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[UT] Ys (WIP)

For discussion and promotion of Unreal Engine single-player campaigns, mapping projects and total conversions.

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User avatar Hawkins
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Subject: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 30 Aug 2016, 04:19

Developer: Hawkins
Status: Just Announced





Synopsis: WIP
Features: WIP
Latest News: I was pretty involved in the Unreal community back in the day, firstly as 'Shadowlurker' and later as 'Zlal'. I recently had a nostalgic jaunt through Unreal and a bunch of the community single player packs, including a few that I didn't get round to playing years ago. This nostalgic dip into the past has now extended to opening up UnrealEd and messing around - perhaps fueled by a sense of unfinished business from way back, as beyond one collaborative DOM map for UT and a few half-started projects (such as an unfinished UT map me and Bot_40 worked on that served as the basis for his UT2003/4 map CTF-Aedes), I never really threatened to make anything substantial at the time, my main contributions to the community being some reviews for Nalicity and a lot of nonsense on the Nalicity forums themselves.

I'd like to try to complete at least one full SP map.... we'll see how that goes! At this point I thought I'd at least share my experience of re-learning something I haven't touched for 10+ years, and offer a little insight into what I've made so far.

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Last edited by Hawkins on 08 Sep 2016, 16:20, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar Hawkins
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 30 Aug 2016, 04:36

This project started as what was initially intended to be an hour or two trying to create a section of the Venice Arsenale, which I had just seen featured in a piece of video art:


Encouraged by how quickly I was able to remember my way around the editor after recreating the Arsenale, I thought of fleshing it out a little further. Initially I thought of just leaving it as an unconnected structure in the middle of the ocean, with any expansion in the form of a set of stairs descending downward - the surrealism of that as a concept appealed to me - but then decided to have the structure attached to some landmass, to offer a sense of realism and scale and further down the line to incorporate a sense of foreshadowing/progression/interconnectivity visible from the start.

The initial plan for the interior is inspired by the beginning area of another game subject to a recent nostalgia trip - Vagrant Story:

Vagrant Story had amazing visual flair at the time, and I believe it in many ways preempted the Souls series in terms of challenge, setting and aesthetics. I think there is also some kind of personal connection in my head between the vibrant warm/cold lighting style that was done so well in Vagrant Story and, for example, Hourence's mapping.

I've a few ideas I'd like to play around with - an interesting boss encounter and some not-so-regular allies - as well as a few designs for some set pieces/architecture. Hopefully this will be enough to keep my motivation up!

The name is definitely WIP, but currently references this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ys

I would like to document the progress I make in some detail as I go along for my own benefit as much as anything else, but do hope others will find it interesting/enjoyable!

First screenshots:

Last edited by Hawkins on 02 Sep 2016, 03:38, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 30 Aug 2016, 12:46

Great to read this, I'm looking forward to it! Good luck with completing your SP adventure :)
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 01 Sep 2016, 11:59

I'm with Sat: I'm interested in reading your further progress and the screenshots you've posted seem promising. I hope you can keep yourself motivated - this is what's the most important when you intend to finish and release the map(s)!
The Unforchers will come again soon...

User avatar Hawkins
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 02 Sep 2016, 03:37

Thank you both for your encouragement!



Just documenting some of my progress fleshing out this first interior section. I will likely continue to tinker with the style/details, and add some more further trims/arches to bring everything together, but I am happy with the overall mood.



This is again indicative of the mood I am looking for. I've delved into Thievery decorations for wine bottle and oar meshes.

I wasn't satisfied with the hue of the outdoor lighting, so tinkered around with the lights and zonelighting until I settled on what I think is a more pleasant palette:



At the moment the zonelighting might a bit too saturated for ambient/shadows, but at least the contrast is much more lively now.

As I want to make sure the overall 'feel' of the place is right before really cracking on with implementing my sketched layouts, I have also gone ahead and tinkered with a few things that I did have to look up tutorials for as they really had been forgotten over the years - movers and some basic pathing. I have some of the Krall patrolling around - for instance, one hits a boat for a bit (in such a way as to imply repairs) before going to scratch it's head by the fire for a few seconds. Krall will be prominent here, and getting them to behave and patrol convincingly contributes to the atmosphere of the map. The movers were just a switch/elevator - which though functioning will need further work.

