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Bal's Avatar
Old (#1)
Eh, working on too much stuff already, but still gonna try and make something for this challenge.
Looked around for ideas alot yesterday, at first was gonna go with a tech-ish environement, but I decided that was too common for me, want to make something out of my comfort zone.
I'm going to try to do a traditional japanese environement, inspired by a place I went to this summer in Japan, called mount Koya.

Plan to split it up in 3 sections (might remove one depending on time) :
First is a walkway in a cemetary/forest (might replace the cedar trees by more traditional bamboos). Lots of old stone graves, covered in moss, with light shafts passing through the leaves.
Second part is a small bridge going over a river, similar atmosphere to the first section.
Third is a traditional japanese building you enter, mix of bhoudist temples and old samurai houses. Want a more red atmosphere here, with red wood, and some opened panels showing the forest outside. Final area could be some temple room with a large buddha statue.

Here's a quick idea board, using the photos I took in Japan, gonna start looking for more reference online now.

(ignore the silly frenchman in the middle image.)

On the tech side I'll be using UDK.


For style, not so sure yet, mix of Trine and Muramasa.

Challenges :
-Have never made much natural stuff.
-Gotta figure out a good way to show it off in UDK, haven't messed with Kismet at all yet.
-Learn more about UDK shaders (texture blending, water shaders, waterfall).
-Try out FXs in UDK (falling leaves, waterfall mist).
-Make a nice interface, maybe directly with UDK's built in interface system?
-Finishing on time!

Gotta start sketching some stuff...

Last edited by Bal; 09-05-2010 at 12:28 PM..
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Nilix's Avatar
Old (#2)
I like this idea. Muramasa's style was pretty awesome. I'll be looking out for this one.
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Bal's Avatar
Old (#3)
Ok, started working a bit, here's a quick sketch I made for the first area, couldn't get any coloring I like going, so for now it's just b&w.



Also started making some mockups in UDK, just to get a feel of the view angle etc, here's what it looks like so far.



Not sure how I'll work the background yet, if I want more forest, or some kind of sky popping through the bamboo... Probably go with lots of forest, and some light rays coming from the top through the leaves.
Will also add some bigger trees to add more diversity.

Last edited by Bal; 08-31-2010 at 12:43 AM..
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Bal's Avatar
Old (#4)
Ok, did some progress, made some more mockup assets, and messed around alot with the camera angle, and a bit with the lighting.

I wanted to get a feeling of light going through the leaves, creating shapes on the ground, I used an animated material that I plugged into a dynamic dominant directional light's LightFunction. For now it's just using 2 cloud alphas, so it doesn't look like much, but it shows the idea (will make some proper blurry leaf alphas later). Not yet sure how I'll transition out of it when on the bridge, so it doesn't show up anymore.

Here's a quick video I made, this is the first time I use youtube, and haven't done much video compression in a while... Dunno why youtube didn't put a 720p version (as it was big enough) will have to look into that later on. The colours were a bit borked by the compression to.
I just used Fraps for now, but apparently there's a way to render out an image-sequence when using a Matinee, will try to do that later on for better quality.


Here are some shots too :



Silly robot, get out of my environement!
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CrÍpator's Avatar
Old (#5)
Wow the light passing throught the leaves effect is great.
That kick ass!!!
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Snowman's Avatar
Old (#6)
oh wow nice work really digging the idea best of luck
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PatrickL's Avatar
Old (#7)
One of my favorite entries yet. Keep it up!
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ZacD's Avatar
Old (#8)
damn, your hammering this out pretty quickly and its looking good.
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RiotForQuiet's Avatar
Old (#9)
i like it man. nice job on the lighting coming through the bamboo.
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Bal's Avatar
Old (#10)
Thanks guys!

Started working on the bridge area, and a bit on the textures (did some high polies to generate the maps, but to be honest you can barely see the normal maps at the moment), they are still pretty rough, trying to find the style I want to go with.



