[DEVLOG] OUTRIVAL : a big world team strategy game




If you choose to read through this thread, thank you in advance for your time.This is currently a solo-developed project that has been in the works since August 2018. The overall concept is simple: to create a territory control game on a large map.
There are many inherent problems with this concept but I have the ambition to try and solve them.

Web: https://www.outrivalgame.com/
Discord: https://discord.gg/fJ3YcUC
Twitter: https://twitter.com/OUTRIVALGame

I am favoring a stylized-realism approach. Realistic highly detailed elements, but with vibrancy.
Art assets are extremely time consuming, so to realize my vision in a timely fashion I’m unabashedly choosing to leverage many of the assets already available. Chief among these are the incredible Paragon assets. I’m also choosing to utilize many of the marketplace & Quixel assets.

The map is the most important element to my game. A first pass took 3 months to complete. This version was completed in Feburary 2019.
Some images;

I have recently begun a 2nd pass at the map, making use of Quixel, Brushify, and other higher quality assets. Some images and videos of updated areas:



I am building around the Paragon assets but I’m not trying to recreate the Paragon characters. There are many similarities of course but abilities & movements are being tailored to my vision. I’ve implemented 16 of the 26 available characters. I intend to stay at the 16, expanding at some future date after the game is playable.

I prefer to have very free & fluid movement. Due to a large map, I want there to be some expedient methods of travel & movement. One such move would be the “Slide” move that has become prevalent in recent games.

Video of Flying & Sliding (built for network play):

All abilities are using GAS (Gameplay Ability System). It’s been a slow roll-out, approximately 50 abilities are created. Mostly primary attacks so each character has a form of dealing damage. Not much focus has been placed on churning out a ton of abilities yet.

The attack abilities are comprised of 2-4 “abilities” with various conditions chaining them together.

Playlist of Attacks:

Playlist of some other Abilities:

Gameplay Simulation from perspective of the Red Team:

OUTRIVAL: Map Only Simulation (3 minutes / 60 players) - YouTube [HR][/HR]

Thank you for reading this far and for checking out my project. Updates are intended to be frequent and I look forward to any comments, questions, feedback, and/or support from this community. Also thank you to Epic for the availability of the Unreal Engine & all the support they give to aspiring game developers like myself. Working with these tools is a dream come true.[/INDENT]

Nice! Hope to play it.
And I wonder: where did you get the paragon spell icons? They didn’t seem to exist within the marketplace packages…

Hey thank you for the response.
The icons are not from Paragon. I’m using some icon asset packs from the Marketplace.
Unfortunately the visuals won’t be as cohesive… indie life.
Fortunately stylized icons tend to work together.
I do need to expand my icon collection a bit still.

March Update

With everything going on in the World, an opportunity presented itself to work a little more on this project. A major Networking objective has been achieved. Also updating my map continues to consume a lot of my time.

Map Update:

Last month I mentioned a 2nd pass at the map. Progress is coming along.

  • New Sky : Utilizing the new technology with 4.24, and implemented a new Sky & Atmosphere. Using a Plugin with small modifications. (Ultra Dynamic Sky)
  • Landscape is being redone using Brushify
  • Background meshes updated/added
  • Color Grading & Lighting is constantly being tweaked.
  • The central POI (Floating Islands) has been re-envisioned, made much much larger. They are a major WIP at this point. What is shown is very rough.

Network Testing:

After much pain & suffering, a huge accomplishment in the past week(s) has been successfully setting up a Dedicated Server for testing.
First issue to resolve was Characters not loading correctly, that has been corrected.
Next new issue is that at least 1 map tile does not successfully load for the client, still investigating.


I’m planning to take a break from Map stuff for a month or 2 and resume work on Abilities & other mechanics.
Some important tasks on my list:

  • Hit Scan ability template & implementation for the few gun-users that are in the game.
  • Win Condition(s) need to be created & implemented
  • Resource Deposits / Acquisitions
  • Experience Gain implementation


So I lied and didn’t take a break from map stuff.

