Zebedee Development Week 12

howdy folks!

We were asked before going into the presentation to go to digital futures and present our game for others to play which we accepted. Gives us a chance to meet people in the business,

But as things go after rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal its amazing how much you can get nervous. Even when its only a few people ye know that’s listing.

But things went well and they were happy with our presentation and on a personal note we al delivered it very well.

So this is the last of the official make them do blogs ! part and the next few will be updates on the future. We plan on revealing our beta version to the public soon and attach a form if people would like to help us out by giving us ideas , or general play testing help.

But there shall be updates but with different titles as it will be more of a hobbie than a working game for the time being. But we are going to digital futures so we will be fixing issues before then and hopefully you guys get a Beta v2 version to test for us.

We will leave you with a short video that we used in the presentation.

But we would like to thank each and everyone of you for reading our blogs and getting behind the project during this UWS module. We look forward to seeing yous again.

from Ricky, Amanda, Andrew and Zebedee .. beeb … beeb… poop!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OefoclwwI8

Zebedee Development Week 11

Howdy!

So last week the game was wrapped up for beta testing and this week its all about the testing and its results. Then worry, sob and cry about the presentation. Pretty much!

We already had an internal Alpha test which was just  black box test. This means does that work like it said. Tick yes, done. This was already done before we initially got to this stage as during unreal you develop and play straight away. So any changes and fixes are ongoing. Thus us having an agile methodology.

So we tried to get 24 people to test our beta version 1 – version 2 will be after UWS.

So the following is the beta test which was handed out to a total of 16 – under half what we expected but still a good amount to work on from. The types of people we gave it out to were of different skills and ages to get a good balance.

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The questions were very simple but we had to play to who was testing. No technical stuff needed as we played to the more aesthetic side.

The majority of feed back was very good!.  In a short summery and average of what the answers where.

The majority loved our levels but felt they were not that obvious during navigation.

They liked sphero for his light but felt he could offer more in term of help by highlighting or speaking. One or two though he was distracting.

Our levels were nice and detailed however there were a few places where Zebedee could get stuck or walk through a rock. Also floating trees.

They were our typical answers. Another being out with our control due to lack of information on the subject but the loading between levels takes a while.


So what next? . We knew these were the faults before we started but a fresh set of eyes is always good. So with the feed back on the buggy side like Zebs getting stuck we will fix before the next lot of testing and round of implementation. But as for suggestions we looked at all and will seriously consider them al each.


But overall we are really happy with the feed back!. The levels seem really vague and bland to us, so they don’t look that appealing and when we test them we go straight for the parts and don’t look around so its refreshing to see others enjoy them.

Thats all for this week , we will see you guys next week for the final stage of Zebedee – The presentation !

good day , good night and good bye!

Zebedee Development Week 10

alrite folks !

Week 10 – aka scary time!

This week was heavily focused on knitting the levels together. Sound simple right ?.. well if your auld granny had to knit under this much pressure she would burst into flames. Her and your cute winter scarf.

but like i said … simple right ?. Not when the levels are quite big, on average computers, and have a large amounts of assets.

Also try and keep in mind the other two classes are approaching due dates for hand ins as well. Quiet selfish of them.

So first of all we had to create a blueprints(virtual scripting) for the items which needed picked up. This being the  talisman and ship parts. After which when had a serious of booleans ( yes and no’s) to determine if they had all been gathered before leaving the area onto the next.

So bellow is a few screen shots of that said scripting involved.  This is very messy looking but that gets fixed later on with a good coding standard of commenting and colour co-ordination

But when migrating the levels together there was a mass panic and heart attack as the UWS computer crashed so Ricky had to do it at home which took alot of time. Like everything within unreal you need patience and time.

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Basically this looks to see if the item is available , if it has been picked up ,add to inventory then what to do when its picked up. With the branching conditions that ultimately lead to if you have all this then next level.


So here are some shots of the levels

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This being the Mountain by Ricky, Where you can see the cave , water and forest features. The red light and box is where the trigger is to leave if you have all parts.


Here is the Forest level By Amanda

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With these images you can see some ship parts , a lovely waterfall and the river.


And last but not least Andrews desert level !

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Andrews level was the hardest and most complex. The players will have to figure out what door opens when you press the button/ There are also a challenging jumping part to get to a part.. maybe>? and also when all parts and talisman are collected the door way casts a texture which when entered takes you back to the main menu.


Thats al for now folks next week is our testing which we shall reveal how they went and also share what we asked , thanks for reading. Until next time !

Screenshot 2015-04-17 12.52.08

Zebedee Development Weeks 8 & 9

Hello all !

