I hope everyone had a good holiday season and New Year! I’ve been kept busy with work responsibilites and hadn’t had time to make a meaningful update and for that I am sorry. Usually it calms down after the busy holidays but this year it seems to have been extended!

The screens I’m posting today aren’t as far along as I had liked. I wanted to have more detailed and complete versions to present but I figured I would just get something out there for now since it has been months since the last update.

I am very happy with the visual style of the project so far. It’s more realistic than the previous game but still has the same sort of ‘lived-in grime’ look! It took me some time just to nail that down but I think the effort was worth it.

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Obviously, these are works-in-progress but those familiar with Out Of Hell 2009 will recognize these areas. This is basically how I am approaching this project; heavy referencing but altered just enough to make it a new experience.

Before I end the post, I have to vent a couple of gripes about UE4. Though I think it is the most powerful and versatile engine available to Indies, there are some things that seem like a step backward to me.

1: Decals – The decal projection system is AWFUL. Decals don’t even show up in non-dynamically lit areas without workarounds. Give us more options for projecting onto surfaces like box and spherical instead of just planar. I know that we can rotate the gizmo 45 degress to compensate but that just stretches the decal and it looks ugly.

2. BSP – Everything but the props you see here is BSP. I know that it’s an old-school method of building maps but it has its advantages. Please give us better BSP tools and texture mapping options! It’s UE4 but the BSP tools aren’t that much more advanced than UE2x.

I had to go back to the old method of building the map in BSP because the process of building a map in an external program has many drawbacks. Any small changes to geometry need to have UVW maps and lightmap channels tweaked, exported and then re-imported into the engine again. It’s slow, tedious and makes dealing with massive levels a big pain.

3. Lightmaps – In UE2x, shadows were baked into mesh vertices so I didn’t have to waste time making lightmap channels which is a tedious process for EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. OF. GEOMETRY!

Yes, I know UE4 can do this automatically but it doesn’t do it all that well in many cases. I don’t understand why this was taken out? Just leave it as an option for anyone who wants to approach it that way.

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