Sep 052016

Thinking_Villain_01I see something brewing off in the horizon, they’ve gotten a lot of hours in this week, sadly, I’ve heard, something called “Collab” has made sure that most of those hours have gone to redoing work which has then had to be re-downloaded and redone and… Well, they’re not happy, so I can’t get this grin off of my face.

J Holy handkerchief basket! What a week! I believe there will be enough said about Collab, so I’ll hold my piece.

What then have I done? I’ve redone all of our shaders, there were issues with Roughness not updating in deferred mode, now that issue is no longer around.

I’ve also created cloth and detail versions of our standard PBR shader.

More importantly is the awesome Shop/Building creation tool I’ve been working on in Houdini, it’s going to be amazing once it’s done, I’ve been working on it since Friday morning so it clocks in at around 35 hours as of this first version.


“Oh girl-boy, how exciting, a grey box!” Well, don’t judge a mesh by its vertexes, let’s check it out inside of Unity!


Now that image contains nothing which should be thought of as final, think of it as a pig with some make-up on it! Still, a pretty cool start wouldn’t you say? One of the most annoying things to me at the current moment is the extreme angle of the corners, I really don’t want to have to create a load of extra points in a curve to smoothen them out, manual labor is definitely not the way to go.

Sunday Morning 11AM (Turtles in time anyone?) Using the power of DSL I’ve finally manged to update to the latest Houdini daily build and now, three hours post install, this is what we have.


The difference may not be apparent to someone who hasn’t been working on it for almost a full work-week, however, if you look at the corners, you can see that they are now rounded, something which was barely possible before the update to the PolyBevel node.


I am currently left with only one corner issue, Houdini crashes whenever I try to combine the curve and have the PolyBevel work on my first and end points, to be fair, this isn’t that big of an issue, looking at the above screenshot, I’ve simple placed the first and last point on a straight part of the wall, no need to bevels!

“Straight lines?!” You say. “How?” You say, well, let’s just say I’ll be writing a short post on extending the Houdini Engine using Unity Editor scripts, possibly later in the week.


This is the final image for this week, the smoothing may or may not be a good idea, this amount at least feels a bit much. I’m having a bit of an issue with getting inputs to show up as I create more of them, however, I’m sure that is something we’ll see a fix for in upcoming daily builds!

Now then, let’s end the post with the thing I enjoy the most, VFX and Shaders, here’s a prototype potion shader, I think it’s pretty cool, what do you think? Leave us a message on Facebook!

New potion shader test

Toodles y’all!

K Now I’m not the one that usually falls into the pit of despair but in the current disrepair of of a little tool called Unity Collaborate that is currently in beta I find myself too close to that edge.

Now don’t take me for a fool, I’m very much aware of the meaning of beta but when you put forth a tool so utterly useless in its current form you have to begin questioning the very fabric of reality.

In every step Collaborate turns into a major issue, from downloading an update to committing your work, from files that cannot be moved, updated or just exist at all and the only solution is deleting the project and re-download everything from scratch and then maybe it will work… Maybe. So in all honesty this is more of a pre-release of the alpha.

Now of course these issues never stop us, we are KJ after all so we do get things done, just not at the speed we would like to and soon enough you’ll see what I’ve been up to.

As always, if you like this post, then please consider retweeting it or sharing it on Facebook!

 Tagged with: ,
Aug 292016


This week the boys managed an entire weekend of deving at Jona’s apartment in the southern part of Stockholm.

Let’s read what they’ve got to write!

J I have gotten a lot done this week, a lot of the time has however been spent re-exporting, renaming and normalizing assets for use in our sharp Unity project. I won’t bore you with a list of assets, I may instead start creating some videos on how said assets were made.

Let’s get down to business! I have as the more dedicated readers know been working steadily towards making our environmental assets as modular (read procedural) as possible.


So far the focus has been on the geometry side of things, with the weekend’s work-camp we can happily say that it’s been a success, we can now easily build geometry with auto-generated colliders and UV-mapping to build our grey-boxed levels with.


These greyboxed levels will, in an ideal world, be automatically turned into a finalized state by updating the Houdini Digital Assets they are connected to, we will then have parts cut up and put into DunGen our randomization tool of choice.

Cobble stones final

Cobble stones final

Above, you see my first hand-painted cobble stone texture, looking back at Recap 4 I started looking into a substance based system for creating the base for my textures.

Looking at it now with a few more hours in the program I realize that there must be a way to get the “close to hand-painted PBR-softness” look, I want for the game, without spending hours upon hours on rendering inside if Photoshop.


Well trodden cobble stone road

Above you can see my first attempt at this, the size differences could be toned down, and even more importantly; the way some of these are angled compared to their neighbors, still feel more than a bit off.

substance designer not looking great

Noticeable and weird

I’ve also been doing a lot of twerking with Krister’s prefabs but don’t tell him that!

K WOW what a great week, things are getting back to normal after the summer, my students are back in school and we managed to have a complete weekend focusing on Eco Tales.

I’m in the progress of settings some key functionality in stone (steatite or something not to hard if we want to be able to change it) and we are finally moving towards being able to show some really early gameplay.

I only have one issue this week that bothers me, something is going on with my prefabs, I don’t know if it is Unity 5.4 that is acting up or something but weird things are happening that I will have to adress.

As always, if you like this post, then please consider retweeting it or sharing it on Facebook!

 Tagged with: ,
Aug 052016


For this week’s recap I had to take a selfie, as Jona didn’t have the time to take a picture of me, I think it turned out quite well, I’m much better at this than he ever was!

The fun is over, let’s see what the boys have been up to.

