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Epitasis - Colorful Exploration and Puzzle Game

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  • #16
    Those are some awesome color choices for the bushes.

    If you want to know how dedicated I am to my cause of creating this world in my head, I've actually had this thread open in a separate tab since you directed me here lol. But hey, like I said, take your time and focus on your priorities first.

    I did manage to find/figure out a couple things so far, albeit basic or buggy. The biggest issue I seem to be having with every method I've tried so far is this 'pop' when the teleport happens. My current method for creating the infinite hallway is just to make the hallway identical and really, really long, then just add some sort of obstructive fog in the mid point so you can't see the end or beginning, then teleport the player back to an earlier point. So far I need to figure out how to capture the left/right/height position of the player and apply that to where he gets moved back to, but I still feel I'd get that 'pop' even if everything is identical. Oh, and everything has to be in third person for my project.. So that probably makes it even more difficult.

    However, for those interested in a poor man's door portal, I did find this on the forums.
    Last edited by MetricZero; 07-28-2016, 11:50 AM.
    I have an affinity for the infinity.

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    • #17
      Thanks guys!

      Originally posted by MetricZero View Post
      Those are some awesome color choices for the bushes.

      If you want to know how dedicated I am to my cause of creating this world in my head, I've actually had this thread open in a separate tab since you directed me here lol. But hey, like I said, take your time and focus on your priorities first.

      I did manage to find/figure out a couple things so far, albeit basic or buggy. The biggest issue I seem to be having with every method I've tried so far is this 'pop' when the teleport happens. My current method for creating the infinite hallway is just to make the hallway identical and really, really long, then just add some sort of obstructive fog in the mid point so you can't see the end or beginning, then teleport the player back to an earlier point. So far I need to figure out how to capture the left/right/height position of the player and apply that to where he gets moved back to, but I still feel I'd get that 'pop' even if everything is identical. Oh, and everything has to be in third person for my project.. So that probably makes it even more difficult.

      However, for those interested in a poor man's door portal, I did find this on the forums.
      Yeah, 3rd person is definitely going to be a bit more complicated if you want something seamless.

      I should mention I also have that slight "pop". Its like literally one frame. My current workaround is to simply fade into white and back out while going through quite quickly, which masks the effect, but this dosent make it as seamless as I'd want it to be. My portals are also still largely a work in progress, but I'll try to contribute as much as I can to getting something good. The other last major issue I have with them is optimization. They drain FPS so much from the scene captures, at least when I try to play it full resolution. My current solution is to divide the render target in half of the viewport resolution, which maintains the aspect ratio and a steadily high FPS, but unfortunately makes it a bit more blurry. I also stop updating the render target if the player is a good amount away from them too, but still :\
      lucasgovatos.net | Twitter | Epitasis - A Colorful Exploration Puzzle Game

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      • #18
        Wow, this is so gorgeous! I'm making your screenshot to the picture of the day (which will last the whole weekend actually)
        Twitch /unrealalexander| Twitter @UnrealAlexander
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        Call me to a thread by posting this: [MENTION]Alexander Paschall[/MENTION]

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        • #19
          I still don't know about the hot pink/magenta forest pic @higuy8000 (it might be growing on me though), but everything else is fantastic and I definitely enjoyed your breakdown for your grass. I agree, you should start up a devblog, will definitely be good as a "pseudo portfolio"
          Website/Portfolio: http://www.VictorBurgosGames.com

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          • #20
            Love the art style.
            Check my working title: The Locked Room here: https://forums.unrealengine.com/show...he-locked-Room

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Alexander Paschall View Post
              Wow, this is so gorgeous! I'm making your screenshot to the picture of the day (which will last the whole weekend actually)
              Thank you Alexander! You guys are awesome!!!

              Originally posted by VictorBurgos View Post
              I still don't know about the hot pink/magenta forest pic @higuy8000 (it might be growing on me though), but everything else is fantastic and I definitely enjoyed your breakdown for your grass. I agree, you should start up a devblog, will definitely be good as a "pseudo portfolio"
              Yeah I'm still playing around with the red forest areas colors, although I recently changed the sky to that greenish colors shown in the last couple of pictures which matches really well with the red. It's growing on me quite quickly, and is a nice escape from the other places to explore

              As for a devblog, that is something I'll start working on here soon, along with an actual website for the project as well. I'd like to start doing a more routine update too, possibly each month, while still posting pictures + other media each week. On that same note, should have the portal rendering breakdown posted later today for [MENTION=508607]MetricZero[/MENTION].
              lucasgovatos.net | Twitter | Epitasis - A Colorful Exploration Puzzle Game

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              • #22
                Here’s a new breakdown for portal rendering, as requested by [MENTION=508607]MetricZero[/MENTION].