Well lets begin with some tragic, devastating, dreadful news. After roughly 3-4 weeks of doing tuts on characters there was some sort of bug < best description ever. And the character files just wouldn’t seem to work with unreal. The first set of character files which were made with the unreal plug in for Maya 2015 ended up morphing the character into on of those angels form the not so resent “Noah”. Those mangled looking things, Then the other two i created i tried using a 3rd party program which places a rig within a skeleton. Apparently made 4 knees , 3 elbows (2 right arm, 1 left) and looked down right dreadful.

So we initiated our risk assessment protocol and just used the basic character model available by unreal. For now anyway. it is very sad but not the end of the world.

After this the feeling has went slightly gloom and even though its not lack of effort there is cloud hanging over our heads. We will use a texture on the simple character and hope for the best for our presentation and beta game. This is the game which the UWS will get as a hand in, We plan on continuing the work in the future.

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Also a very small section to what was missed out by mistake  on the last blogs which was the mountain level design.

Its just a laughable mock up lets be honest but does the trick,

Mountain

All key components.  And to recap you must collect all ship parts and talisman before being able to move onto the next level. Thats where next week comes in where we decided who starts first and show off some screen shots of the levels and finally tie them all together.


Maya 2015: Asset creation: Sphero, Ship, Ship parts, fruit By Ricky Steven

So with the remaining weeks left to put the game into a workable media we have to implement Zebedee’s A.I helper who will shine a light for him. Later in the weeks after UWS we hope to add better features, and will be asking our beta testers what they would expect to see.

First off here is the A.I helper Sphero

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The asset was created by using a simple sphere Which is then textured. Then the sphere was duplicated and all the sides apart from the middle ones, in this case the ones with the black rubber texture were deleted and the remaining where fitted to look like a rubber strip round it. The Eye part was a case of extruding the sides also stretching them until they look like good.   Then smoothing the whole thing.

Then for the small Arial like parts at the back its just a tube on top of a torus shape (like one of those cushions for piles) and a sphere to make it look like a hinge or joint.

Then the whole thing was textured by each part. Unfavourably some where lost during the import process to unreal engine.


The ship that will follow was created by putting up to references. Then to try match it. This was after following similar tutorials on space ships.

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Most of the process was extruding sides OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Then hitting smooth.


Then lastly the other things which were created – The ships rocket was divided into 3 for parts along with one or two other made up equipments like triangulator , and fusion pulse reactor. These are to go with the assets in which we plan to use within the starter content aka Free items. Fruit was also created  but we are dropping the health system to focus on paperwork and getting the core system of collecting the ship parts done for week 10 so just added one of the obscure ones created..

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As far as paper work wise we al play a hand but Andrew and Amanda have created the black box test plan, the dissemination strategy which is how we plan to get the game out there and for promotion like Facebook, BLOGS, YouTube and such. and also beefed up the entire document. All its left is the testing, beta testing and the results and how we will analysis and implement them. We also somehow forgot to mention our software development approach which is of-course the agile method. As we work in a small team, and soon as we finish one task we can move onto the next and if need be move back again as we please.

Since we will have caught up with paper work after this week in week 10 we plan to use that time both on finishing levels and implementing them together.

Thats all for now Thanks Folks , beep beep poop Form Zebedee!

Zebedee Development Weeks 6 & 7

Howdy folks.

The last few weeks have been a little frustrating to say the least, Especially the latter!.

With other projects and course work now becoming thicker it’s harder to fully focus on the Zebedee project alone. And when you throw that in with programs crashing , levels not syncing , and work being lost then you can imagine how frustrating it really can be like I said. But that’s enough of that and now its time to show and tell you guys what’s been happening.


The last two weeks the team have also focused in on getting some of the paperwork done.  This involved the 3 of us doing such things like updating and continuing on with the planning document, the dissemination plan and also starting the quality assurance. Before even considering testing strategy’s and so on.


The next usual showing off Rickys level is a little sad as it ended up corrupt and being lost forever. The only positive spin on this is that now that experience has been gained using unreal engine  it won’t take very long at all to come up with a level. Amanda’s and Andrew’s levels have being developing at a slower pace since they have been working off of the same game file, which has resulted in the files not syncing properly on Google drive.


Unreal Engine 4: Created a cave system and island hopping feature By Ricky Steven

So the following is the level that is lost but I’m still going to show what I have been doing. I created locations where I planned to have the ship parts. One of the locations was an island and in order for the player to reach it they had to jump over smaller islands avoiding the water. The other was a cave which I built with unreal engines ramp feature which basically creates a walk way and you can alter its height and width. I did this then altered the appearance to make it more natural looking, i also added in some glowing rocks which looked like gem’s and added in reflection captures so the light from the gems glimmers and illuminates the cave. The cave was very dark and the plan was that when the player walked in the light on him would automatically come on.