The floating islands have been a huge WIP, questionmark, and concern from Day 1 when I decided I wanted them in my game. Originally they started as very small and would have maybe 3 tiles (of the 89) on the islands.

I recommend watching at 1.25x (or faster) speed for the running parts at least. Also muting or turning down the volume a bit (footsteps/breathing are bit loud and mundane, also the music isn’t the most ideal).


  • This is supposed to be a territory control game where you run around capturing “tiles”. There are 89 total tiles and now 11 of these are in the clouds (on floating islands).

  • I like the idea of the islands for a couple reasons:

    • The land here will be the most desirable (contain the greatest benefits for your team)

    • The portals/bridges offer some natural chokes which will force more combat. Forcing combat without utilizing a “circle” is something I consistently dwell on.

    • Some strategy involved with trying to take the islands, but leaving your grounded-tiles defenseless.

    • Under the islands will be a wide expanse of land with no main objectives (might add a resource objective), but can control the main portals that take you to the islands.

      • Will force teams to pass through (or go up to the islands) and not dwell in the middle of the map much. Either fighting on islands or in enemy territories.

  • Everything is very rough and unpolished. There are numerous graphical elements I’d change given enough time & money.

  • I wanted a floating “city” in here somewhere but it’ll need to wait for another time. I’m scrapping this idea until some future point where this “game” actually becomes something (if ever).


  • Clouds. I wanted to feel like you were in the clouds. Volumetric clouds are risky due to performance issues. Most games use simple planes with an animated texture. First try was using a bunch of these, but I was not achieving the effect I wanted. I searched all over for a “Cloud solution” and finally came upon one from a Sky Asset I found. I acquired the asset and ripped out the cloud portion and added it to my existing sky. It works pretty good, performance takes a little hit, but I’m still running around with 60-70 fps (in the editor). This is usually decent and should be better in a packaged build.

  • Height & Size. Distance is a big deal in games, but I really wanted to feel like these landmasses were huge, and high in the sky. They are pretty ■■■■ high! But there are some issues with rendering objects that far. I need to decide what should be actually seen, without hurting performance too much.

  • Making the islands match the rest of the map was a big deal to me too. I wanted to continue using UE4’s landscape tools and not model the island completely. Utilizing landscapes allows me to make quick changes to the terrain, keep the same texture as the rest of the map, and also benefits performance. So the Islands are utilizing some additional “floating landscapes”.

  • Water. I always love the visuals of waterfalls from floating islands, seems common in most fantasy imagery. Waterfalls were easy enough as I already had the assets, water was also easy but unfortunately can’t be consistent with my ocean water. It’s a different asset, very basic, but looks good enough.

  • Right now there is no fall damage, so jumping from them is fine. I’m debating how to handle this in the final game.

    • Preferably I don’t want fall damage in the game

    • I could continue to allow jumping off, but it seems “weird”. Also bypasses the Portals (choke points) I’ve been trying to create

    • I may add a “portal” in the sky that warps you to a spot if you jump off.

    • Or I could add invisible walls that prevent jumping.

    • Not a huge priority atm to solve

  • Bridges. They are a quick solution for now without requiring portals everywhere. The bridge asset is good but not what I’d consider ideal for floating islands. The supports just float in the air instead of being grounded. Ideally bridges need to be custom-modeled for this environment. I went with the quicker method for now.

Now I’m most likely refocusing on other items for a bit.

Same list from 2 months ago is at the top of my priorities:

  • Hit Scan ability template & implementation for the few gun-users that are in the game.

  • Win Condition(s) need to be created & implemented

  • Resource Deposits / Acquisitions

  • Experience Gain implementation

Wow, that is massive! Looks great though! I’m working on a project that also has big islands in the sky. Any tips on using the landscape tool for that? You mentioned it as one of your challenges. Clouds are one of my headaches at the moment :stuck_out_tongue:
I look forward to seeing where your project goes! It sounds fun.

