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Author Topic: Can anybody let me pick their brains?  (Read 18937 times)

MisterTom

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Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« on: January 02, 2013, 01:29:09 PM »
Hi folks, I've been lurking around these forums for a couple of weeks and decided to register as I need a bit of help :)

I'll give you a little outline so you know where I'm at.  I'm mainly a visual designer though just as a hobby these days, I used to work professionally as a graphic/web designer, and have picked up a little 3D knowledge over the years too, I dare say I'm not the best, but I know my way around many of the mainstream applications like Max/Zbrush etc.

Anyway, I still have a love of all things graphics , and recently 3D graphics and game engines.  I started messing around with the UDK a few weeks ago, and I have to admit I'm blown away by it - the handling of materials, bump mapping etc, the native support for Bink video as a texture, scaleform (Adobe Flash movies as textures or in game UI's) the global illumination lighting system, shaders and particles are all particularly fantastic.

So I created a little map as a learning process and while it looked beautiful as my player looked up at the sunlight twinkling through the animated leaves of my custom tree model, and simulated cloth curtains flapped gently in the digital breeze,  I realised it was a little boring running around looking at stuff.

So I took a step back and fired up a really old Unreal based game which I used to have a lot of fun with, Rune HOV! I did some mapping for Rune back in the day (it's about 12 years old, so it's been a while!) I found the knowledge I've picked up over the years really helped me to create some cool stuff and get it into the game.

Then I got bored making viking/castle themed stuff.  And making anything else seemed stupid, to then populate with vikings...

ANYWAY. Then it hit me, Postal 2.  I remembered the hours of joy I had experienced running around in Paradise causing havoc and unleashing digital urolagnia upon the unsuspecting passers by!  Oh how I would laugh as their pee-induced vomit would continue to squirt forth from their remaining stump of a neck after being rather crudely decapitated using a rusty shovel, leaving a colourful trail of various bodily fluids as I booted their often burning dismembered corpse down the street, much to the delight of the screaming members of the public by who would spontaneously vomit as I passed by! Ho ho ho, good times!

So I fired up Postal Editor and so far I'm having fun with it, though the results do lack the prettyness of the newer engine, with regard to all of the elements mentioned above, it's still a lot more fun to populate my environments with people.  And a machete. :)

Right so I've decided to try and make a few maps, string them together with some custom cut-scenes and shit, and call it a mod.  Whether it gets many plays or not remains to be seen, but primarily for me it's an exercise in using the Unreal engine while I wait for a UDK game to be released that contains as many fun props/classes as Postal 2.  As a side note, if anybody decided to remake Postal 2 for the UDK, I've got the money here waiting for my copy!
 
This is where I need a bit of help.  I have compiled a short list of things that I would like to be able to accomplish in my little mod which I will add to over time.  None of them are particularly far fetched, and from what I've seen so far on this forum, there are many here who are more than capable of helping me! (probably with one brief post lol, I know some of this is childsplay but I'm spending WAY too much time googling and not enough time creating stuff..)
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DOWNLOADS

I will make some of the game assets I create available here for download, hopefully some of you might get some use out of them :)



Download Here:  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1193631/Postal2_SpeedTreeModels.rar
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 01:28:40 AM by MisterTom »

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 02:02:33 PM »
Ok so the first simple things:

Basic Mover Stuff:- DONE
For example I need to open a mover when kill counter is reached, then have it stay open until the player stands on it.  Even better would be to have it stay open until the player stands on it and pushes a "Use" button.

Custom cutscenes- DONE
How do I trigger movers and custom cameras, so when I push button A, the camera cuts to a scene of door B opening, then pans back to A and resumes play.

I want to be able to show a custom texture on the screen when a player achieves a goal. For example at the moment I have a kill counter, and when I reach the specified score it just disappears.  Kind of anticlimactic,  I would prefer to be able to use a custom graphic like "WELL DONE! Now go back to X to claim your reward". Possibly combined with the kind of camera cutscene movement mentioned above.

Triggering movers based on variables.
So if  a certain variable is true then I would like to be able to trigger movers or events automatically upon entering a location (so the events are visible to the player, possible by taking over control of the camera for a second or two).  If the variable is not true, then I don't want to trigger anything.

So for example the player has entered a store, and the owner has sent him to complete some objective or retrieve some item or other, when the player returns to that store (having been given an onscreen prompt to do so upon completion of the objective), I would like to pan the camera over to reveal a shutter sliding up, giving access to some goodies.

- EDIT:I think a way around this would be to simply attach triggers to invisible movers, and put them underneath the floor.  When I want them to be "active" simply send the mover up through the floor so the player can reach the trigger.  Crude but effective? Of course I'd rather do this the proper way.

Animated door handles. SORT OF DONE BUT LOOKS SHIT
I have made a few nice door models for use in the game, and if possible without a shit ton of coding then I would like the handles to animate (like Half Life 2..), I have no problem rigging my meshes, but then it would have to be a skeletalmesh which I don't think I can use as a mover.

Or would this be accomplished by having a separate mesh for the door handle and making the door its parent, keeping the correct pivot point to make it rotate with the door, and also trigger its own rotation?
Rotating handle test


Use key interaction- DONE
Activate an object using a keypress, eg. "E" to interact with cupboards. doors or to pick up or use items.

Disable the default single player map
In my custom mod, eg, when I press F or whatever, it brings up the map with Monday's objectives.  I want to disable that, or maybe change it eventually.  Or just remove it from the players inventory at startup? Not sure how it works.

