May 312015
 

It was back in 2008 the last time I were involved in Gotland Game Awards (now Gotland Game Conference or GGC as competitors, it was my last year as a student and we (me, Jona, Håkan from Swedish Bust Stop  and a few others) had been working a full year on Physitive, a great (or so I like to think) Third Person Puzzle Game.

We would have won if it weren’t for a bunch of Danes, no offence Danish people but før I helvede we should have won, if it weren’t for the god damn fact that the winning game was slightly better of course.

It wasn’t long after that when we started working for the school and part of that was making GGC happen, planning it, setting it up and made sure it all went as planned during the actual event, we all did a great job on that too.

Well, I haven’t been involved in this great conference since 2012, and for me, I have not really seen it as just a visitor either, something that changed this last Monday.

Ballistic Balloon Battle

Ballistic Balloon Battle

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the whole event, but at least I was there for a while and got to see some great games and listen to some great speakers. It really hit me how the event has matured into a great conference with the quality of the students work have sky rocketed and there is still some very interested work in input models, where one of my favorites “Ballistic Balloon Battle” used a gyroscope air pump to control a hot air balloon with a cannon which I used with great skill to take down any opponent that dared to challenge me.

I know you all keep asking, where are all the pictures of Krister, well it saddens me almost as much as it saddens you that there are none, I got to meet many friends, old and new and none of them thought I was suitable for a visual medium, not even with my camera and its questionable quality.

Back to the main story I suppose, I really did enjoy all games I got to try out, Naar, Tamarrion, Frog Climbers, and so on, all the students have done an awesome job, gone up and above expectations.

Even if the games were the main inspiration for going, the speeches and speakers are usually quite interesting on these types of events, but I got to say that Gotland Game Conference 2015 brought something extra to the show, I particularly liked Constance Steinkuehler speech on The Intellectual and Cognitive Merits of Digital Games Play.

Krister on GGConf15

Krister attending Gotland Game Conference 2015

Before I finish this post with some great information I did actually manage to take one pic of myself on the event, pics or it  didn’t happen as the saying goes, tired from crushing all opponents in any game I tried I finally got a breather during the third speech and I do believe this image proves the point of my friends but lets just blame it on the camera for now.

As far as I know all the speeches will be freely available at a later date, and we will just have to make due with those while we wait for Gotland Game Conference 2016.

Gotland Game Conference 2015 Showreel

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May 272015
 

Hello! (Again, I hope, and if not, welcome virgin! Also, if again, welcome old timer!)

 

Today I’m going to show you how to add an ( Unreal Engine 4, 4.8 ) script to a custom Toolbar inside of 3D Studio max.

If you’re here for the icon template, here it is! UEVertA_Icons.rar more on how icons work, below the video.

If you’re here for the video, it’s ALSO here!

As I stated in the video, _16i is a 24bit 16x(16*N) (where N is amount of icons) .BMP image with the graphics of the icon(s). _16a is a 24bit 16x(16*N) .BMP image with the alpha of the icon(s).

_24i is a 24bit 24x(24*N) (where N is amount of icons) .BMP image with the graphics of the icon(s). _24a is a 24bit 24x(24*N) .BMP image with the alpha of the icon(s).

What this means is that, in the example found below, you have three separate icons in one single image a 24bit 24x(24*3 == 72) .BMP image.

CAT Script 3Ds Max Script Icon

Alpha Map for toolbar icons

Texture for a toolbar in 3ds max

Graphics for toolbar icons

 

 

 

If you have any questions at all or an idea of what you’d like to have exaplained in a video, please comment anywhere, be it youtubeFacebook or even here on the blog!

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May 252015
 

Welcome back!

Thanks for all of the kind words in regards to my last Tutorial series on Timeline Vertex Animation in Unreal Engine 4.8.

To show my appreciation I decided to quickly create another set of tutorials, this time we will cover a similar and equally recent (4.8) topic, namely key framed mesh animation.

In part one we create the mesh, or rather meshes, needed for our animation to play in UE4. To accomplish this, we simply duplicate a simple knight mesh a few times, and apply a melt modifier with increased amounts of strength.

