Kamodo Steve: Janitor on Fire!
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Kamodo Steve is on Steam Greenlight as an early production concept! Click the link below if you would like to rate the concept or comment!
Kamodo Steve is a janitor at a power plant in a small town in middle America. His otherwise normal life has been blighted by an inordinate amount of cancer cases in his hometown. Unfortunately for Steve and his fellow small town dwellers, all they can do is watch and pray as the cases pile up. The feelings of frustration and an ever increasing heir of hopelessness befalls Steve’s small town. Until one night…
Steve was working the midnight shift cleaning a sector of the plant that was seemed completely abandoned. While dusting some shelves, Steve accidentally knocked over a small, brushed steel canister…his life will never be the same…
Steve never really thought of himself as a hero or someone that could ever make a difference. Now, he doesn’t have a choice.
The game continues to come together. I’ve added Shiloh, a second playable character, grenades and a new weapon! Plus level 2 is starting to come together. Two player game play still needs some work, especially the camera and the logic that happens when one of the players die. Some new images to check out below!
I’ve been working on a game over screen. This is the map. going to add a surprise soon!
Here is an updated gameplay trailer. This is how far I am after nine months of working with UE4. Things are going really well!
Below are some screenshots from the latest build. I added some postprocessing effects and have been working on polishing up the first level.
Here are a few wide angle screen shots of the first level. This is the first decoration pass. I have also found a way to create lifts and moving platforms without using Matinee. Pretty exciting!
Finally got my AI character to aim and shoot at the player when in range! I was able to use blueprint interfaces to make this work. It took me about a day to figure it out. It’s pretty exciting because the enemy feel like more of a challenge because he’s more relentless in his attacking behavior.
Here is a video and a few images of the revised boss for level 01. Animating six legs was a definite challenge. I thought animating two was a challenge. Another unknown for me at this point is root motion in Unreal. I’ll be tackling that next… along with AI behavior for the beast.
The video below shows a few new elements and systems that I’ve added to the game. Some particle effects, camera zooming based on trigger position, two new enemy types, and improved AI search/patrol/attack behavior.
After messing around with Blueprint a little, I was able to get some decent firing behavior. The projectile particles and particle blueprints were really fun. Cascasde, Unreal’s particle editor is a blast. It’s pretty amazing how much you can do in such a short period of time with Blueprints, Unreal’s visual scripting system. I find that my knowledge of C# is very much helping me in the visual scripting process. Some challenges have been communicating between one blueprint to another and using “get” and “set” functionality to work instead of using “if” statements in code. Below is a video showing my progress.
Lately, I’ve been developing a better understanding of Persona, the Locomotion system in Unreal Engine 4. I’ve managed to figure out editing states, adding expressions, and animation blueprints. This, along with editing animation in persona with the release of version 4.7. On top of all this, I’ve also figured out how to edit some camera and spring arm settings to make the animation of the camera a bit more interesting. The distance of the camera was being driven by the field of view settings causing some distortion of the viewport. I was able to edit the spring arm to resolve the distortion issue. Next up, is how to expose the spring arm variable in blueprint so I can make some dynamic camera animations based on gameplay. Below is a screenshot of my current progress.
In order to keep better focus on the creation of this game, I’ve started a Trello board to keep track of things a little better. If you are interested in the late night reflections of the challenges I’ve been working on with this project, then please check it out here.
It’s been pretty busy the last couple of weeks. The game is now updated to the Unity 5 beta. The game looks great in Unity 5, but the light-mapping process and using the Enlighten toolset has been tedious. In between lighting sessions, I’ve started moving assets into Unreal Engine 4. The learning curve hasn’t been that steep, but I know that I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface. At the moment, I’ve retargeted the rig to work with some starter animations, added some basic input, and started the mobile controls. I started with the sidescroller template in order to keep things as painless as possible. Here is a pic of my progress so far! The character animates nicely with the retargeted animations. However, I need to do some more fine tuning.
I’ve spent the last couple weeks adding to level 1. The level is now much larger, more challenging and feels much more like a classic platformer. The camera behavior has been tweaked and is much tighter. The GUI is being updated to use the new Unity GUI system. Which, so far is been really easy to get going. There was a small issue with the pause button. But, once you know how to script a manager and assign public methods to the events in each UI element. Things go pretty well. Here are some image updates.
Here is an updated trailer for the game!
Here is a screenshot for the beginning of level 3: The Dam. I’ve also added a jump power up.
Here is the updated video trailer!
Here are some additional screen shots of the game!
Here is the power plant that level one is based on. I passed this plant while traveling to and from home my entire life. It left enough of can impression to make a game level of it.
Added some screen effects to the level for cinematic vids.
It’s been a while, so this is going to be a pretty long post! In the meantime, I have changed back to the Unity3D engine. I’m developing in C#, of course : ) Below are some sample images of the level-
Not alot of eye candy here, but Game Center Works! In app- purchasing is working too! I’m using Prime 31 plugins for this. The last thing I’ve got to do is get the iCloud Plugin working. Before I do that I’m working on a Kickstarter proposal to help fund the rest of the game. One level is finshed and feature complete. Only five more to go!
