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Well Well, Look Who Decided To Drop By!

May 19, 2021

It took me a few days of experimentation to sort out the animation workflow but I finally got a handle on it. What I assumed was going to take me months to do (all monster, NPC and first-person animations) won’t take me that long at all. All the monster animations have been tweaked and exported and are now in-game thanks to the ease of using Mixamo and the range of animations that they offer. I just uploaded my base monster meshes, Mixamo rigs them and then spits out the animation (pretty much)

There was a time where I would describe this as “cheating” but hey, at this point in I’m just ready for it to be done as quickly as possible. I don’t want everyone waiting any longer just so I can “do it all by hand” and puff up my chest and sit here with a smug grin. There is just no way in Neptune’s blue balls that my keyframe animations would ever look as good as those mocap animations so I’ll take the shortcuts, I’ll take the help and assistance if it delivers a better-looking product and also shaves off time.

A long time ago I made most of the Blueprints that I needed for the Out Of Hell UE4 framework. I coded my own stamina functions, health, fall damage, firearms, hunger system, inventory, text and note files, examining items, monster AI etc. I was proud as hell (because coding is not my specialty) that I made this all myself and it worked!

Over time I started looking into adding more functionality and just for fun, I perused the UE Marketplace to see what was out there. Some of the frameworks that were sold had demo versions so I tried them out thinking “Hey, what’s the harm in looking?” and OMG

What I saw was just on a completely different level in terms of functionality and polish! For example, my note system was “Approach note, press E to read, display large image with text on it. DONE.” but the methods I saw in this other framework was “Approach note, press E to examine note, have option to rotate note and look at backside, open note, display an image of the note, press E to darken the screen and display the contents of the note using engine font, use left and right arrow to flip pages etc.”

I mean, the level of attention put into this framework made mine look so very, very underdeveloped! And that was just the note system! I eventually bit the bullet and bought a freaking fantastic framework for this game. I heavily modified it for my needs and successfully merged/grafted whatever features I needed into Out Of Hell. It’s awesome.

It took me some time to come around to taking that plunge because there’s this part of me (I guess it’s the ego) that wants to do it ALL MYSELF or else it isn’t pure! But in hindsight that’s such a stupid, silly way to approach things. Why was I always trying to reinvent the wheel? And where is the line drawn with this kind of mentality?

For example, I would have a problem using a HUNGER SYSTEM that someone else offered because I myself didn’t make it from the ground up BUT I had absolutely no problem using a videogame engine or software that someone else made? And really, what is the difference between buying a banana model on a Marketplace (not that I did but just as an example) or employing another artist to model a banana for me if time was a factor? I already know I could do it (and have done: OoH 2009, YPAPSG) so what the hell was I still trying to prove to myself?

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that to all those that believe in me and have been there since the beginning, to those who have had the patience to stick with this project for years and all the newcomers, I want to make sure you get the experience that you’re deserving. I won’t deliver a shitty, half-assed experience that doesn’t live up to the real potential just because I refused do what was necessary to take it to the next level out of some dumb sense of ego preservation.

So this is just a quick update on where I’m at right now. The monster animations are all done, the 3rd person player animations are done (I say third person because of body awareness. When you look down, you see the legs and body) and I just need to finish up the first-person weapon animations (there’s 18 wieldable weapons to do) And speaking of body awareness, look who’s here! Donovan Ling himself, no longer confined to a 64×128 dialogue portrait!

It’s not finalized (I’ll take care of that much later) I just needed it so that I could send it to Mixamo!


From → Out Of Hell

  1. c+r permalink

    With the price of conditioner on the rise he decided this would save him money in the long run

  2. MadLad permalink

    He’s balder than I remember

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