Hey guys - this is 1/2Hawk from the Sol Contingency team. We are 4 average joes with a passion for 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) style shooters, and for the past couple years we’ve been hard at work building a tech demo in UDK. With that work finally wrapping up, we’re coming this way full-steam-ahead with a fresh start in UE4. We’ve actually been silently chugging away in UE4 since the release of 4.6, and are currently working in 4.9, but maybe its time to show off some Work In Progress, eh?
Don’t know what a 6DOF game looks like? Maybe you’ve played a bit with the UFO template… Woo! Well, pump that with a nitrous-adrenaline shot that could take down a T-Rex, and come check out how we like to get our pew pew pew on:
[EDIT: Note that our Closed Beta period has ended - The game launches on April 15th 2016 and will be free - This video is meant to show gameplay only]
Ships are coming in nicely - and we’re very happy to finally get our hands on PBR-enabled materials. We’re going full scale with this one so we can give UE4s VR capabilities a try. Not sure if folks will be able to stomach the experience that way just yet (my DK2 has a faint whiff of stomach contents in it now - derp), but it’s been awfully fun to work with already. Interior cockpit is in place as is the pilot mesh (highlighted in orange there).
One thing about flying games, there sure are a lot of controls required to get you moving in any axis you want. We’ve gone with a two joystick setup with foot controls for our pilot and he animates himself based on the ship’s movements automatically. Then we’ve added an IK rig up the back to the neck tied to the HMD’s position and orientation… so if you sit up in your chair and look over your shoulder, the pilot mesh does the same leading to some really immersive gameplay. Anim BPs made this super easy to setup.
No fun flying around by yourself with nobody to hunt you down, so we’ve got some of these guys floating around running custom Behavior Trees and armed to the teeth. ZOINKS!
Probably the biggest hurdle we have to tackle is how to get our AI to navigate around and fight in 3D space without getting lost, stuck or confused. This is especially hard given we can’t really use the nav mesh / EQS systems as is, and as far as we’ve found nobody has solved nav volumes yet in an elegant way. Got a few ideas how to provide some helpers our bots can use to decide where to go and how to interact with a level. Got a hamster cage style map built for testing these concepts out… it ain’t pretty but neither is solving the problem.
This is our primary multi-player ship - the Eclipse (as seen in the video) … This guy animates based on the weapon you’re currently carrying. You get to learn who’s coming at you with what based on the profile their ship has.
The other ship we use - the Talon - was actually first custom built for VR testing in UE4 and brought back the other way. I have a big head so we needed the headroom to not crash my face thru the cockpit glass. LOL
Overall theme of the game is off-world, sorta Sci-Fi, gritty / dirty / brutal combat in various industrial facilities. More to come on this front as we start to flush out our single-player / co-op story boards and build out our assets.
So yeah … more to come in the months and years ahead, but we’re very happy to be moving over to this community finally. Keep an eye in the Recruitment forum section as we’d really like to expand the team. Got a lot of interesting challenges to go tackle but we’re off to a good start.
Like this? Come find us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch or Twitter. [Project -> Sol Contingency] We’ll be lurking here too. Would love to hear feedback if our gameplay is doing 6DOF justice. Thanks! 1/2