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And rather depressingly after 2 days of trying to fix the broken level and search for a possible recovery this is what i have of the new level. This is a roughly sculpted terrain which has smooth areas which i plan to roughen up to make it more realistic. Even though the game could be cartoon like. The engine is more realism driven and to get the effect i want you use the noise tool but tweak it so it gives a ragged rough effect. It basically randomises the area within the marque tool and makes it look natural.

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Maya 2015: Unreal Engine plugin for character creating and rigging By Ricky Steven

There isn’t much to show and tell at this  part. But in basic terms there is a very simple tutorial to follow which involves a few clicks and you have a basic character model and rig. And due to problems and other projects that’s al has been managed to get done which is worrying as the weeks get harder and quicker,

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Hopefully the levels will be done by next week and the character has some progress. We are still very hopeful to have our own character. But if the implementation of a full working character can’t be done by the end of week 7 we will resort to the standard blueprint character available from unreal engine. This is sad as so much time has been spent but we can then focus on other areas of the game like having the games objectives set in place.

Thats all for now thanks for reading.

Zebedee Development Weeks 4 & 5

Howdy Folks !

At this stage of Development its more trial and error than anything else. You could spend hours doing a tutorial on a piece of work and for it to simply fail and not work. .. Either that or the software your using crashes and bugs out. This will happen alot in the future.

Its time to start producing things for the levels .. and the levels themselves reckon we should have another 3 weeks and the main parts should be finalised. Little added touches can come later on if there’s time!.  If we have nice vast levels for our players to experience everything else can almost become secondary.


Since last few weeks Amanda managed to import that waterfall feature she was wanting so badly. She learned that instead of copying and pasting from the unreal engine’s pre made project she had to migrate it. This was a useful lesson which we learned as it stops bad things form happening ,, or not happening in this case..

Andrew also continued on his desert level and has also been helping out on the paperwork. Giving us a head start in that front.

My self ( Ricky) have been dwelling into almost everything. I haven’t been well in resent weeks …”( 1…2…3.. Aww)”. Particularity week 4 . So during that week i did simple tutorials as my attention span was shorter than flee with ADHD.

I tried creating a a start up movie for before the game. Wasting an hour or 2 for it not to work… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdHvWCDHLoc&feature=youtu.be

I then also had a play about with painting textures within Unreal Engine.


Unreal Engine 4: Created a material blend and then painted it to the landscape. By Ricky Steven

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What you see here is a very ‘shoddy’ looking landscape. Which with the material blend I created i have painted onto that landscape and if you look closely at some parts it does actually blend together. The material blend I created featured a texture for rocks,dirt/gravel,grass and snow.


And after a very slight recovery ‘cough’,’cough’ I then begun my level creation. For those who haven’t been following along just to quickly bring you up to speed the last few weeks i have been creating blue prints for the character with Unreal Engine and creating assets.


Unreal Engine 4: Landscapes By Ricky Steven

As you will see i am going for an alien-like looking planet. The design Document which we made has made it clear our Target Audience is kids and the younger ages so I feel that that if it was different from earth type landscapes it would capture their imaginations more.

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My vision for this for the character to walk down a natural walkway down towards the lake. I will also be adding foliage (trees,grass) later on and adding in atmospheric glows and mists. The levels very big and a rule of law is that something must happen every 30 seconds within a game or movie. So I was thinking of adding simple A.I in like butterflies and birds. I would also like to implement a stream coming from  cave and into the lake. The green which you see in the pictures was just a basic material i used to make it look like something. I was thinking along the lines of a purple/blue terrain to make it more alien like. Or at least the mountains that way.

Bellow are exaggerated examples of alien like colours.

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Maya 2015 Character creation By Ricky Steven

I tried to dive in and create a character. As a complete noob and with only reference images of generic aliens i think making Zebedee is going to be tough, In actual fact i know it will be tough.

So following a tutorial which lasts roughly and hour means about 2 hours of work. Minimum.

As you will see from the images i used a reference on 3 sides and made a basic generic human shape,. The plan is now that the shapes there i can now go in a n refine touches and then do the rigging for making him move. Obviously this takes vast amount of time so remain patient and don’t laugh to much at my poor modelling skills which will unravel in due course of this semester.