Thank you!

Using the Landscape tool for floating islands has some challenges. First I had to create a Mesh “Shell” which I did in Blender. Tried to keep it low poly. It doesn’t look great but is something that can be fixed up later. This is going to be the visual element when looking from below. I created a basic material for it.

After that, since I’m using World Comp, I chose which Level the island is in and created a 2nd Landscape for that Level. I then raised it up to my preferred height. Before doing this I did a lot of tests in a blank project to make sure I don’t corrupt my world. World Comp makes it tricky. One issue is I can’t stitch together these additional landscapes & sculpt them together. But since they are islands, I can work around that. I used the Landscape mask tool to hide all the areas outside the “Shell” I had created, and I added a LOT of boulder meshes where the Shell & the Landscape are supposed to merge.

Again, very quick solution. Ideally I’d want to have it all modeled out but I value time savings right now. Especially with how huge this world is and me being a 1-man show.

I took the clouds from a Sky asset in the store, I believe this one: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketp…volumetric-sky
Since I didn’t want the rest of the Sky asset, I had to peel out the Cloud portion and incorporate it into the Sky I’m using.

Since last update (April 21st) I had taken a few weeks break and then been slowly getting back into it.

A little update video:

Gun Abilities are in a very early phase. Guns are probably the most intricate type of ability since there are massive expectations on how Guns should act & feel. This game will not have the most realistic Guns. It’s not an FPS. But they should still feel good. Right now Guns are in a spot where I can create a basic version of a variety of gun types, Full Auto, Semi Auto, Burst, Spray/Shotgun. All of the Guns are Hit-Scan. Audio is the biggest area to improve right now (Muted in above video). Right now only 3 characters wield a gun.

While Projectile abilities (Fireballs, etc) were the most challenging type of ability to create (replication issues out the wazoo), Gun abilities just have so many little details. Right now I’m not even including a Reload system, ammo currently regenerates. There’s no scoping in, no recoil, no accuracy % adjustments based on anything (moving, etc), no damage fall-off (at distance), no headshots (or other damage modifiers based on hit locations), there is a small amount of “bloom” in some cases (FortNite RNG).

Fact is, abilities will be very basic for as long as this is a 1-man project.

The UI is a constant challenge and it’s no wonder Games have large dedicated teams just for the UI. I am never really happy with it, but I continue to iterate. I know the UI is a major area of concern for me in any game. I’ve updated a lot of the front-end/lobby. Still not 100% happy but imo it’s an improvement. Eventually I’ll update the in-game UI again.

The login/registration process has always existed just a new look. I am using Amazon’s GameSparks for the login system.

I’ve decluttered the Lobby. Less “stuff” in your face. I never highlighted the Lobby in the past, but the gist of it is:

Pick a Champion

Select a “build” of 5 abilities for that Champion (a Template system is created for quickly saving builds).

Pick a Skin/Style

Join a Game

Adding Team Lobbies & Premade groups is a far-off stretch goal.

I have added the First Win Condition which is simply “Capture X number of tiles”. Where X is currently a number between 36 & 62. (Randomly selected by the server upon game creation). RNG for testing purposes. Will eventually hone in on a good number. There are 89 total tiles on the map. So the numbers represent capturing between 40% & 70% of the map.

It’s a very basic win con and I have a few other ideas planned.

  1. Total Domination (last team standing)

  2. Blitz = Accumulate X number of points for your team. Acquire points via Kills, Captures, etc.

  3. Artifacts = “Capture the Flag” type of game - steal the “artifacts/flags” from the opponents, win after capturing them all.

The idea behind multiple Game Modes is to find what works best for this “Match-Based 3rd Person Large World Territory Control” type of game.

2 Years of Development Trailer: