I’d like to start off this post by introducing ‘Sullivan‘, one of many characters that you’ll meet on your journey through the world of Infernal Dead. I won’t spoil too much about him right now but he will be there to offer some advice and insights in regards to the circumstances surrounding the Demonic presence in Acre. Now, whether or not you listen to him is up to you and will affect the outcome of the story.
Just to let you know, I am now moving onto the next phase of development. The visual style has been established, the framework for lighting is done, master materials for all the different types of objects and surfaces in the game are complete and I now have a small portion of a level that I can run around in and use for playtesting. It is now time to start coding and implementing some of the base gameplay.
For the next little while, I will be working on:
- Importing Player, Monster and Weapon Models as well as some Animations
- Melee and Projectile Weapon function
- Inventory System
- Custom Character Building and Stats System
- AI and Navigation
Once I have those in place, I will begin fleshing out some other gameplay features until I have a basic, playable game that includes all the main mechanics functioning properly. I am hoping that this won’t take too long as I have a little more experience with implementing code now and have also found and will be bringing an experienced coder onboard to help me. I have looked forward to this phase for some time because I actually really enjoy coding (what little I know of it) and I find it quite satisfying and fun to do!
After that is done, I will be heading back into mapping and finishing off the rest of the levels that have been planned. I will keep everyone up-to-date as the features get implemented. Thanks for stopping by!
Hello everybody! I’m back with the first official look at one of the in-game environments; Laughlin Lake. The map is covered with dense forest, rocky terrain and is sparsely populated with some key areas that include trailers, camp grounds and other smaller establishments which you’ll need to visit in order to rummage for supplies. It is also planned to include some wildlife that you’ll be able to hunt and wild edibles to gather, if your character has acquired the skill.
I’m focusing on more realistic visuals this time around and though the art style is still very similar to Out Of Hell, I’m going to avoid the exaggerated ‘grime and grunge’ look. Though grime really helps establish that lived in look, I’m opting to have it more subtle and natural this time around instead of caking it on everything!
There are plenty of neat things going on underneath the hood but the one I’m most proud of is the lighting. All lighting and shadow is fully dynamic and done in real-time. Due to the nature of the game, a fully dynamic day and night system was needed which does not really allow for the luxury of baked lighting, global illumination and shadowmaps. It was not easy to accomplish but I think that the effort was really worth it; it is enough for my needs! Here are some various dusk, dawn and day images:
There is no aggressive optimization yet as that is a pass that I will do much later when all the maps are almost complete but I do currently have LOD’s in place. UDK makes it ridiculously simple to generate LOD’s because of the inclusion of Simplygon (which is a huge time saver) so thanks for thinking of us, Epic!
I’m building these maps with the same computer I used to build Out Of Hell, so it is quite an old rig. Depending on where I look during various times of the day, I’ll get anywhere from 15-40 frames per second. During the night phase, the framerate shoots up to between 40-70, so all in all, it’s pretty good considering the amount of stuff happening onscreen. Here is a cycle through various times during the day:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this update! I’ll be posting more screens as I go so come back often or subscribe to the mailing list!
I’ve got to be totally honest, I’ve been fighting with this engine (UDK) for so long and I still just can’t get the ‘look’ that I want out of it. Problems are constantly cropping up and I spend so much time trying to find workarounds or unconventional visual hacks just to come close to what I need instead of, you know, working on the game.
The dynamic lighting system alone took me months to nail down to a semi-photo realistic look, although it still has its problems with shadowing due to engine constraints. I’m looking at some other options, perhaps CryEngine 3 as it seems to do a lot of the stuff I need right out of the box without resorting to visual hacks. But even then, Cryengine has its own setbacks with an ‘always signed in, always online‘ mode (which makes utterly no sense to me) and I’ve heard some things about Indie support (or lack thereof) and at the moment, non-transparent licensing terms that make me kind of nervous to jump ship. I’ve been looking at Unity as well and it’s a really nice engine with excellent support and licensing terms but it doesn’t seem like it has the horsepower to do a game like Infernal Dead. I could be wrong about that but I haven’t seen any evidence or Indie games that really blew me away (feel free to prove me wrong here guys)
Just a little more patience guys, I know you all understand and for that, thanks. If any of you have any insights, especially if it has to do with experiences with CryEngine SDK or Unity, it would be most appreciated. In the meantime, I will keep hammering away.