After this is done, the modifier stacks are collapsed to each separate mesh, we do this by reconverting the meshes to editable poly.

We then position the meshes, run the script which Epic has so kindly provided, and make sure they are ready for export by selecting them by degree of meltiness.

Tl;dr?

Part one, start 3Ds Max!

In part two we look at the import settings we’ll use for the fbx we created in part one, we also setup full precision UVs and distance field.

We then create our material and set it up for the melting knight using the new sequence flipbook Max Script function in the material editor.

Tl;dr again?

Part two, start your engines!

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May 242015
 
Sophie and Jona working away in the Unreal Engine

Sophie and Jona keeping Unreal

”Dibble Dabble” is a phrase I don’t really care that much about, but it describes rather well our past weekend activity. We did dibble dabble into Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), trying it out and begun prototyping our next game (an idea that we announce within a few weeks I reckon).

Back in the days I worked mostly with SDL or Ogre3D and other frameworks structuring my own engines, it was great fun but I lacked a focus on games… GAMES! The very reason I got into GAME development.

Unity 2.5 screenshot

Unity 2.5

So when the opportunity presented itself I took the jump, that jump landed me right in the middle of Unity3D, the 3.x version I believe it was, full of wonderful flaws, crashing all the time but still it was a fun engine to work with, and it could be worse, you know Jona (yeah the art guy), he started with it back in 2009, on a pre-release for Unity 2.5, wonder how many keyboards he went through a week?

Well, to keep a short story long (word count counts right?) it only took a week or two getting into it and since then Unity and mono have been my primarily tools of the trade.

Now, a few years later, more beard, a more mature mindset (yeah, right) and new glasses, the team and I wanted to try out this great tool called Unreal Engine. So we found a weekend that fit all our schedules except for Sophie that had to leave for Norway the following day, the jealousy from the rest of us will be made into a movie released 2016 called Planet of the Nerds), borrowed the keys to LBS Stockholm, sat down and worked our asses (behinds for the younger audience) off.

UE4 Desctruable featre

UE4 Destructable

At first glimpse it is obvious that UE4 is very powerful indeed, with almost an excess of cool features (kidding, no such thing as too many cool features). It did however feel that there is a more strict way of doing things the ‘”correct” way leading to an increased difficulty in learning it, but that might just be that I’ve so far spent a weekend in it.

The Unity engine have become very stable these days so it was quite frustrating to have UE4 crash on me as much as it did, bogging down my little laptop to its knees, might be a different story on my actual workstation, but it is currently in the a storage (maybe dead) due to a rude fire that overcame my apartment with destruction.

One thing where Unity shines brighter than UE4, as far as my current understanding goes is the actual edit and the workflow you have, from the scene hierarchy, how I can painlessly go between play mode and scene mode without stopping, Unity does that very nicely where UE4 was more of a hassle getting around.

Unity and Unreal side by side

Unity and Unreal side by side

I’m not going to come to any form of conclusion, I just haven’t spent enough time with it, so far it have taking me more time doing things that would have been an easy in Unity but as I’ve stated too many times already, it’s most likely due to my inexperience with the engine.

I lied, I can come to a small conclusion, regarding this past weekend at least; It was very fun, hard work and frustrating at times with crashes and all and I am already looking forward to the next one.

// Krister

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May 222015
 

Hello everyone!

Welcome to KJ Interactive’s first tutorial post, today, I, Jona! Have finished up a tutorial on Timeline Vertex Animation in Unreal Engine 4, 4.8.

I hope you will enjoy it, and that, if you do find it useful, you’ll like and/or subscribe to our/my channel(s). Not only will this make me a very happy devver but it’ll also make me want to make more things like this is the future!

Without further ado, here are the videos!

Fist out is the 3Ds Max part of the tutorial, here we’ll look at some simple vertex animation and how to export the files we’ll need in Unreal.

Secondly we’ll move into Unreal and set it all up!

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May 172015
 
Sophie Malmberg, Programmer

Sophie Malmberg, Programmer

Hello there!