                A few words though:

                This breakdown won’t cover everything, but hopefully it should get people started on the right direction to building their own portals and rendering them correctly. This same rendering method could also be used to build non-euclidian worlds (eg, a hallway that looks long on the inside, but outside looks short!). It could probably (and has been, although not really shared) be done better in C++, but this has been currently accomplished completely in blueprints.
                Here is an example of what you can expect:



                The first thing we should do is create the following assets:
                - A new blueprint actor class for our portal (BP_Portal)
                - A new blueprint actor class for the portals exit (BP_PortalExitNode)
                - A new material for the portal’s mesh (MAT_Portal_Master). In addition, you’ll need a simple plane mesh (rotated upwards to stand vertically) to apply the portal material to.

                Lets begin with going over how the material will work.



                We plug in a texture 2d parameter into the emissive color. In our BP_Portal class, we will inject a dynamically created render target into this parameter, and that is why we don’t need an actual render target asset. We also plug in a screen aligned UV’s into the UV input of the parameter, as we want the texture to align to the screen.
                This material right here is fairly simple. I also do some effects with the opacity mask to create more of a wormhole effect, which just uses some basic masks and noise textures that rotate and blend together.

                The last thing I do, which is still a WIP is fade out the portal material (lerping it with the render target parameter). I don’t like this, and will most likely get rid of it. In most cases, its not necessary either, since in our BP_Portal class we will stop updating our render target if the player is far enough away.

                Next up is the BP_PortalExitNode class. This class serves as the “exit” for the player and also where the portal renders to as it contains our scene capture component. There isn’t much going on here except for components, variables, and a function to update our scene capture:



                Lastly is the meat of it all, the BP_Portal class. There is a lot of stuff going on in this class and I’m not going to cover it all, but I’ll try to cover the jist of it.



                On Begin Play: The big thing here is creating the dynamic render target 2d. I’m using the Victory Plugin courtesy of Rama to create the dynamic render target, but with 4.11 or 4.12 there was a new node added which made it possible without the plugin to do this. The big thing here is when creating it is to get the correct screen aspect ratio. If it’s off, our portal will be distorted and look incorrect. To maintain a decent FPS, we get the player controllers viewport resolution, divide both X and Y by 2 (so half of the current screen resolution) and use those numbers for our render targets. Something to add in the future would be a scalability setting for this. Obviously if we do not divide the resolution we get a clearer result, but it tends to murder FPS.

                We then take that returned value of the render target, and plug it into a reference of our BP_PortalExitNode’s scene capture component so it has something to render onto. Next we create a material instance of the MAT_Portal_Master and plug the render target texture into the PortalRenderTarget parameter we created inside of it.
                Next is the camera math. With everything else setup correctly, we don’t have to do much to get something realistic now.



                Essentially, all we need to do is set the scene capture component’s rotation (from out BP_PortalExitNode reference) to the player camera’s rotation. It’s slightly hacky, but I have to actually modify the rotation by 180 degrees to get the correct results. This is probably an area that could receive some slight improvements in the future.

                In addition to this all is also where I call the Update function from the BP_PortalExitNode reference. If this function isn’t called (which it isn’t if we are more than 1000uu away) then the portal doesn’t update. The UpdatePortalCapture event is called on tick every 0.03 seconds. Reducing this number comes with more realistic rendering with the sacrifice of performance. Really, scene captures murder FPS, at least for me.

                Last thing we need to do is throw in a BP_Portal into our scene and link a BP_PortalExitNode to the Exit Node Reference!

                Final Result:



                Other things to do are teleport the player to the exit node reference. The easiest way to do this is to setup a trigger volume on the portal which simply transports the player to the exit node references location. This is easier said then done, which is why I didn’t show my code, as its still a WIP and quite messy. The same thing can be done to transport other objects. Another room to improve is to use custom stencil to the give the effect of objects passing into the portal (same thing should be done if you have first person objects and don’t want them to clip into the portal mesh).

                I hope this helps people who are looking to build portals. I know its not a complete guide but hopefully it starts people on the right direction to building their own. Even these systems have a ton of room for improvement and hopefully in the future I can expand on this same tutorial with more knowledge gained on the subject matter.
                lucasgovatos.net | Twitter | Epitasis - A Colorful Exploration Puzzle Game

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                • #23
                  Much love.

