the best products in the Unreal Engine M…

Unreal Engine Diaries #10

To display the AI Perception range in the editor, go to Editor Preferences >> General >> Gameplay Debugger & tick the 'Perception' parameter. Also in post processing, set AA to 'FXAA' or none to display the debug lines better.
In the widget blueprint, select multiple widgets from the Hierarchy panel & then Right click >> 'Wrap with' to wrap the selected widgets within another widget like Canvas Panel, Border, etc.
Add 'Rotating Movement' component to actors to have them rotate automatically. The rotation rate for each axis can be set from the component. This could be used to create interactive objects like weapon pick ups in a shooter or effects like rotating coins in a side scrolling game.
Wrapping widgets with 'Invalidation Boxes' can be used to increase performance as they get executed only at the time of creation & not every frame unlike other widgets. This could be especially useful when there are lots of static U…

VR Tips Compilation #2

As mentioned in the previous post, I've been collecting tips about working with VR from the Unreal Engine Livestreams & GDC Talks. This is the second of the two VR Tips Compilation posts, while the first one can be found here: https://unrealpossibilities.blogspot.in/2015/12/vr-tips-compilation-1.html
Using force grabs to get objects from the environment is a good alternative to actually having the player grab the object, due to the awkwardness & differences between how it works in real life, compared to the lack of physical feedback in games. Also adding to this factor is the design of the control device used to accept inputs.
Remove all motion blur effects as using them in your game can give rise to Simulation Sickness.
Since run & gun is generally not an option in VR games, teleportation is one of the interesting viable alternatives. But even here, it is better to slowly fade the screen to back & then fade everything back in at the new location, instead of instantan…

VR Tips Compilation #1

I've been collecting tips & advice about working with VR, from the various Unreal Engine Livestreams & GDC Talks. Even though I myself have never even used a VR device, it seemed like a good idea to get to know more about it from the people who are already working on it. This post is the first of two VR tips compilations based on the data that I've collected so far. 

The first and most important thing that I've heard in almost all the talks is to never take the camera control away from the player. This would mean that traditional methods like moving the camera to shift the player's focus on to important game events, would probably be a bad idea. So would changing the camera angle to reflect the action from different perspectives.
Many games use Depth of Field & changing Field of View to zoom in on important/relevant targets while blurring out the edges. It seems that this is not going to be of much use when working in VR. Players might create this effect natu…

Unreal Engine Diaries #9

'Shift + F1' can be used to gain mouse control & jump between the different game instance windows during multiplayer testing in the editor.
While working on VR, try to match the size of in game objects to their real life counterparts, as not doing so could make them stand out and reduce the immersion.
In the Material Editor details panel, turn on 'Fully Rough' [prevents reflection rendering pipelines from executing] & turn off 'Light Map Directionality' [both under the the 'Mobile' category] to make materials that are less expensive to render.  This is a pretty good option when dealing with far away objects in the level that do not require a lot of detail. Setting the Shading Model to 'Unlit' can also increase performance in instances where the additional detail is not required.
In PIE mode, press 'Ctrl + Shift + .' to bring up the GPU Profile. It would be a good idea to start looking for elements that cost more than a millisecond.
&…

Unreal Engine Diaries #8

When adding new input parameters to a function that's already being called multiple times throughout the project, it's always better to immediately check every instance of the function call to make sure that the new input parameter is connected as required.
Drag & drop a variable from the variables list onto a get/set node of another variable to automatically replace the second variable with the first.
When attaching moving physics actors to the player character without physics handles, disable it's gravity & set the linear/angular velocities of all of it's components to zero in order to have it simulate physics & collision on the move.
Under default conditions, when a character changes it's direction of movement, it instantaneously turns to face the new direction. To change this behavior and enable smooth rotation based on direction changes, first go to the AI character blueprint >> Character Movement Component >> Enable "Orient Rotation …

Unreal Engine Diaries #7

While working on the Top Down Stealth Toolkit, I noticed that sometimes the character animations that worked in the PIE mode did not work in the Standalone mode. One of the solutions that worked for me was to connect the 'Event Blueprint Update Animations' in all the child anim BPs to their parent update animation events.To find the angle between two rotator variables, it is better not to use normal subtraction to get the difference as this could give odd results in certain scenarios owing to the fact that the rotator values for actor rotation and world rotation follow the (0,180) & (-180,0) range. For example, when you add two positive values, it could produce a negative output and vice versa. In order to work around this situation, the 'Delta (Rotator)' node can be used to get the absolute angular difference between the two rotators.When working on Top Down games, the 'Orient rotation to movement' parameter in the character movement component of the playe…