Dragging my feet

Well right now I'm sorta dragging my feet b/c I know I need to write my own game classes and start really making this game. I got a bot working in my test enemy level, but its AI is Deathmatch so if I want more than one, they will kill each other. Sure I could spend time to get that to work, but the point is I need to do it right away. By right I mean make my own game type, and pawns. Its not hard, I just have to do it, and that means fixing my visual studio, getting back on the horse of Unreal Scripting. I even know what I need to write, and I can see lots of problems I will already have before my game is workable again. However when it is, it will be all but ready to level design it out and play, but more importantly I'll be making a game "right" and be better for it.

TO DO's:
• Get Visual Studio to "see" all the other class files in the src folder.
• Write my own game type.
• Edit PollockPawn to be a working class file.
• Write GuardPawn, SoldierPawn, EenemyPawn classes.
• Make a death/respawn scenario & end game conditions.
• HUD UI, working health and weapon ammo meter.
• Might as well make the controllers in code if I'm going this far.

A.I. Bot Trouble

Well I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it seems that all the tutorials 'n such online say basically the same thing and none of that works anymore in the current UDK. I've tried a bunch of different variations but so far, nothing fully working. I got an invisible guy to die and drop an item but that's not really useful.
Meanwhile I'm getting back into studying architecture and design theory to help in making more interesting levels. Got a few books I've started reading, 1 is the updated version of a great textbook from Architecture School in collage.

All Fixes Check

Fixed and updated my list last night. New Mesh & Texture, fixed collision/blocking models, testest vertex colors, and colored lights both working.

Now enemies/bots/AI.

Big Inspirations

Mini Gore, design, color, tone... so awesome. Really inspires me, and I think it will show in Pollock. I can't help but love it for so many design reasons.
Team Fortress 2, color pallet, game play mechanics, balance, style, top knotch work that holds up years after it's made. Still one of my favorite games, if not the most.
Both have excellent character design, combined with such a wonderful sense of color. Both are things I will continue to work on.

New Monitor on the Way!

Ok lame update. I have a 21" wide-screen Dell UltraSharpe. Picture/quality has been great for years. Still great, so much so that I never felt it was really worth it to upgrade. So I always work on a smallish screen. Welp today's different. UDK is hard to work with only 1 screen. With all the window optimizing, and customizing in Maya I got along pretty well. UDK doesn't have nearly the same, so you're always closing, minimizing and looking for windows.
My second monitor, will be my new first, a 24" Dell UltraSharp U2412M that I got with a techbargins cupon code for $319 ($354 shipped) I'm happy. I dreamt about a 27" or 30" but still way too expensive. 24" is the perfect compromise for me for size/screen quality/price.

Eat3D iOS Mobile Game Production DVD Review

Sjoerd "Hourences" De Jong knocks it out with this one. I'd say Eat3D's iOS Mobile Game Production DVD is the best DVD so far for UDK, altho not for beginners. If you've gotten a good foundation in UDK then this is well worth the money. Every video has something or lots of things to add to or build on your pre-existing knowledge. 
I'm going so far as to give it 5 stars! It was 4-4.5 until the last 2 where he goes over The Ball iOS conversion, such great valuable information I highly recommend this DVD. 
I'd love to see him (or whoever does it for/with him) do Enemy/Bots/AI the only thing "missing" from this series. I say "missing" in quote b/c its not really missing just something else I'd love to see a series on. 

Fixes 'n Tweaks

Fixed the anim tree last night, so the tail now moves with him in a semi-dynamic looking way, or based on direction. Added blocking volumes, and removed the wall paneling that I felt wasn't worth the modeling. I'll do something better but for now I have just flat walls.

Tonight, updating Skeletal Mesh with new model/texture that was the second paint over.

GamePlay 10/17/11 Update

Getting things together, was mainly focusing on the visual quality. Still a ton of things to do of course. Next up is getting Pollock character update to the new mesh and texture. Get his anim tree back to the point it was before where there was better tail reaction. Along with all the level tweaks to get it up to par.

...then Bots and AI.

Re-Paint Take 2

So why care about re-painting the character now? Why not just keep pushing forward and making game plan 'n such? Good questions, well I've gotten to a new point where I'm happy and am pushing forward on the game. I wanted to get closer with the main character b/c his style will set the tone and look of the world he lives in. While I have some more ideas and things I want to do this is good for now. My friends (mostly Sergio Santos) at work gave me some good notes, and helped shape the direction.

I've been also reading up on what it takes to make enemies, after I get this level and textures into Unreal and all things back playing (this weekend) Enemies are the next up.

Pollock Re-Paint

Been working on colors and baking AO + GI but so far that's not looking good, here's the current re-paint
I wanted to get that dark patch working on the nose, which was harder than it may look here. Its getting there but not "there" yet. I'm going to move on to other things, you know, its a process.

Side Note: Early Inspiration

After going to IndieCade this weekend, I was reminded of the first games I played on my dads Atari, it was a desktop computer, something along the lines of this:
can't say for sure since I was 5 years old at the time, but you get the idea. Anyway the 2 games I remember playing was (after searching and finding either the closest thing in my memory or actually the game) "Rogue" or "Roguelike" or "Super Roguelike" hah, I remember it looking like this but being black and white so... who knows but it looked like this

The other game was "Battlezone" or something like it but looked a heck of a lot like this either way, but I also remember that being black and white. 
Could it be that our computer was black and white monitor? could be, I don't care to research it to that depth, but I wanted to share my earliest game experiences, that still are genres that I love, FPS and Dungeon Crawlers/hack 'n slash, altho I don't get in the mood for hack 'n slash very often, it needs to be more RPG than just simple hack 'n slash. 

Modular Level Constructed

Just a snap shot from Maya of the level layout. This is fully textured with each segment being over lapping UV'ing in an appropriate way. There's still a lot more work to do but the next step is to get this into unreal, and get the near walls rigged up. By that I mean if a character goes behind a wall that occludes him the wall will disappear visually but of course still collide.

Clouds Tutorial

OMG A new post! Wow, yeah I figured it was about time to make a new tutorial. Clouds, something an FX artist gets asked to do many many times over the course of his/her career. While I have a bag of tricks for whatever the shot needs, this is by far my most trusted, in that it gets results fast and looks decent. Its got limitations but overall I find I can get most of the shots done with a combination of these techniques. The secret, I use maya presets! LOL just watch it.

And as a bonus, I did even an extra trick video. This ones a great technique that I'm still excited about even tho I've known and used it for a while now.

another written update

what no pictures?!?! WTF? I know, well I've been doing things that are not picture or video worthy yet.

This weekend I got exploding objects. Object that can be destroyed, switch mesh, emit particles. Showed me that my gun is working which is good.

I've been working on my level kit so I can make a real level. I think the objects are almost all made. I'm now UV'ing and texturing them so I can get them into engine and see my game looking right. I also noticed I lost some tail movement based on direction so I have to hunt that down. Anyway things are moving forward. I can't wait to show a nice big update with video.