                  Thanks for the starting point. No idea how I'll accomplish it but hopefully I can figure out the 'pop' one day. Maybe after I get my feet a bit more wet I'll make a thread of my own dedicated to this subject.

                  But seriously, you're awesome. I wish you the best of luck in your project, I'll be keeping an eye out!

                  Also not sure what I could ever do but don't hesitate to ask if you need help with it.

                  Happy hunting!
                  I have an affinity for the infinity.

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                  • #24
                    Brilliant things here! Thanks for breakdown about the portals - will check it out.


                    I am also working on game like that (open world first person puzzler) but with different visual style. Something like this (only draft for now):
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by nkey; 08-01-2016, 03:17 AM.
                    Pull Request - UE-13079: World Origin Shifting for Multiplayer. Make Arma Not War - TFAR.

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                    • #25
                      Nice portal that you have here !
                      An additional trick that I could suggest would be to use a non-planar mesh and with a not 2-sided material. For example something a bit curved inward the portal. This way, when the player goes through the portal, he will not pass through the mesh before being teleported.
                      That's what they did in the game "Prey" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcZPttO4RZA
                      And also what I did on my own portal system (but I used a cube instead) in UE4 : https://vine.co/v/iXpZUwA6B5W
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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MetricZero View Post
                        Much love.

                        Thanks for the starting point. No idea how I'll accomplish it but hopefully I can figure out the 'pop' one day. Maybe after I get my feet a bit more wet I'll make a thread of my own dedicated to this subject.

                        But seriously, you're awesome. I wish you the best of luck in your project, I'll be keeping an eye out!

                        Also not sure what I could ever do but don't hesitate to ask if you need help with it.

                        Happy hunting!
                        You're welcome, I hope it works out for you! Let me know if you need any help, I'm continually working on improvements for my portals as well. The toughest challenge so far is getting them to look good when loading other levels - I have something in the works for it but I'm still not sure exactly what I'm going to do. Currently my solution is to use a cubemap texture instead of the render target which is okay, but unfortunately its not dynamic since I'm not using level streaming.

                        Originally posted by Froyok View Post
                        Nice portal that you have here !
                        An additional trick that I could suggest would be to use a non-planar mesh and with a not 2-sided material. For example something a bit curved inward the portal. This way, when the player goes through the portal, he will not pass through the mesh before being teleported.
                        That's what they did in the game "Prey" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcZPttO4RZA
                        And also what I did on my own portal system (but I used a cube instead) in UE4 : https://vine.co/v/iXpZUwA6B5W
                        Thanks for the tip on the mesh man, I'll try that out. I believe we've talked on Slack before, your portal still impresses me every time I see it!

                        If anyone has any suggestions on optimizing the portals please let me know. Lots of render targets really seem to destroy my FPS whenever I'm playing my game in certain areas :\. I still need to do a ton of actual optimization too, but I can already see them being a bit of a problem.
                        lucasgovatos.net | Twitter | Epitasis - A Colorful Exploration Puzzle Game

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Higuy8000 View Post
                          If anyone has any suggestions on optimizing the portals please let me know. Lots of render targets really seem to destroy my FPS whenever I'm playing my game in certain areas :\. I still need to do a ton of actual optimization too, but I can already see them being a bit of a problem.
                          I'll definitely let you know if I ever figure anything out. I'm still trying to decipher your blueprints lol. But that lead me to about 500 other things I don't know, so it might be awhile.. At least there's no shortage of things to learn.
                          I have an affinity for the infinity.

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                          • #28
                            looks amazing dude !!! it has some witness and no man's sky vibe here
                            "Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather."

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                            • #29
                              Better pawn No Man's sky and make ue4 prouder. Jking.
                              Nice progress.

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                              • #30
                                Thanks guys! Your kind words and comments mean a lot to me. Glad to see people enjoy the project and its art style.

                                I finally wrapped up with my classes today so I should have a lot more free time to get started on a lot of things I have waiting to do, like creating a blog and website which I'm going to get started on tomorrow. Hopefully should have something soon for people to check out I have also been wrapping up some minor effects like lasers and impact, since a lot of the puzzle elements use those. Made some nice functions inside a library to draw lasers and impacts so can easily call that from any blueprint. Was previously using a simple debug line trace, but the new particle effect allows the player to see which direction the energy is flowing on the beam which is pretty neat.

                                Heres a small sample picture of that, should have some nice media this weekend showing it off a bit more:



                                Cheers!
                                lucasgovatos.net | Twitter | Epitasis - A Colorful Exploration Puzzle Game

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