Monday, 3 December 2012

The Blitz Building Project: Part 2

So moving onto UDK, a program I’ve never used before (besides play testing a racetrack created by an old friend for her project) I was a expecting a massive headache navigating through the program and getting used to it's interface when I'm so used to 3DS Max!
It actually wasn’t all too bad really; it was much simpler that I thought it would be (for now).
The tutorial I followed was easy to follow and I got the hang of it rather quickly. The only problem though was that it took forever!
I was just spending hours upon hours sitting in front of the computer importing and linking Textures to Materials and creating new materials blah blah.
But first, let me talk about the collision meshes.

Yay jump node!
So because my intention was to be able to have access to the second floor through the balcony with my trash pile serving as my platform (as mentioned in part 1), I had to set the collision meshes much larger so that the player wouldn’t be able to jump and fall through the building. As I was setting the creating the collision mesh, I felt that the trash pile wouldn’t tall enough for the player to jump off. I later thought that I could perhaps use one of the blitz building’s fire escape ladders to climb up onto the fire escape ledge and drop onto the balcony from there.
However the trash pile still wouldn’t reach the fire escape ladder and that it was a little obscure for the player to figure that out. So after lookingto what UDK can do, I stumbled across a tutorial which let me creat a jump node.
Looks dangerous...
This was perfect in letting me create a boost for the player to land onto the fire escape ledge and dropping onto the balcony. 
It may look a little out of place, but at least the player knows it exists and you can reach the second floor!

When creating the collision meshes for the interior, I asked one of my lecturers If a standard plane can be used as a collision mesh. I was pretty sure the answer was yes but when I came to it during play testing, the collision for it didn’t work. It must have been an error on my part but one of my colleagues mentions that it has to be a box of some kind. I’m not too sure, but it’s something I’ll have to investigate further some in the future.

Anyways, after setting all of my collision meshes and naming them appropriately, I moved onto saving everything down as an ASE file.

Now comes the point that took me the longest…

As I read the tutorial I followed it correctly and did everything just right. And it said something a long the lines of “repeat this for all other assets” or something. So that’s precisely what I did, I imported the next mesh and named the mesh, imported the textures again and sorted them out in to categories and then created materials and linked the textures to it in which I then linked the materials to the assets. I repeated the process again for the next mesh and textures, redragged the same textures and renamed them like I did the other ones and made the materials, etc. This was taking me forever, I was getting sick and tired of renaming everything the same thing even though I have already imported the same textures and created the same materials about 40 times!

A little dark... could do with some lights
As I finally finished, I was relieved, and I started moving onto putting everything onto the scene. As I was wondering how I was actually meant to save it and load it, a friend told me that in order to load up your scene, you have to load up your package first. I said:
“What, all of your packages?”
And he replied “No you should only have one package”
That’s when it hit me, I had created a package for each bloody mesh and imported all the blitz textures and my building textures, renaming them all the same thing, etc.
I felt so stupid and died a little inside. I misunderstood the tutorial and made things much longer for myself. I could’ve have finished it so much faster and wouldn’t be so stressed for time.
The annoying thing was that I had to deal with the problems with merging everything together (which wasn’t that hard) and having to figure out if I have any duplicates of the same file under a slight change in the names.
Well in the end I got there and everything started to make a little more sense. I’m relieved that UDK processed weren’t ACTUALLY that long so it was in a way another relief to me.

Well, after I lined everything up and brought everything into UDK and got the level playable, I went to check out how the collision meshes were.
Everything from the bottom floor was great, there wasn’t any problem with the collisions but the jump node wasn’t working. I had followed the tutorial precisely but nothing would change. I had a suspicion that it only worked if it was in the ‘game mode’ (with the guns and double jump mechanic). After finding out from a friend on how to activate it, I was finally able to confirm my suspicion and I was correct; it had started working after it was enabled.
Whoops, I can walk through this!
As I landed a top the fire escape, the first thing I noticed was that I was able to see through the buildings as I didn’t put the collision mesh close enough to the static mesh.
I continued to drop into my balcony and found out that the planes I used as a collision mesh for the walls didn’t work and I walked right through them.

A little disappointed with how it turned out with the interior, I have run out of time to make any fixes so I can only take in all the mistakes I made and be extra careful for future projects and practices. I feel I may have been a little over ambitious with the idea of creating an interior.
As I was walking around in the interior, I thought to myself that it would have been nice to add some subtle lighting to the ceiling and made me think about looking into lighting in UDK sometime soon.

Although disappointed, the project was pretty interesting (besides the whole create 40 packages thing). UDK really wasn't as bad as it seems.
Oh yeah, after all that trouble with the packages, I forgot to add one tiiiiiiny little asset on the road...

fml... ;_;
HURRR I SO DUMB (Seriously, this might not look that bad, but it took me suuuuch a long time *cries to sleep*

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