That Was Fast!

The Maintenance Tunnels are complete! Here’s another small peek at the garbage-filled underbelly of Grinwood! Doesn’t this make you just want to live and work there?

I can’t wait for you all to get chased by demonic entities throughout this disgusting maze of filth! I’ll be starting the Industrial Zone level tomorrow since I’m still in the “concrete and rusted metal” mindset! I happen to live close to an industrial area and it has started to rain a lot lately. Looking at dark, silhouetted industrial buildings against bright overcast skies inspires the hell out of me!

With each update it’s getting harder and harder to contain my giddyness. If I can keep up this pace I’ll be done in no time.

Oh, It’s Sooo Dirty!

I’m back with 2 videos of the Sewer level! The first video has audio to show you how I want to approach the soundtrack this time around. I bought this track a long time ago (originally it was going to be used for the first OoH) but I ended up not using it then so now I’ve included it with the visuals to give you an idea of where I’m going with the ambience.

These will be used for all the Hell levels and any other suitable settings to ramp up the creepiness factor. I’ll use them sparingly (if needed) during the daytime outdoor levels because I don’t want it drowning out the environmental sounds like the wind, rustling leaves, rain, thunderstorms etc. I think that’s an important factor to sell the feeling of desolation. It was always my intention to take this route for the audio as far back as the UDK project.

I hope that any old fans that see this can recognize some of the layout! Now that it’s all suitably “grimed up” I’ll be heading into the Maintenance Tunnel level!

Eww! Slimy!

Hello all! Just a bite-sized update today but I’ve got some screens of the Sewer level for you! I’m just putting in the finishing touches and details before I head into the Maintenance Tunnel level. Layout-wise, this was a really simple map and took me about 2 days to complete. I used the original OoH map as reference but I got rid of all the nonsensical architecture from it. This makes it appear less busy and a bit “plain” in comparison but that’s the point. It’s a sewer so it’s technically just a series of tunnels and corridors anyway! Any fans who played through the mod should recognize this area in the screenshots!

Speaking of which, these two actually remind me a lot of Silent Hill 4. I think it’s all the concrete and lighting that does it for me. I always liked the art style of that game the most in the series but this resemblance was completely unintentional.

While running through these tunnels (even without the sounds incorporated) I actually get some goosebumps which is a good sign! If it creeps me out and I know where everything is, hopefully it’ll be so much more scary for you!

After the Maintenance Tunnel map is done, all that remains is the Industrial Area, Meatplant, North Chester (the area around a certain Gunstore and Bookstore), the Slums and the final Hell level. Many of the maps from the mod have been merged into the levels described above (for instance, The Inlet is now part of the Industrial Area) because UE4 can handle huge swaths of terrain. Laughlin Lake is a good example:

Those are all the main story levels and everything else inbetween is a smaller, randomly generated play area.

I would just like to reiterate that this plays almost nothing like the linear mod version. It really is a different experience (more in line with what I originally wanted to make) and is an overall shorter game only because it was designed for multiple playthroughs.

After the maps are complete, I’ll get the monsters and weapons into the game and things will really heat up!

Alright, it’s REALLY done now! ;)

Whew! I’m probably going to regret this when I have to get up for work in about 3 hours but I don’t care anymore! I just finished this thing up and was too excited about posting it so I’ll just do it right now!

This here is Glass Lake; I’ve changed the name from Widow’s Lake which you can see on the old map there:

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I honestly can’t believe how fast time is zipping by these days. I didn’t realize we were halfway through July already! Cripes man!

Speaking of time flying by, I was cleaning out my closet earlier and came across my old backup CD’s and DVD’s from 2003 all the way until 2009! That was a blast from the past! Thank goodness faster, cheaper and more reliable means of backup became available!

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For this map I had to do a lot of signage (Glass Lake is a tourist area of sorts) and I actually got some PTSD from when I used to design and make signage for a living! *shudder* That was an…interesting decade to say the least but hey, at least the in-game stuff looks pretty authentic because of it!

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet because I’ve got to sleep. I’ll be starting the Sewers and Service Tunnel maps in a day or two! Enjoy!

Oh, How Far It’s Come!

I’ll be honest, after abandoning this map out of frustration (it was the first map I started building in the UDK) I never really imagined the day when I’d be revisiting it again. I remember being blown away at the time by how it looked but comparing the two now is kind of like looking at an old photo of yourself in Highschool and just chuckling at the hairstyle you used to have and the way you use to dress, even though at the time you thought it looked AWESOME! What a contrast.

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It took just a little longer than I anticipated but it’s done now. There are still a lot of details missing in the washroom areas and elsewhere but I’ll polish them up later with more garbage, grime and graffiti (especially in the washrooms)

I ran into a small problem and I’d love it if someone posted an opinion or solution for this but I was thinking of taking out the “jump” function and adding in a “vault” system instead.