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Hopefully you can see that there is a basic alien like figure which i can now expand on. But overall we feel like the project is coming along nicely. The fail safe though for the deadline is to use the standard character that unreal engine supplies for our project. We can always implement later after UWS is done with.

Thats all for this blog just now , more to follow on next week with updated maps and character models.

thanks for reading and a special thanks from Zebs !

Zebedee – Development Week 3

Howdy folks!

Yet another busy week Learning , creating and doing other classes at UWS ..”Annoyingly” participating in other classes should I say. But that’s enough moaning for now!.

To recap ?.

Paperwork was ,,,,,, blahh boring ! You’ll never have to really hear about that. Don’t worry ! This is what helps me nap on a Wednesday afternoon .

Last week Amanda & Andrew Worked on their levels – To be more specific they learned how to craft landscape and watch alot of tutorials(tuts).

These are there level designs … Absolutely Beautiful . mine ( Rickys ) Will be shown soon , You can count on that !.

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The reason I haven’t yet for those not following or just new Last week I focused on learning Maya 2015 and created some assets, and also made the character move and become controllable via game-pad and few other bits and bobs.  If you look at the last blog you’ll see I uploaded screen shots of my work and explained a little of what’s going on.


This week Amanda and Andrew are still focusing on their levels and will continue to do so.  They also plan on making in-game assets like fruit for Zebedee , trees and more rock features that sort of thing. Andrew had chosen to do the desert/sand level as he explains he has some good ideas for it .  The groups idea in this was for there to be an old ruin or pyramid . Amanda grabbed the forest level as she has a very elaborate vision and a slight obsession with making a waterfall and this leaves Ricky with the mountain level. This is where I shared a vision of a cave feature and a big lake/loch feature also.

Hopefully I can share some screen shots of their work soon with you guys so yous can get a real visual look.

Ricky Followed on where he left off last week and completed the character movement controls and a little more. As well as doing more tutorials in Maya 2015 for the mock spaceship.


Unreal Engine 4 tutorials: Gamepad input, Punching, and Dust Particles Ricky Steven 

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This week Ricky managed to get the Gamepad working (Xbox/Playstation/pluginplay). And also now has the character jumping nicely. This is also mobile compatible

He implemented a punching movement which involved more animation using persona and rigging it up with the blueprints. The tricky part which happened here was if you punched first then moved the character glided, so after following along on the tutorials they offered a solution to counter it . If there is an object with physics enabled the character can punch it around like the purple ball you will see in a later screen capture.

Ricky Also added in a particle effect so when eh moves the character runs it looks like dust is emitted. This was done within the persona.

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A way to do this is to do it in where you animate and when it looks like the characters foot touches the ground you can add in the event for a particle or sound. The default for this is pretty cool as its explosions.. So when your run around its like your on a mine field. But as for the pictures you see is where the particle for dust is manipulated in-which in this case it was made  look like much less  of it than the default. Also the spectacular was taking away to make it look more darker with no shine.


Unreal Engine 4 tutorials , Extra work: New Level, landscape Tuts and intro movie  Ricky Steven 

The extra work means that more was done than expected mainly because of time needed for other classes at UWS or Work. So its never planned to do so but if it can be done we will desperately need it.

We now know a method of changing levels , this way which was tried was to basically work if you touch an actor. In this case the actor is placed in a doorway and the blueprint is very simple its basic speech is if touching go to here, ” Theres the purple ball i told yous about!”

Screenshot 2015-02-25 00.55.12


Ricky also had a little crack at playing with the level design. the images which are supplied show it was a little mess around and they ain’t pretty that’s for sure. But the lesson learned here was roughly shaping a landscape and how to make materials work for the paint tool.

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The blueprints picture has the 3 textures that were used: Rock, Dirt/Gravel and Grass. They are plugged into a blend which creates a new material.


And lastly on the Unreal Engine Front for this week a Intro movie was made and implemented.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTmrw35RL7Y&feature=youtu.be]

DNA Games is the name of Rickys Facebook and Twitter relating to games where Zebedee is promoted and shared,


Maya 2015 tutorials : First Attempt at a simple ship prototype Ricky Steven 

The following screen captures show the progression of what Ricky started with and ended with. You can laugh al you wish and make jokes , we sure did but remember this is the first attempt to have a basic ship in place within the game.

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A tutorial was followed and basically you start off with a square and keep extruding faces , over and over and over and again and so on until you have a very rough shape like a cardboard spaceship and then move edges and lastly press smooth about 4/5 times.

This is where I leave yous , More to follow next week thanks for reading and a bye from us and Zebedee !

Zebedee Development Week 1 & 2

Alrite Boys and Girls welcome back!.