Couple things I plan to do :

- Water for the river, haven't ever made any water shaders before, time to learn.
- Adding a waterfall behind the bridge, and maybe some falling leaves, will alow me look into some FX in Unreal a bit maybe, something I've never done.
- Gonna try and mockup the interiour section soon, to have the whole level in place. Want the final room to have a big Buddha statue.
- Make a few simple rocks with textures.
- Make a moss shader I can apply to my rocks to paint mossy areas via vertex colour.
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Mode Magenta's Avatar
Old (#11)
Wow that's looking great! You're making really good progress on this. I've chosen to do something along similar lines (traditional Japanese setting) but after seeing yours I'm thinking of changing direction slightly. Need to get concepting .
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LoTekK's Avatar
Old (#12)
Nice progress! Love how calm and serene the scene is; should make for a nice contrast to the action that'll be going on. I'm liking the texture approach on the bridge, too.
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Zwiffle's Avatar
Old (#13)
Good stuff Bal, good stuff. Babbly brook!
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raul's Avatar
Old (#14)
looking really nice! keep it up!
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Permanent's Avatar
Old (#15)
Yeah I love the lighting, it really gives it a unique feel!

I have a quick question, if you have time. How do you get a 3rd person side scrolling type camera view? I am slightly experienced with udk but that is something I would like to know how to do. Thanks

Last edited by Permanent; 09-02-2010 at 10:34 PM..
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levin's Avatar
Old (#16)
wow great progress! i love the shadows too. some falling leaves and fog would fit in nicely.
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ceebee's Avatar
Old (#17)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Permanent View Post
Yeah I love the lighting, it really gives it a unique feel!

I have a quick question, if you have time. How do you get a 3rd person side scrolling type camera view? I am slightly experienced with udk but that is something I would like to know how to do. Thanks
Seconding this. I'm looking for an easy way to get the same effect.
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Bal's Avatar
Old (#18)
Thanks everyone!

Mode Magenta, I'm sure there's plenty of cool traditional Jap stuff to go around for everyone, don't let my submission stop you from making something in the same style!

levin, yeah I plan on adding more fog and trying to figure out how to make falling leaves.

Permanent, ceebee, you guys should check out the main challenge thread, Cholden and Lee3dee have posted how to do this, here's how the setup looks : http://a.imageshack.us/img237/895/sidescroller.jpg
I added a console command node to change the player walk speed (setspeed), and I just also set up a quick Kismet/Matinee network to be able to change my camera position with triggers (so I can make it come closer when the player eventually goes inside buildings). I can share that if anyone is interested.


I'm really enjoying working with UDK and learning more about it, I'd really like to make a mini game out of this eventually, with a character, some pickups, and a few enemies.
My initial idea is an overworked salaryman (japanese business man) who's been asked by his boss to go bring an offering to an ancient temple lost in the moutnains, before an important meeting to bring them luck.
Unfortunatly, ninjas, crazy schoolgirls, and other baddies are on his path trying to stop him, with the final boss being the Buddha statue he was supposed to leave the oferring for. He could fight with his suitcase, use his tie as a whip, and chuck his many cellphones like kunai.

Will try to post some more work this weekend.
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Permanent's Avatar
Old (#19)
Great! Thanks bro! Excited to implement this in my game!
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RiotForQuiet's Avatar
Old (#20)
I would play that game Bal. :P
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Metta's Avatar
Old (#21)
Love this so far, Bal. Lighting so far is very nice, very shady, has a "cool" temperature. =)
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Bal's Avatar
Old (#22)
Thanks for the encouragements!

More work has been done, the temple exterior is pretty much in place, now all I need is the final area (inside the temple, with the big Buddha statue).
Obviously everything is still very WIP, only started working on a few textures and shaders. Made a nice moss buildup shader inspired by Virtuosic's stuff.

Here's a video of the walkthrough at the moment, HD this time (click on the video to see it in HD, haven't found a way to embed it directly in HD, guess it's not possible on PC). I'm still losing alot of colour when I encode the videos, not sure why.
Music is a quick loop my brother made for me, he's working on a more complete track for the level at the moment (check out his cool music here : http://people.happycoders.org/kamih/ ).



Still lots of work to be done, I stole the water shader from the GDC map, have to remake my own.
Keep having so many ideas, my to do list is getting pretty long. Have to look into importing animations in UDK, I want some carps swimming around in my pond.

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cow1787's Avatar
Old (#23)
Wow, that's looking fantastic Bal!
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Cyrael's Avatar
Old (#24)
you sir, are amazing.
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ZacD's Avatar
Old (#25)
I can't wait to see what else your going to add into it.
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