My name is Sophie Malmberg, and I am one of the programmers in this team.

By participating in working with our just recently released game, Swedish Bus Stop, I took my first step into the world of creating games. Jumping directly into 48-hour game development without any prior experience might have been tough, but one learns a lot along the way.

So, how did I get here? My introduction to programming went through beginning to code HTML and CSS at the age of eleven, to later down the road undertake programming languages such as C++ and Assembly. I have always enjoyed learning and am curious not only for how things work but why they work the way they do. So when first discovering the secrets behind computers and video games, it was easy to get hooked.

I met Krister and Jona at LBS Stockholm, where I currently study System Development, and luckily they found me worthy of joining their team. So far it has been a great time, and I look forward continuing working on projects with them here at KJ Interactive.

Main hobbies outside of game development are perfume collecting, book reading, physics and travelling around the world. There are a lot of things left to learn, but I look brightly on the future and am curious what it will bring…

– Sophie Malmberg

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May 112015
 
Chocolate ball, wine and some Swedish Bus Stop

Celebrating the chocolate day.

Today is the 11th of May 2015, an important day for us swedes as it is one of our highest regarded days of celebration, today is namely the day of the chocolate ball, or as we call it chokladbollens dag.

Usually we spend our days exercising, thinking about fitness and health but today is one of only the few 200 days we have to celebrate something sweet in Sweden, therefor we wish that you will celebrate this day with us so run to the store at once and by ingredients and go make yourself a wonderful chocolate ball cake.

This is what you’ll need: (This is what you want, not what you need! Check at the bottom of the post. – Jona)

  • 1 1/2 c quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp coffee
  • Coconut or pearl sugar to roll them in

Then you just mix it together into a ball, roll them in the topping of your choice, place them in the fridge to cool of for a bit then plant them directly into your face.

Oh, and if you are like me, home getting rid of the last of your common cold, feeling lonely, you might (if you are of age) pour your self a glass of wine that goes great with your cake and a game of Swedish Bus Stop.

 

Have a great day

Krister


 

Jona’s Tip :

While this is a wonderful day of celebratory joy, there is something we must never forget, lest we become fat!

if(kcalIn > kcalOut)
{
    IncreaseBellyCircumference();
}

Therefore I’ve written down this, my fav recipe for healthy and low/not so low kcal Chocolate balls.

High kcal
100g/3.2oz Butter (preferably Almond Butter) (not margarine, remember the trans fats!) – 633 or 717 is still a lot of kcal, but at least they aren’t coming from something like fast carbs. Additionally, the fat found in butter is far from the worst found in your local super market, and, if it’s from almond butter, it’s instead one of the best fats you can find anywhere!

OR!

Low kcal
100g/3.2oz Quark (at 0.X% fat with 12g of protein and no more than 65kcal, this will make for some seriously healthy chocolate balls!)

0.9dl/0.4 cups Stevia – it’s a natural sweetener which’ll add about 8kcal to the grand total!

1tsp (or to taste) strong coffee – known for its energy boosting capabilities, other side effects may include an increased resistance to diseases such as Parkinson’s, diabetes type 2 as well as a decreased risk of becoming depressed.

2.5dl/1 cup Oats – 758kcal, sure, it sounds like a lot, but being one of the best carb sources, out there, just make sure it fits your macros! Not only is it gluten free, and linked to increases in Vitamin B1 and magnesium intakes it is also been found to increased insulin sensitivity as well as strengthen your immune system defenses!

1.5tsp cacao – 18kcal, again and again, cacao has been proven to help reduce oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol) thus actively fighting cardiovascular diseases, some say that, other than water, cacao could be the healthiest thing you can put in your body.

2tbsp of casein (or whey) protein powder with chocolate taste – 40kcal, I use http://goo.gl/ekCNQO from SmartSups, tastes amazing!

No protein powder, just add another 0.5tbsp cacao and 0.5dl oats.

Make this our future stereotype : “Wow, you are totally fit, what are you? A game developer?”
//Jona

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