Hello folks! I’ve been back from that short hiatus for about two weeks (was out of town) and have gotten right back to work but I had run into a problem.
Before I left, I had some scenery set up that was almost ready for the update. The only thing left to do was to lay down some roads which I had begun to build in a modular fashion. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I am back and resuming my modular road building. I then proceeded to take these road sections into the UDK. Turns out I didn’t anticipate what a pain that would be.
For a small suburban scene with relatively even roads, it poses no problem as all you have to do is lay the meshes down and continue duplicating them to expand your network. The problem for me, was that the current map that I am working on is set in more natural surroundings with a lot of rolling hills and valleys. A flat modular set of road meshes would not work as they need to conform organically to the environment.
So I went back and made more modular pieces that included more variations and tried laying them down. It turned out that it was a lot of work getting these sections to connect where they should in the Editor but the real pain came when I had to adjust the landscape in UDK to match the height and slope of the road network. This is all well and good for small scenes but not when you have a large environment (I did a test a few months ago and I think it took somewhere between 15-20 minutes of real time to run in a straight line from one end of the map to the other, so it is a very big environment)
So, I spent the last week and a half looking for other solutions and have tried out several methods to align my roads to the terrain with very little success. I’ve tried heightmap methods, road generators, several plugins, modeling techniques to conform meshes/splines and have even tried to use decals to lay road in the UDK Editor (UDK does not have any type of spline-based road laying tool, which is unfortunate as it would have alleviated these problems) but none of these methods produced the results that I needed and in some cases, created new problems.
I finally came up with a method to do this, oddly enough, while I was doing some vacuuming! I haven’t really seen this method used (maybe I haven’t looked hard enough) but it’s an interesting technique to model your terrain, have a road that conforms to the terrain and is set up in a way that makes UVing your road pretty easy. Now, it’s not the most elegant method nor is it really flexible when it comes to winding roads but at the moment, it does what I need and I can continue on with my mapping. Oh, and by the way this method saves me about 20+ frames in-game, so that’s always a plus!
I was thinking about making a tutorial on this soon (and perhaps create a tutorial section on this site) as it might save someone else some time if they’re struggling with a solution for a road network on large terrain.
Hello fellow survivors!
I’ve spent all of my finances and the last month and a half stocking up on canned beans and hollowing out a large old oak tree to hide in preparation of the Sun exploding/Zombie Apocalypse/Robot Uprising on Dec. 21. Seeing as how none of that happened though, I’ve come back from the wilderness and will be working on Infernal Dead again!
(Actually, I’ve just been really busy with other matters and am trying to make an update before the New Year. If I cannot, I do apologize in advance and just to let you know I will be away for a short amount of time in January)
I want to wish everyone a happy and most importantly, safe Holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
YEEEE! I recently hit 100,000 kills on Call Of Duty: Black Ops and thought I’d post a screen! I also managed to rack up over 70,000 kills with the SPAS Shotgun which was no easy feat! People are usually surprised when then see that on my Stats. Why? Because it’s a really, really shitty gun!
It is one of the most inconsistent weapons in the game and is super dependent on a host with a good connection to be effective. Couple this with the ultra-dodgy hit detection, the sporadic firing patterns of the firearms and you’ve got an uphill battle all the way. Seriously, Shotguns get no love in this game. In a good session, it can net you a lot of one-hit kills but usually it takes anywhere from 2-5 shots to take someone out. Ouch. I’m usually long dead by that time but my love of Shotguns prevents me from using anything else.
The funniest thing is that I don’t even have fun playing most of the time because the game has so many quirks that just fills me with uncontrollable rage and yet, I keep coming back for more! Why, for the love of all things crispy, do I do that to myself……?
Anyway, see you soon in Black Ops 2!
Just a heads up that a Game Review series called Better Late Than Never did a compilation video on some games that you should check out while you’re in the Halloween mood and Out Of Hell was one of them! It’s a great video and showcases some games that would be worth your time to scout out, one of my favorites being Survival Crisis Z.
Check the video out here: http://blip.tv/bltn/trick-or-treat-feature-2012-6419176
Huge thanks to Ryan for putting this together and to everyone else, have a Happy Halloween!