Over the next few days: despite having planned a layout, I'm now having second thoughts about this elevator that plunges the setting dramatically deeper - in part because it takes away sunlight as a useful light source, and given the reasonably realistic setting thus far that may be a bit limiting. I am now thinking about having the descent occur after a bit more near-surface exploring.
Last edited by Hawkins on 08 Sep 2016, 16:07, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar Dr.Flay
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 03 Sep 2016, 04:14

This is coming along very nicely.
Are you using the new audio renderers ?
EFX zone infos would really add that finishing touch.

User avatar Hawkins
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 06 Sep 2016, 04:29

Dr.Flay wrote:This is coming along very nicely.
Are you using the new audio renderers ?
EFX zone infos would really add that finishing touch.


Thank you - I haven't started playing with sound yet, but suspect I will have a go shortly, once again just to set the mood. I'd definitely be interested in playing with some new toys too.

In the meantime - the few hours I've had free to work on this since my last update were mostly spent smoothing over a few issues and on some minor but ultimately satisfying details. I made the decision to deviate from my original sketched layout where this starting out led very quickly into a descent via an elevator - I reworked the elevator room into one with some branching paths. I'm keen to press on, as whilst the exterior and first three/four rooms have come together nicely and are fairly detail rich, the layout should start to open up somewhat and provide a chance to have some fun.

The re-worked room as mentioned above taking shape:


I need to work out how to improve the transition from the playable area's water and the skybox. Looking for examples, I found Turboman's Triamid Ruins, which achieves this quite well, but can't quite seem to replicate the technique, in part because the lighting in my map is lighter which makes it more difficult to pull off. Does anyone have any other good examples/tips on how to make a convincing ocean/skybox transition?

If it proves too difficult then I can at least ensure the illusion is maintained when at the player's level, as it is at the moment:


I will then later have to come up for a work around for when the player's vantage point is high enough that the illusion is broken.

User avatar Hawkins
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 13 Sep 2016, 01:32

Continuing to add to this when I can spare an hour here and there. Currently just blocking things out with moderate detail:




Exact lighting/saturation levels are not accurately represented in these shots, but you get the idea.

I had to firefight lots of bsp issues and problematic zoning along the way this week, which held up real progress.

Now is as a good a time as any to briefly comment on the choice of the chicoruinspack texts for what I've produced so far. It was essentially an easy choice - I had worked with it a fair bit years ago when I dabbled in the editor, and the qualities it has - such as low inherant saturation allowing for better lighting saturation control, plentiful arch and trim textures etc. - outway the cons, namely that a lot of the textures have flaws preventing true tiling, and that I remember it becoming fairly ubiquitous at the time.

User avatar Hawkins
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 03 Oct 2016, 23:44

Haven't had loads of time to work on this the last fortnight, and the time I did find was devoted to re-doing the cliffs, as they had been created in a less than optimal, BSP-breaking way initially.



I will expand that outcrop into an natural arch and add some outcrops separate to the cliffs at some point. I have also reworked this initial section to lead into a cave in the cliffs - I wasn't satisfied with the layout that was forming, in part as it was deviating too far from my quickly sketched plan.

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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 20 Nov 2016, 17:53

Any news??

User avatar Legendslayer222
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2016, 20:00

This map looks very promising. With Venetian architecture as an inspiration I know it's gonna look great, and I love a seaside map too! I hope you find the time to work on it some more, and good luck squashing those bsp errors. :wink:

User avatar Hawkins
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Subject: Re: [UT] Ys (WIP)

Post Posted: 05 Dec 2016, 13:32

A mixture of BSP squishing and trying to make a passable endless ocean took ages and killed some of the fun/novelty of getting back into the swing of things, and then of course went back to square one when I complicated things by deciding to make the cave going into the cliff-side. Admittedly I have also been distracted the last month by having bought a new laptop that can run games released since 2010.

I'll eke out some time soon but certainly need to make sure I stop moving/embellishing beyond the original scope/concept, particularly with outdoor areas, and I know blocking out the level will help with that. I am definitely not going to make swift progress, but will have an update once there's something interesting to report.

Thanks for the interest in the meantime!


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