Probing for an estimate on a core part of a game

Im probing around for a programmer / game designer. I have a project I want to start but im unsure on how much it would cost to startup the project so im trying to get an estimate on a core part of the game. Preferably this would be done in unreal so that we could easily implement VR and other gimmicks if we so wished later on. Time is not an issue right now but price is. If the projects to expensive to even get the core creation system up ill have to back-burner this for a few years instead. The reason i added game designer in the title is that while i have alot of the game worked out in theory practice will no doubt throw wrenches in places I probably did not foresee.

The core idea is fairly simple. Im calling it the frame system for now since it uses a frame to build off of. Stats and abilitys of the mech are dictated by the materials used in the creation process. For every block applied a stat is applied to the mech with it.

The idea is to allow players to build highly customizable robots while still allowing for animations to be implemented. My idea was to have the players place blocks on frames that are segmented. A player would assemble a frame using a head, back, legs, torso, and arm parts. The composition of frame parts dictate the kind of animations the mech will be allowed to use. The frame itself is skinny, midly blocky looking and built to be entirely covered with blocks.

After the frame is built the player builds on the frame with blocks. The player builds on each individual frame piece and is restricted to how far out he can build out with it to prevent major clipping between each section of the mech. No weapons external weapons are applied at this time. If the frame part has a built in weapon or a player has constructed a built in weapon block to place in the frame he can equip it like any other block. Direction of fire for the block is based on the players placement of the block. At this point the mech will look like a real mech, players can color blocks in this stage.

Weapon attachment is the next stage. Players will build weapons using a similar frame system as what was used for the mech and equip them to the mech. Weapons come in two types for this step, dynamic and static. Both types of weapons have animations but dynamic weapons are built to be equiped to either the hands or feet while static weapons are built to be attached to other parts of the body, such as shoulder mounted cannons or back missiles. All weapons can be dropped during the game but only dynamic weapons can be reequipped during non creation modes. (This is getting more into the game i intend to use this in.)

From here the mech is complete and ready to destroy things.

Concerns about the project:

My main concerns are technical. Having so little experience in this field I have no knowledge of methods that may accomplish these task. Is it possible to attach multiple parts to make a skeleton and still expect it to work correctly? If this cant work i know its possible to make a single frame and build off that but I would still want to find ways to segment the frame to prevent players from making massive clipping abominations.

A long term goal of this particular part of the project would be to allow players to smooth out the blocks on their machines and make them look sleeker.


I’ve moved this thread to the general discussion to give you a chance to flesh out things before you return to the Got Skills? Looking for Talent? section.

Its also a bit difficult to read.
You start mentioning mech this, mech that before you describe the customisable robots.

Unless you have money to burn, it is best that you get some experience and understanding of UE4 before continuing.

Otherwise, I can answer one thing for you - yes, its possible to attach meshes, actors and/or components to each other (skeletons included). Whether or not they work correctly is totally dependent on the systems you develop.

If you have a single skeleton and expect to be able to mix and match skeletal parts that have extra bones or a different scale etc, I don’t see that ending well.
e.g. Trying to make a mesh with four arms work on a skeleton built for two.

If you have different skeletal sections that can bolt together, driven by a combination of fixed animations and IK, that could work.
e.g. Attaching a new torso mesh with four arms onto a set of legs.

Ask around.
Look at UE4, Unity, Blender, CryEngine etc for ideas on how to attach and combine meshes as you describe.
Then try a few things yourself in editor.

Hope that helps.


Thanks for the advice, ill have to take more time to write this out next time.