May 202017
 

Oh boy, oh boy! Look at how sparkling my skin is in this new engine the “Unreal Engine”.

Word on the street is that this isn’t even my final form!

 


JHello Eco Tellers or… rather Eco Listeners,
I want to welcome you to a new stage in the life of Eco Tales’, one where it’s gone from being the studio’s main game to a Jona’s favorite side project.

I want to start off with what has been going on behind the scenes and then at the end of the post, I’ll write a bit about what this means for the project and why this has happened.

First up, an image of Lech posing inside of the Unreal Engine, this is the first version of my Eco Skin shader or… I guess they’re called Materials now, that’ll be hard to get used to.

I think it’s a very good start, especially considering that the textures are auto-generated inside of Substance Designer, his eyes do look a bit dull and dead, but he doesn’t have retinas in this version so worry not, Lech will be his old grumpy self soon enough.

I’m going to test Dev videos and see if those are of interest to you all, please leave a comment on the video or on Facebook if you like the thought!

I will also create art asset overviews something I loved to watch when I was a student and Wolfire Games showed off their game Overgrowth.

(In the future I promise better audio and more interesting deep diving videos, a moving image says more than an image which in turn says more than nine THOUSAND words!)

Onto some Q&A.

Why has this happened?
Eco Tales : My Item Shop is a very large project, it’s two games in one and for a budding studio, it’s just too large of a commitment.
(Don’t be sad, I’ve no longer got a working Netflix account so I’ve got all the time in the world!)

What does this mean?
This means that Eco Tales : My Item Shop is now a one man project, but don’t worry about me!
I’ve always dreamed of one day creating a game all by myself; and Eco Tales : My Item Shop has been brewing inside of my grey head goo for almost two decades by now, long story short to me this is just a fun challenge.

What will KJ do now?
I will take the fifth on this one but let’s just say it will be VeRy exciting!


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Feb 242017
 

Some weeks ago we got together with Red Line Games and felt inspired to learn more about game development for Virtual Reality but this time we wanted to work with the Unreal Engine. Guess what we did? That’s right, we sat down for a weekend jam.

After a short brainstorming session we decided upon the idea of the player standing on a few rooftops while fighting of hoards of enemies trying to knock down your buildings, one level at a time. For your aid you can not only jump freely on the rooftops to gry and get to the best vantage point but you also have an array of weapons like a crossbow, different types of boms and can pretty much throw any lose objects as weapons like throwing knives and boulders.

Now this video only exists on Facebook because of reasons but it creates the perfect opportunity to come  visit us or Red Line Games there, so enjoy.


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Jun 012015
 

Well howdy fellow devver!

We’re getting rather well acquainted by now, aren’t we? So many topics to cover in this wonderful engine, I’m just getting started, I hope the same goes for you!

In the first part of the video we look at changing the speed of our animation using material functions.

In the second part we return to 3D Studio Max for frame reductions which will lower the texture sizes and thus free up memory.

Official stats from Epic : In this video we go from a low 252 KB to an insane 13 KB
Vertex Offset Texture: 8 bytes per vertex per frame (each pixel)
Normal Texture: 4 bytes per vertex per frame (each pixel)

 

Keep an eye out for annotations, these allow you to skip things you already know if you’ve watched my other videos!

If you enjoy the videos, please leave a comment on our Facebook page, press that like button! Or maybe even subscribe! There is more to come, I mentioned that right?

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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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