JBeing an avid KJ blog follower, you probably already saw this, but I created a short tutorial on getting pre-fractured animations from Houdini into Unity. If you didn’t see it, I don’t blame you, but do make sure you head over to that post, after reading this one.

Due to a family tragedy this post is rather late, but hey, better late than never, as some people I know are very keen on saying.

Let’s start off with what you’ll be able to do if you follow the above mentioned tutorial, pretty cool, isn’t it? Imagine doing that to a door or a chest your character’s been beating at for a while!


One of the main things I’ve been working on this week is a water shader for the game, and to help me in that endeavour I’ve used a custom Houdini asset which easily allows me to raise and lower water levels and create peaks of different heights.

With that said, it’ll work on any surface and the waves are fully customizable inside of the shader.


I have since creating that gif also added in a flowmap which is automatically generated based upon where islands are intersecting the water, it colours the verts and then smooths it into a plane which looks like this.


There’re a lot of other things I’d like to share as well, but that would make this post a bit too long and I’d rather have it more easily googleable than in just a “regular” Weekly Recap, so look forward to that mostly Houdini and shader centric post, soon… ish.

Joul-joul over and out!

K Boy oh boy did I have a bad week, completely overtaken by a cold bringing me to the brim of death. Even Mr Plešec almost felt sorry for me, almost…

3D printed Lech

3D printed Lech

What energy I did have went into doing these 16 hours 3d prints of Lech 3D printed Lech Plešec this time much larger than the first and just waiting for a paint job by me and Jona.

Well now when this cold is finally starting to change for the better we are beginning to finalize some parts of what we have so far to put together some early gameplay.

This week also marks the end of my vacation so back to work.







As always, if you like this post, then please consider retweeting it or sharing it on Facebook!

 Tagged with: , , ,
Jul 272016

Hello fellow gamedev!

JAre you ready for a tutorial featuring Lech from Eco Tales?
Whatever the answer, here it is!

I’ve recently started to dabble into Houdini and to my surprise, there aren’t that many tutorials out there on using it for game development.

So, being totally in love with my own voice and an ex-teacher I figured, why not create some?

There are plenty of getting started tutorials out there so the ones I’ll be recording will mostly be around whatever I fund useful in my daily Unity and Unreal work.

First up is a short video on getting pre-fractured rigid body animations into Unity, check it out!

I accidentally cut out the FBX-export from that video, so here’s a Quick Tip on how to do that.

Using attributes doesn’t work with FBX-files, so in this video we look at how we add working material slots to the fractured mesh.

Here’s the link to the Houdini Gamedev Tools.

There is an outdated version on getting one into Unreal which I might create a new version of soon, unless the original author does, so make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel and write a comment if you find the thought alluring!

Tjipp och Hej as we say in Sweden

Also, If you like this post, then please consider tweeting it or sharing it on Facebook!

 Tagged with: , ,
Jul 262016


Look up there, the wonderful sunshine, that the boys had better see nothing of!

I don’t think they are to be honest, things are actually starting to take shape, who knew that “Houdini” could be such a time saver?

J Much like Lech I’m amazed at how amazing Houdini is as a generator of things, after countless tutorials I’m starting to get the hang of it, finally!


That’s the start of a mushroom grower! Ok, so I accidentally didn’t save and then it vanished in a crash with this… Now as I’m writing this, I remember that there are auto saves! I’ve gotta check that folder! More on that next week.

Let’s take a look at the wall that I’ve shown off in earlier recaps.


I agree, it doesn’t look very good, at all, but now it contains everything needed for a finished game asset, let’s walk through the elements.

First of, there’s visible geometry, we have walls with columns and some rocks, all of these are completely procedural and are created based upon a single curve, you know how fast you can draw a curve? Seconds, literally! Editing it is just as easy and quick!

Secondly, see those light green lines within the walls? Those are colliders, these are generated from the walls and heavily reduced in precision (read as poly amount) to make collisions less costly.


As you can see above, the same goes for the rocks.


Third we’ve got the materials, the wall and columns are auto UV unwrapped and painted with vertex colors, the shader in the case of these walls blend up to three different textures spread over red, green and blue. The UVs are actually world space dependent so the texel size will be constant across all elements, I’ve changed the material tiling here to make them stand out a bit more.


Now let’s look at the rocks again, for UV-mapping them is on a whole new level of difficult, they’re all randomized and as you can see, their shapes are hugely varied!

Let’s take a look at the UVs.


As you might be able to tell, these are just slapped on using an orthographic plane projection, why then, do the rocks not look like



Well, while I in the future would like to try and create pelt-maps based upon a seam created from the Y intersection plane from my terrain, I in this case wrote a simple tri-planar shader, which uses two textures (but three samplers) for left/right, front/back and top/bottom texture projection based upon world space normals.

I’ve created a version of it in Shader Forge which you can download here, you may use it in any project, including commercial ones, as long as you like Eco Tales on Facebook!

That’s all for me this week, next week will be all work! Which for me means all play! I love game development!

K Well I sure didn’t see any sun on my vacation to Gotland visiting family, eating ice cream and going to the beach as I had my shades on the entire time. I do suspect Mr Lech knew though and brought forward an evil plan to prevent me doing this again as I know have a cold on my first day back to spend time on Eco Tales.

Now I have a week or two before work starts and I’m devoting it entirely to Eco Tales, well… It would be nice to get at least one role playing session if I can drag Jona from Houdini, it’s been way too long since we played last. Anyways, I’m starting  of my week by doing a few 3d prints, same model and pose as before but larger just to get the hang of it before Jona takes the huge amount of time it takes to prepare another model / pose.

Besides that I’m hoping we can finalize the webpage as you might have noticed changed before our vacation started.

Going to Gotland with gifts

Going to Gotland with gifts

 Tagged with: , ,