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All Part Of The Process!

August 13, 2021

What an interesting little phase this is! I always expected to make changes but not this many. Some ideas I had sounded really great on paper but in practice it didn’t work out for one reason or another. I’ve had to remove things (some unexpectedly) and added other ones in. It is what it is you know!

One thing I originally wanted was to have ragdoll physics when a monster died but for the life of me I can’t get it to look good! In the mod I was able to have them just fall over as a ragdoll but not look too silly. Now, monsters flail and flop, limbs stretching into impossible positions or the entire corpse just rocketing across the map! It all just looked way too goofy so I decided to stick with plain-old death animations and a dissolve effect upon death.

Aiming down the sights (ADS) has now been removed. Initially I wanted players to have a “ready” stance and that normally the left mouse button would be used to examine things, open doors and interact but when you hold the right mouse button to ready your weapon or aim down the sights (if it was a firearm) the left mouse button would then fire/attack. I had issues with the toggling this mode in that if you spammed the right mouse button, it would completely mess up the order in which you fired or interacted if that makes any sense. For those that know Blueprints, I did try delays and booleans but it still happens sporadically so I removed it. Besides, I’ve never been a fan of ADS myself; it just seems like an extra step in the way of you wanting to fire/attack. Besides, isn’t that what the crosshair is for, so you don’t have to aim down sights? 😀

I also tried to code some functions to close down the inventory screen or any other screen if you got attacked. So for example if you are reading a journal entry and an enemy comes by and smacks you, the journal would automatically close. I got it somewhat working but the inventory screen in particular produces some toggling issues and a bombardment of accessed none errors.

I decided to just bypass it and leave that feature out so if you are reading something and get attacked, you’ll have to manually back out of it (which is just a click of the mouse anyway) Maybe I should have just sold this as actually being a realism feature! Imagine you are so engrossed in what you are reading that you just don’t want to put that journal down even if you are being clawed from all directions! 😉

I nearly axed the inventory management/dropping items because of a bunch of little bugs and issues.

In the end I was able to save it and the only 2 issues that remained are: items getting dropped into holes/cracks or unreachable places and items sometimes “sinking” into level geometry making retrieval impossible. I overcame these two issues with the following bug fixes:

1) If you drop something into a hole, you’re shit out of luck so be careful where you drop your stuff!

2) I increased the collision size of the items to prevent them from disappearing into the environment. For example, a small key will no longer have accurate collision that is the size of that key. The invisible collision will now be the size of a bowling ball so the key may appear to float off the ground a little bit but that prevents it from sinking into other geometry. I don’t have a more elegant solution for this.

I’m also currently fixing/cleaning up the Police Station map and oh man, this has been an absolute pain. It was the first map I fully built in UE4 and so the environment it is made up of mostly BSP. After that map was finished I built my other maps out of modular static meshes so going back in and replacing all that BSP by hand with static meshes is not the butt-clenching good time that it should be but it’ll get done.

I’m sure I left out a few things that I can’t think of at the moment (only because there were so many things that needed to be changed) but everything else is progressing very fine indeed! The first few levels are genuine nightmare fuel and some of the visual sequences that I had been holding onto in my head since 2013 have transferred nicely onto the computer screen.

There is a particular scene involving a Manipulator demon that I had playing over and over in my mind and I remember years ago wondering how on earth I would pull it off when the time came but the good news is that I did it and it looks even better than I had hoped!

From → Out Of Hell

  1. MadLad permalink

    Since there are no ragdolls, will there be stagger animations?
    I always feel like that’s critical for satisfying gunplay.

    • C+R permalink

      Yes, enemies are randomly stunned and stagger for a second which interupts their attacks. I’m currently trying to fix a bug where they unintentionally pause for about half a second after being stunned but otherwise it works well.

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