The first 12 blogs were the planning stages for Zebedee, now its time to get stuck in and create him and his endeavours.

Its great to be back first of but the realism of our task is now more daunting than ever. But if that means throwing our life’s away for 12 weeks to try our best to have something remotely similar to our concept then we are prepared for that !

This Blog has been Bundled together for the first two weeks.  Simply due to the fact that over the Festive –  mid January we all had other projects and things going on and by the time they were finished we all had a break for a week or so. This meant that we had to go over basic Tutorials to familiarise ourself’s with the software’s that we need.


Maya 2015 tutorials : Creating Basic Shapes ,Rocks, Create and flags by Ricky Steven 

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Although the rocks are really primitive its enough for us to grasp the feel of using Maya 2015. As you can see from the gallery we can mould them into any shape we want or need. To make the texturing better however it has to be textured twice. The second being a bumpmap , Basically giving it a rough 3d effect as without doing that the rocks look flat.   Very poor quality “snapchat” videos of the moving flags.

 http://youtu.be/yXlZhjJVNhs    http://youtu.be/l1Q9iK4l2aU


Unreal Engine 4 tutorials: Character import,Animation sets, Movement, and Controls by Ricky Steven 

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This is the tutorial that you would follow from the Unreal Engine website or there YouTube.

The first steps were importing there FBX files. The only tricky bit about this is the order you do it i.e. having the skeleton FBX in-place first.

The inputs where added – for gamepads , mouse and keyboard. This was very simple but its later on where it gets wired up.

Then a simple metallic material to give him colour. Purple was chosen to keep in with the Zebedee vibe.

The blend space was created. – This is where you have the character switch from being idle to walking to running so its fluent.  This is done in persona mode within Unreal and you can add sound effects for foot steps and particle effects in here.

After this the animation blue prints were made. These are made via making a state machine , which basically makes what if statements to determine if the character is walking , or jumping.. For instance if he is still jumping then loop the jump mid animation and then play jump end when he’s about to land . This is done with boolean and timed enabled variables.

When the State Machine has been blueprinted you then do Animation Graphs to hook them together to get them actually working at the appropriate times and events they should.

The last tutorial That was done was hooking up the controls for the character within blueprint and assign a camera behind the character.  And after doing a play test it all worked the character that I had imported and animated was running about and jumping.

Screenshot 2015-02-17 20.13.26

This is the Tutorial list that has been followed. By next week the rest will be completed.


The main goal from The Treasure Hunters is to create and make almost everything by ourself. Thus why the making of the models for rocks and chests. We can’t announce just yet our time lines for the levels and Zebedee models but if you follow week by week you can see the game slowly unfold.

Thanks from Zebs 😀

Zebedee Week 12

Well guys the Presentation was a success!

 

The Lecturer seemed to have liked it, and if I do say so my self was very beautifully made. The though process behind it was a simple .. who is he .. why is he there .. what does he do .. competitors .. blah blah blah that’s not important just now as the GDD will be realised and so will the PowerPoint at the end.

But amongst this good news the sad news is Zebedee will be going to sleep for  a short while…. Until next semester when we create him and the planet in-which he is doomed on!

If any developments are made , notifications or any other related dribble , be sure that we will post and let yous know ..

Thanks for reading so far guys the excitements just begun in our eyes though!

Zebedeee would like to say …..

 

01001101 01100101 01110010 01110010 01111001 00100000 01011000 01101101 01100001 01110011 00100000

AND A

01001000 01100001 01110000 01110000 01111001 00100000 01001110 01100101 01110111 00100000 01111001 01100101 01100001 01110010 00100000

Merry Xmas & a Happy New year !

Thanks for reading guys we’ll be sure to see yous in the new year with more Zebedee !!! and a special thanks From Ricky , Amanda and Andrew !!

Zebedee Week 11

Howdy !

 

This week there has been a big scramble to Finnish off the game design document. The groups been slowly picking away at it , but due to other classes its not been as straight forward as to just finishing it off.

But the GDD is now complete , everything is updated the website will now continue after the Festive period and will be updated since there was problems with it since week 5 or so and we will be re-homing either under the Zebedee Treasure hunter banner or that of DNA Games.

This was the last class as the next is the build up to our pitch to our lecturer. So this week we have been looking and thinking what we could put in the presentation. So that’s pretty much been the thought process this week as Ricky will create the Power Point and Amanda will create the prototype level and Andrew will beef up the GDD.

after this the group will part ways for a short time to focus on there flash animation project that’s due to be in on January (FLASH IS DEAD).

Thats all for now until next week where the presentation is due … wish us Luck !