Quicktips

Quicktips is a series of tutorials that focus on small but handy features that have no or very bad documentation.

You can watch the whole series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GBTq-4BbkM&list=PLA03OHAaHgYpBHSN1CPABtUA9oLXKeTnt

Spline Tutorial

This tutorial series covers Spline Actors in the Unreal Development Kit. After first giving an overview on how to use SplineActors in the Unreal Editor I will show how to create Custom Spline Actors and a Mover Actor that can traverse a spline curve. The later parts will cover LoftSplineActors which can be used to deform Meshes and we will extend our Mover to rotate accordingly to the orientation given by the LoftSplineActor.

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Airlock

I have been experimenting alot with reverb volumes but then I found out how to handle sound groups. How it works: When shooting or walking two sounds are played. One for what you can hear in an pressurized environment and one for the vacuum sound. However they each have a different sound class. When de/pressurizing the player’s environment I simply use “SetAudioGroupVolume” to slowly silence the one sound group while making the other louder and vice versa. I use standard udk assets as well as modified versions of these sounds:

UDK Adventure Kit

The Adventure Kit is a package that includes assets which can be used to create Action Adventure Games with the UDK. The kit is meant as a base to work from and includes the following mechanics:

  • Ledge Climbing
  • Wall Climbing
  • Ceiling Climbing
  • Wall Jumping
  • Tightspace Movement
  • Balancing
  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Levers
  • Sliding

Furthermore it comes with an example map and pawn to use all features.


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By popular demand: The blend file with the Pawn’s rig:
Download AdvKit Rig

You can leave critic and comments in the Adventure Kit thread on the official UDK forums here.

To get started you can check out this tutorial series, by Kevin Lee:

If you are interested in the work in progress videos, they can be found here.

Bionicle® Mask Mechanics

I did this to get an overall impession of how udk works. The controller, pawn, shaders, physics etc. The shield effect is about the same as used in my other video, except I use decals to project the impact effects.


Creating the the LEGO® parts was done in Blender. But unlike the Slizer models, this time I imported parts from MLCad and remodeld them vertex by vertex to be low poly. This still took alot of time, but was way faster than measuring and modeling everything with real parts.


Why am I not making a game?

Before I get bombarded with messages again (like after releasing my Bionicle® Machinima) no, I will _not_ make a game! Apart from this being about a year old, I worked six months on the Bionicle related stuff to learn how to use udk. The mechanics in this video barely work, are bugged to hell and the code is every maintainer’s worst nightmare. I originally planed to release it along with my machinima as kind of a “behind the scenes” sort of addition but quickly withdraw from that idea to prevent even more “make a game” messages.

Still, I came to the conclusion that I should at least show it for I have put many hours into this work. So, don’t try to convince me to make a game! Here are some reasons:
1) look above: the code sucks, I did it while learning how to use the Unreal Development Kit
2) The LEGO® Group has given me permission to release my machinima, I haven’t asked them for permission to develop a game and I highly doubt they would give away their license for free.
3) I would _NOT_ work on a game for years to come to release it for free and I cannot sell it for reason 2. I simply cannot spare so much time.
4) The work you see here has taken many months and it would need a couple hundret times more to make an actual playable game with story, models, animations, meachanics, menus … and so on, it’s a long list.
5) I have been there before: I have worked on a lot of projects and free big ones always end up being canceled. I also know very well what it feels like to think your project is very easy when you come up with it at first. It never ends well, trust me.
6) I am sure I will find more reasons if you are interested.

Space RTS Prototype

This is a rapid prototype of a project that has been canceled. The idea is to build stations around planet’s in a solar system. Each planet has an orbit where the ships can travel within. Interplanetary transit takes up a ship’s energy which is also used to fire and can only be restored in orbits or carriers. That way one has to wait for two planets to come close to each other before attacking.


Music is from The Hamster Alliance: “Pop Song” and “The Reapers”
http://www.hamsteralliance.com/

and textures from
http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/solarsystem.php

Skybox is a sample from spacescape
http://alexcpeterson.com/spacescape

and a lot of assets are from udk and the udk rts starterkit
http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/DevelopmentKitGemsRTSStarterKit.html

QTE Starterkit

I created this a while ago but the project got canceled. Since then I did an overhaul of the system. Apart from two workarounds for dynamically setting values in latent kismet sequences it is pretty solid and should be easy to use and build upon. A Readme.txt on how to use it is included in the zip file. (I also mapped the A,B,X,Y Controller keys to Q,W,E,R for testing)

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Simple QTE example in Kismet

The first simple button press QTE looks like this:

The QTE is nested inside a subsequence. Once activated it first checks whether other QTEs are active by comparing the named QT Active bool variable. In case no other QTE is currently running this variable is set to false. Then the remote vent Lock QTEs is called to set the boolean variable to true and enter cinematic mode, which prevents the player from controlling his pawn. Next the gates after the input events are opened to allow the events to be registered by the QTE Sequence. Additionally GFx Invoke ActionScript is used to tell the QTE Flash Player to display a simple button.

At last the QTE is activated by sending an impulse to the start input of the sequence. The QTE will now run as long as is specified by Duration (default: 2 seconds) and listen for impulses on the Right Key and Wrong Key inputs. A correct button press increases an internal value that triggers the Success output and quits the QTE. Likewise a wrong key press results in Failure.

Success and Failure also activate the Finished output. Stopping the QTE activates the Aborted output. While a real QTE would change what is going on in the game this one just plays a flash response for the player and resets the boolean lock after it is finished.

Machinima – The Arrival

This is a fan made machinima. Over the last months I have been learning how to use UDK and made this realtime cinematic. The theme is of course my favorite LEGO® series (when they were still mystical heros and not just some machines). Although I worked alot on this project I have not done everything by far. Check the credits (on youtube) to see what I took from where. Aside from animating in UDK, most work went into modeling the LEGO® parts in Blender. But unlike the Slizer models, this time I imported parts from MLCad and remodeld them vertex by vertex to be low poly. This still took alot of time, but was way faster than measuring and modeling everything with real parts.

UDK Shield Effect

After switching to UDK I recreated my old effect with updated graphics. Just like the old effect, you can download this one and use it. Included with the download is a txt file to explain how to use it. However, unlike the Irrlicht shield I did not spend much time to make this shield work perfectly, it is pretty much just working.

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