Here is an image of the game running on a Windows Surface. Very cool stuff. I finished the port in time to submit to the Unity Windows 8 Contest. The port was pretty seamless. Getting Window Snapped view to work was a little tricky, but eventually, I was able to get it working. The windows documentation for Windows 8 development was really helpful.
One of the cool things I found out was that I was able to bake light cookies into the light maps. I had 2 directional lights to simulate sunlight. One was for shadows and the other was for the light cookie. This created a very nice dappled light effect to the level. I had some screen effects setup, but they really hampered performance on device.
Here is a mid shot of the level. The time of day is dusk. There were around 5 directional lights and over 50 spotlights that were baked in Beast. The light maps made the level look way more interesting and colorful Dropping the resolution on the maps themselves helped with frame rate and RAM usage.
This is the midpoint of the level. You can see the glowing eyes of the Tiki power up on one of the I-beams. Here, I have baked lightmapping. I used single maps with deferred rendering. The light maps really helped the frame rate. It is pretty exciting when you see the level running on a mobile device!
This is an image of the final area of the level. Boss battle anyone?
Here is a wire frame shot and the lighting before baking light maps.
This is an in in-progress shot of the level! Most of the larger models are added in. Later, I unrapped all of the inorganic assets using a single texture atlas. My fps went way up!
This is a work in progress video of my current progress in UDK.
If you haven’t noticed the little music player to your right, these are samples of the Kamodo Steve soundtrack. The music is composed by Maestro Stephen Trenkamp. Check it out for the sake of Pete!
So, since I am my whole development team, I had to come up with an efficient animation pipeline. For animation, I am using 3DStudio Max 2011. I’m really leveraging the biped character studio. Because UDK handles the placement of particle effects and weapons through sockets, I was able to link bones to the existing biped rig to make the necessary sockets.
Using this rig I am able to save biped animations and then apply the rig and animations to multiple character meshes saving me a great deal of time. All of the animations are keyed by hand. Note: If you want to animate for mobile in UDK, you must set vertex weighting to 2!
Because all of the animations share the same rig, Implementing the animations in UDK is really easy using .fbx. You can simply, import a reference pose to open the animset editor and then import your .fbx animations from there. This methodology works for both Max and Maya! Go .fbx!
Once all of the animations are imported, it’s time to setup the Anim Tree. This is where animations are blended using physics, speed, etc. Here is an image of my current Anim Tree.
Got some work done on the first floor of the level. All assets are custom. Worked on lighting some too. The dark blue is from a dominant directional light. Trying to simulate moonlight. The overall palette is complementary orange to blue. Textures are without a spec map which seems to look good so far. Plus, I’m adding a landscape treatment using a variety of static meshes to the border of the platform level to help it feel more organic. This is alot of fun, but I need a lot more assets!
I made a rock asset similar to what you can find in UDK. It’s an all purpose rock object that can be used in a variety rotations and combinations to look like unique rock formations all the time. I also picked up some smaller assets from Turbo Squid to get this level going. I wanted to make everything myself, but I’m short on time and have an entire game to make! Had the chance to use Simplygon, UDK poly reducer. Obviously, it worked like a champ. Added some simple physics too.
Here are some assets that I created for the top portion of the level. Where I am from, there are a ton of old, coal burning power plants along the river. These hulking stations of industry had these huge smokestacks that permeated the treeline and broke into the sky. They are still a wonder to look at. Below, you can see the assets implemented into UDK.
I still need to refine the lighting and add effects to the level of course. I have a dominant directional light with a blue tint against a dusk skybox. I’m pretty happy with how the colors are working, but I want to add flashing lights to the stacks and some road lights. Building the lights is going really fast, but it took a couple hours to build all of this geometry. Trying to make sure the scale is convincing was a bit of a challenge. To do this, I matched the scaffolding on the tall stacks to the player character. I still need some more detail bits on the topside. I plan on making the intro cinematic from the top of the level. should be interesting. More to come…
After working through some issues with Matinee, I added smoke and aircraft warning lights to the smoke stacks. The wind is simulated by a Physics Volume. I tweaked the height fog a bit more. I’m not entirely sold on it yet. Nor the overall violet tone of the environment. Think I might change the skybox texture too. On the definite plus side, the Cinematic works after getting some much need help on the UDK forums. Cinematic soon!
Made some progress on the start screen. i was trying for a distant view of the power plant. used FS commands for the start button. Next up, save states!
Made some changes to the particles, lighting and the sky. This seems to feel much better than what I had before. The particles have a reddish tinge to them so they stand out from the sky. since the particles are set to additive, the rays cast from them also carry the reddish tinge. It seems like this is working better spatially, but still looks like dusk or dawn.