I am an industry professional with over 11 years of experience (6 in QA, 5 in my current role as a Technical Designer), have been using UE4 professionally since late 2014, and have shipped one game on PC/PS4 with the engine. I work with UE4 in a AAA studio and while I do get to touch several aspects of the game and engine every day, I don’t necessarily get to touch all of them (which is expected in a AAA setting).
I’ve had a few side projects over the years as a way to stay up to date with UE4 but decided to start this more serious project a few weeks ago after stumbling upon some Perfect Dark and Goldeneye “hacking” websites. I have fond memories of playing PD on N64 and thought that remastering it would be a fun, challenging and most importantly achievable/realistic (from a technical POV) project.
I’m fully aware of the legal issues around remastering an existing IP. If this ever sees the light of day it will of course be as a free release, and if it gets hit with a C&D then that means we did a good enough job to start with ;). The main goal of this project for me is continuous improvement/learning new skills and I’m okay with that being the only takeaway. If you want to help with this project, you should be, too.
I use the term remaster purposefully. The idea is not to remake Perfect Dark, but to update it to today’s visual standards while also making minor changes to some of the elements that did not age well.
The only major change is to use a modern PC/Console shooter aiming system (without ADS), since the Goldeneye/Perfect Dark aiming model was more a result of physical limitations with the controller than actual desirable design.
There will probably also be other minor Level Design changes. Let’s just say that the standards have evolved since the year 2000. The original game has a lot of Level Design decisions that were taken as a way to mitigate performance problems (long view distances weren’t really a thing on N64 hardware…), which resulted in very claustrophobic levels. The overall layout and objectives of the original levels will be the same, but with improvements where appropriate.
The focus will be on the Single Player experience at first, but all systems will be built with replication in mind for multiplayer (this is already the case). The goal is to eventually support all modes, including Co-Op and Counter-Op. Unclear right now whether split-screen will be supported.
- The geometry for *most *of the SP and MP levels from the original game has been ripped (thanks to thiswebsite) and, not without some pain, imported into UE4 as reference meshes. This will save a ton of time that would otherwise need to be spent greyboxing the original layouts by hand. Here are a handful of examples:
All weapons and weapon animations have been ripped from the original game to use as placeholders. The goal is not to use any content ripped from the original in the final product, this was only done to help develop the weapons system and have functioning versions of all weapons as a base.
The Weapon system is up and running and replicated. Most weapons have been implemented and my focus right now is implementing the more exotic weapon functionality like throwables and most of the secondary fires.
Here is some footage of the weapons right now, using the PD64 meshes and the PD Source (HL2 Mod) sounds. The PD Source sounds are mostly placeholder as well but I may seek permission from the original authors to use them since that mod has been dead for a long time now.
NOTE: There are several animation bugs and missing features like equip/unequip anims. Since the goal is to replace these weapons with properly-made meshes and animations, I’m not bothering creating systems that support the way Perfect Dark’s original animations were authored as that would be a waste of time.
Human Weapons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPGY8eAZzGs
Maian/Skedar Weapons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NEasCfX0Ac
The project is fully source controlled using a Perforce server hosted at a cloud service.
I am mostly looking for Level Artists, Weapon/Props Artists, Animators and Character Artists for now. I would like to flesh out more of the gameplay systems and establish a workflow before bringing on more people like Level Designers and other programmers.
Ideally I am looking for other industry professionals that are either looking for a hobby project to diversify their portfolio, or like me are looking to get their hands into more aspects of the engine than they usually get to at work. Your level of involvement is up to you, whether you want to own the art and design of an entire level, or just always wanted to remake the Farsight into something that doesn’t look like a weird alien ■■■■■.
Please contact me either here or via email.