Post 5: A wee bit of landscaping

My previous university project was based inside of a temple, so naturally I never really needed to play with sculpting in Unreal Engine. After an hour of muddling around, I had something of substance. I did add a few things in order to enhance aesthetics. Vertical texture layering; Basically this allows me to use one material brush to paint a landscape and the textures being displayed will be dictated by the verticle positioning of each face in relation to each other. This allows me to create mountains, fields, beaches ... etc and they will automatically be textured accordingly. (See video and screen shots.) Distance Scaling; this scales the textures on the map up and down according to the distance of the player to them. Closer textures are bigger and further away textures are smaller. This was great for the closer up, but became quite obvious for the further away landscape. Distance tinting; this fixed the problem of repeating textures by adding tinting to random areas. This helps by creating visual variance. All of the textures that were used can be found in the starter pack; included with Unreal and all the tinting can be changed to whatever color I want, which allows for some pretty interesting color palettes.

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Post 4: Character Creation

I had a little time with me, so I went for a visit to Mixamo and obtained a collection of basic movement animations; walk, run, sprint, strafe left, strafe right and walk backwards. From there I quickly created a blend space using the existing movement controller, taken from the unreal default character. Pretty standard stuff really, the movement animations are based off the speed of the character and the newly donned "Bob" can now run forward and strafe. I will be aiming to implement smoother turning animations, but for now this will do. A short post, I know. But at the moment this is all just ground work to get me to a position where I can implement the narrative and start working on the 3D models.

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Minesweeper VR: Introduction

I thought I’d write a bit about this as my notes exist in the form of a second year, university assignment and I have all that archived away in around 80gb’s of RAR files. Minesweeper VR started off as the solution to a brief requiring us to create a puzzle game that would be played on an HTC Vive. Over a four week period, it was conceptualised, planned, designed and implemented to the extent that this could all be conveyed to a third party / player. I had always wanted to create a World War 1 themed game and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to go along with this aesthetic. Using the model packs found below: I was able to shortcut the usual model rush associated with my overscoped projects and focus primarily on mechanics, coding and the bugs that would naturally come. Overall, I was pretty happy with the results considering a) My first time developing for VR and b) the actual concept is pretty rock solid. With a few tweaks and bug fixes, I have absolute confidence that this could be a full release. The issues with finishing this are my lack of VR kits to develop off and in this regard, I would be required to wait until next year to get on to it. This being said, a release for VIVE could be completely viable for Q4 2020. Don’t get me wrong, I am 2000% keen to get this done, all that remains is a matter of time available to me next year. In the mean time, below are a couple of snaps from a playtesting

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Post 3: Character Ideation

So last session I touched on the mythical side of Scottish history, which I found shared a lot in common with the Irish. On that note, my current train of thought revolves around keeping this experience as Scottish as possible. Thankfully, Scottish history is rich with figures of prominence.

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Post 2: Character Ideation

I thought I'd research Scottish history and mythology as a start point. This will no doubt give me great ideas as to what heroes, villains, NPC's and monsters I wish to incorporate. Potentially this will be used for inspiration only, in which case I may end up turning the narrative into a work of fiction. Never the less, this is what I found.

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Post 1 : Project Unicorn

This is the start of my most ambitious project yet and will involve more research, conceptualisation, ideation, iteration and just about any other word you can slap an 'ation' on the end of. Of course, it should be said that I will also be working simultanious projects, as any indie developer does, in the form of bring my University projects up to release standard. I'll write about those in subsequently tagged posts.  This project is entirely from scratch. The idea for this project started when I was at a friends house, in Raglan, the weekend after I finished my final assignment for my second year. Whilst there he put my on to his Playstation 4 (not my console of choice) with a copy of 'Ghosts of Tsushima'. Needless to say, I was hooked by its stunning visuals and blatent disregard for any major progressive thinking towards mechanical content. Ordinarily I'd say this was a run-of-the-mill RPG made by a team stacked with 3D artists and conceptual geniuses. To their credit, I had an absolute blast playing the game and even now I'm still very tempted to purchase a console and a copy of the game. What this shed light on was just how much aesthetic content could play a role in the experience had by a player. Being a HUGE, read it; MASSIVE, fan of intriquite mechanics; this made me think about narrative games in a larger light.

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Welcome to the new look Vector…

To anyone who reads this, thank you. It's been a long, strange life journey in this; the 33rd year of my life and it could be said that the support of those around me are partially responsible for the past and 100% responsible for where I am heading. A couple of years ago, I bit the proverbial bullet and quit my job. At the time, it was the most harrowing experience I had subjected myself to and for the first year; seemed to be not a great one either. However, after working through the initial speed bumps of any brand new start up, Vector Creative was born. With a focus around general marketing and media creation, I spent the next year making websites, logos, social media assets, print assets and anything else that businesses would need in establishing brand identity. More importantly, I was afforded the time and the freedom to gain perspective and this brings us to the present. VECTOR interactive is my creative output. A pure stream of my thoughts, hopes and dreams turned into a medium that has been part of my soul for the last 33 years. I could never say goodbye to Vector Creative as it has been the vessel to allow my creative development. Rather I'd pay tribute, by making sure it winds down in way befitting of such a part of my life. Once again, I look forward showing the world what I can do and maybe creating a capacity for fun and interaction in the process.

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