Sitting pawns DONE! HEHEHEHEH :D
Are there any custom animations/classes available for this already? I would like part of my mod to be based in a restaurant of some description, and some of the pawns should be sat down to make the environment feel more realistic.
Postal 2 Sitting- In game


Toggleable Spotlight
Attached to the player and switched on and off with a button.

One-way doors- DONE
Like in real life, most doors don't swing both ways (lol) I want to let the player open the door from both sides (again preferably with a key interaction,  but always have the door open only one way.

Any help with any of the above will be very much appreciated!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 07:35:35 AM by MisterTom »

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 03:17:42 PM »
Brilliant, thanks for the (prompt!) welcome :D

It's reassuring that support is so readily available for a relatively old title, and from browsing these forums I can see that there are a few extremely dedicated members.  When I said in my opening post that there are a few who I knew could answer my questions, I must admit you were top of the list, so I'm glad to have your help - and I most certainly will put the information provided to good use!  I can't promise miracles, as I said I'm more of a visual designer so as far as new gameplay etc, it won't be much of a mod.

However what I do intend to do is create a few more semi "realistic" environments for the game.  I played the AWP mod for the first time the other day, and as much fun as I had blasting zombies in the school, I couldnt help but wonder which corridor I was in at any given time, as they all seem completely identical/evenly lit...

I know there are limits to what can be smoothly rendered in-game even with current hardware, but if it's done cleverly with plenty of corners for bsp occlusion and nice lighting then there's no reason why Postal levels couldn't be made just a bit prettier.

Anyway, I look forward to your response to my questions, and in the meantime *opens Postal Editor*

LORD MJ

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 04:03:12 PM »
Welcome to RS. :D

I'm really glad to see a new P2 modder here on RS.

Your posts kinda inspired me to continue working on my not so "little" P2 mod.

I could also answer a couple of your questions, but I'm learning as well. Some of these things that TL will explain may be useful to me also.

Can't wait to see the results of your work.

When I get mad I just want to go POSTAL.

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 06:52:48 PM »
Quote
I throw together some mock up maps to show how easy it is to make P2 look way better by simply using better meshes

That's exactly what I'm talking about.. I started throwing together some simple doors and windows (I've done some other stuff since actually, but this was where I started) - it's surprising how much of a difference they make to the feel of the game.  Even simple things like a set of Skirting boards (baseboards for our American friends) just adds so much atmosphere.






Incindentally these are the door handles which I'd like to animate, for future reference.

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 07:44:17 PM »
The idea had crossed my mind to document some of my progress through videos myself.  However, not only as you quite correctly state I am British, I am also a Geordie!  Would make for some interesting viewing/listening that's for sure!

prawdziwy 666

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 10:04:43 PM »

Are these rungs in the shutters are modeled separately?

this is fucking amazing
You need to laughing at everything, and especially at yourself

Welcome to Hell
a bad joke - Postal 1 the worst part of the Postal series xD


MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 10:17:43 PM »
Are these rungs in the shutters are modeled separately?


Each "rung" is a simple 6 polygon mesh duplicated a bunch of times, with a 2 sided material applied to save on poly's.  Though I have exported it all as one model for simplicity, I can still alter the original file and save it out in any number of different combinations, ie half open, full closed, rotated etc.

Actually I'm working on some curtains and a curtain pole too just for realism, the curtains are a little rough so far, but I'm in the process of improving them, again problem is limiting the amount of polygons so I can't accurately reproduce real fabric.  Still, have to admit I'm surprised how good this looks in this engine :)

Here are the results so far:


Still need to work on the top of the curtains where they should attach to rings, just give me time hehe!

Removed the modulate blend shader as it looked a little strange, cleaned the bottom edges up, played with the top edge to give the illusion of hanging from a few points.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 11:40:29 PM by MisterTom »

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 12:34:02 AM »
Little bit of progress, excuse the funny looking lampshade :D
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 02:09:50 AM by MisterTom »

ZigHor

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 09:11:07 AM »
Maybe transform about mirror X or Y this curtain on the right :D
Better effect but it is great :D good models :P
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 12:03:36 PM by ZigHor »

BAZOOKA

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 11:31:05 AM »
Like the transparent curtains. Keep working  :)

LORD MJ

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 02:07:41 PM »
Wow! Is that really UE2? Excellent job!

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 02:27:47 PM »
Wow! Is that really UE2? Excellent job!

Yes it's all in UE2, thanks for the feedback :) I'm having a break from modelling interior props today and I've been trying to get some nice speedtree models into the game.  Here's how it's coming so far.




The problem I find with these higher quality assets in the older engine is the obvious slowdown when multiple copies are used.  I'm trying to figure out how to use LOD's in this engine, I know in the UDK any model can have multiple levels of detail applied, in the case of trees the last level of detail is simply a 1 polygon card.  If anybody has any ideas feel free to enlighten me!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 04:04:00 PM by MisterTom »

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 04:12:01 PM »
Hi, thanks for the welcome! I would have liked to have made something for multiplayer, but for me having the AI pawns walking around the place is all part of the appeal, and why I decided to mod Postal 2 in the first place.

If anybody has any information regarding using them in Multiplayer (some kind of co-op would be amazing) then let me know. I'm pretty sure they don't work though, as it would just be far too much information to sync with the game server. Shame though, would be fun.

MisterTom

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Re: Can anybody let me pick their brains?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 04:28:35 PM »
I agree with single player being a good place to start.  And I am pretty much a beginner with all this stuff (at least the gameplay side of things), so one step at a time!

EDIT: Some cool stuff in your blog Mr. D, always inspiring to see other mappers work :)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 05:10:32 PM by MisterTom »