This is to get around the problem of being able to walk or stand on thin, unwalkable things such at the top of a fence, a thin railing or jumping onto and standing on say, a fire hydrant. I can’t really think of another way around it so instead of being able to jump, perhaps have the player be able to vault over low walls, hand rails etc. with the push of a button instead?

I thought about adding in some function to maybe force a player off of an unwalkable object by pushing them one direction or another but it seems like it could create all sorts of movement glitches down the road. What do you think? Let me know!

Another Hike Through The Woods!

Hello all! I hope everyone is staying safe and sound during these times!

I’ve been keeping myself busy and mostly putting my time to good use! Over half of the map is now complete and I figure I have about another 2 weeks left of work in it. It’s been a pretty fun area to build and certainly eye-opening in some aspects. I learned some new things working on a huge open map like this that I otherwise wouldn’t have with a smaller or indoor map. It also runs pretty well so far and I haven’t even optimized it yet outside of LOD’s!

I did run into a few problems but I got through them fairly quickly

Problem 1 – I started to test it out in Full-screen mode and ran into this beauty:

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I call this the “Sack” Post-Process because it looks like a sack of shi-

It took me hours searching for answers online and I started messing around with different screen resolutions and stuff in Blueprints but nothing helped. The only way it looked normal was playing it in Windowed-mode.

It then occurred to me that the artifacts in Full-screen mode looked a lot like the over-sharpening artifacts in image editing software. Well, I did use a Sharpening Post-Process so…could that be the culprit? I turned it off and sure enough, it was! It turns out the sharpening effect I was using wasn’t all that great so I found another one, tweaked it and now I still get some fairly crisp visuals without the artifacts when playing in Full-screen.

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Editor Mode

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Full-screen Mode

Problem 2 – Hearing about all the new improvements on Realtime GI, I decided to check out the latest version of UE4 (4.24) After it installed, I migrated the project over to it and then I was greeted with this:

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This should only take a minute to recompile!

Normally it sits at the 3k range so yeah, not happening. I promptly went back to 4.20. Besides, I worked so long on the current lighting setup, I couldn’t possibly throw it all away now and the fact that they removed Matinee is a deal-breaker anyway.

Problem 3 – I needed a way to add more depth but I wanted the old-school distance-based fog from older game engines. It seems that it was taken out in favor of the more physically correct Atmospheric and Exponential Heightfog I guess? Even so, I really wish they kept Distance-based fog for people who just wanted the old solution. I currently only use the Exponential Heightfog for light rays and the Atmospheric Fog to affect my ambient lighting (It’s weird I know. Don’t ask me why that is, I only discovered that it just does)

If I mess with any of the settings to thicken the fog, it alters everything else so I was able to find a post process that mimics Distance Fog instead.

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No fog

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Distance Fog

It’s a subtle effect for sure but I think it makes a big difference. You can even crank it up to Silent Hill-levels of fog!

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Problem 4 – The foliage, specifically the Spruce branches were too…thick? (I can’t think of a better term) I went through and made some changes to my Foliage Shader and got some better results:

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So after all that, I recorded another video for you guys. I can’t wait to add in the sound effects, the leaf and mist particles and all the other bells and whistles but that will come later down the road!

Enjoy guys! And by the way, I’ve added a link to my Youtube channel on the right! Why not head on over and watch some videos of me absolutely getting f***ed over in games? 😀

Hammering Away!

I’ve been taking advantage of this time off work and have been hammering away at the project every day. This is the absolute biggest map I’ve ever attempted and it’s way farther along than the UDK version that I worked on so long ago.

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Just comparing what is visually possible now in UE4 compared to the UDK years ago is astounding. Just thinking, if I had completed Out Of Hell(UDK)/Infernal Dead/Daemonicon back then, it still would not have been the game that I had truly set out to build. As you all know I had a ton of problems with the UDK and I would have had to just make due or settle on taking out a lot of features. As with the mod version of Out Of Hell, I would have completed another linear single-player game but deep down I would not have been truly satisfied. If I had released this for the UDK and then seen what was capable with UE4 now, I’d have been way too tempted to remake it again!

Because of the power of UE4, the fact that there is a Marketplace where assets/blueprints can be purchased if needed and tutorials on anything (I mean ANYTHING you want to do) your imagination is the limit on making the game you always dreamed of.

I’m still going at it and I have some really unique ideas that you really haven’t seen in a horror game before. I promise this game will terrify you (which is why I’m so secretive about some of the details) so hang in there guys! I’ll see you next time!

EDIT: I was just playing around with some LUT’s and a few of them actually make the scenery pretty stylized! I’m already going for a very contrasted look but these other LUT’s kick it up a level! Which do you like? Let me know in the comments! (Maybe I can just include all of them later and let you decide in the Options menu with “Original” being the default?)

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