Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Team PPJ: 5/23 - 5/30

This week was a hell of a week to say the very least.

First and foremost, we can officially declare any mode of capturing footage that isn't from a first-person viewpoint dead. After 6 hours on Sunday and 40+ hours of work previously trying to make the sequencer work and ending with nothing to show for it but a BSOD, we were left slightly insane and more than a little frustrated. Seeing 40+ hours worth of work wasted is sure to make even the most patient man consider murdering an innocent.

Other than that, we did successfully capture updated footage from both the first-person perspective and an outside perspective, with more energy this time.

As well, our build has been cleaned up, all models and textures are implemented, and it's ready for the showcase as far as we can tell.

  • Final build looks pretty good
  • We're on the home stretch finally
  • lots and lots of time flushed down a great big toilet
  • i am ill

Tyler Schacht PPJ: 5/23 - 5/30

   So this week I worked on the main menu a little more, but unfortunately it will most likely not be making it into the Showcase build (not that you would see it anyway to allow more people to try out our game).  I'm still going to try to push for it to be implemented for Senior Showcase.  It will probably be pushed to Steam at a later date.
   A lot of classes have deliverables this past week so I have had to work on those as well.  Not only that but as you may have guessed from reading everyone else's PPJs, the UE4 Sequencer lost us a lot of time.  We spent 14 hours working on solely capturing footage and about half of it was unusable ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Total Hours: 17 hours
- Footage Recording / Team Meeting: 14 hours
- Main Menu work: 3 hours

Positives: I didn't go completely insane after literally every single thing went wrong.

Negatives: I wish I could've had more time to work on the main menu to have it in the trailer.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Cory Zicolella PPJ: 5/23 - 5/30

We must get steady footage via Unreal Engine 4's sequencer.  For the Vive.  With objects that instantiate after game start.

Three hours pass.

Needless to say, the sequencer, and everything about it, belongs in the deepest, hottest layer of a special hell.  And now that half the art team has gleefully wasted six hours of time thaat could have been devoted to other things, I ended up doing what I usually do and edited the showcase trailer with normal patented OBS technology.

Angry ranting aside, I was pretty busy this week, as was most of the team.  I remade most of the videos used in the showcase, remade the trailer entirely using the new footage we gathered (which by the way, there have been a myriad of small quality of life improvements to the game itself this last week, and it overall just looks and feel better), and made an updated (finally) video for our website, as to replace the very very old video we have autoplaying right now.

Many many hours went into this week, and at least half of them were put towards something which in the end, wasn't usable.  Unfortunate.

Hopefully in the last weeks we can really crank out the small list of things we ahave to do.

Ryan Badurina PPJ: 5/23 - 5/30

F--- Sequencer.  That's all I have to say.

I was able to finally get the project working properly again this week (it was an issue with data caches stored by UE4), and was able to do some work and help out with recording footage for what could have been our updated trailer.  I proposed the idea of using Sequencer earlier in the term to get gameplay recording from third person angles as opposed to the first person angles of a VR Player Camera.

While it helped somewhat, Sequencer proved to be unreliable for recording footage in VR.

Some of the objects we needed to record were objects that only spawned during run-time, aka objects that weren't inherently a part of the arena level.  Also, while recording, the frame rates dropped significantly, making playing the game normally extremely annoying and slow.  Finally, rendering out footage still proved to be a non-explained and frustrating process.  We spent several hours getting this stuff ready for recording, and it netted us zero reward.  We did get some nice 1st person and real-life camera shots, but we were hoping for footage from more of a birds eye view as opposed to the player view.  We decided to drop the sequencer stuff for this term as it is frustrating and not worth the time in the current VR environment.  Hopefully in the future it will be more VR friendly and allow for the recording of "spawn-able objects."

In the meantime, I'm currently looking over and importing / programming in various sound effects for some of our assets, as a few of them are either out-dated or need to be fully implemented.  I wasn't able to fully get into this for this week because of my project issues and because of recording, but with Sequencer being dropped I can work fully on the sound for our game for the rest of the term.

  -Team Meeting(s):  9 Hours
  -Trailer Recording:  4 Hours
  -Source Control:  1 Hour
  -Sequencer Setup:  1.5 Hours
  -Sound Research & Import: .5 Hours

Total Time: 20 Hours

  -Project finally reopens along with the level.  Stupid stored caches,

  -Sequencer recording was just a waste of time.  I feel ashamed for even recommending it this late into the term.
  -Audio was pushed aside in favor of the BS Sequencer.  Will be working on it for the next week.

Daniel Ingman PPJ: 5/23 - 5/30


This week I implemented the new AI model and its new texture.

AI model in-engine

AI model w/ animated texture

As well, we spent a good amount of time in meetings and capturing final footage. This was a god-awful process as we were able to figure out that capturing footage from anywhere other than the default headcam view in VR is next to impossible. Placing a separate camera in the scene and piping footage from that takes the view away from the player rendering them blind, so that didn't work. We tried using Unreal's sequencer toolkit, but it failed to capture any movement of the whip, spline, or ball, and eventually caused a memory leak in my computer and gave it a BSOD. 12 hours well spent, so thanks for that.

Hours spent: 23 hours
  • AI texture final touch-ups: 4 hours
  • AI implementation: 2 hours
  • Footage recording: 14 hours
  • Presentation practice: 3 hours
  • I got more sleep this week, thank goodness
  • AI model is present.
  • A lot of hard work that could have been spent on other things went to waste.

With that out of the way, let's dive right into the postmortem.

Overall, this was a very positive experience for me. Being able to work with a team that got along very well and worked very hard was a rare experience and I'm glad it happened to be my senior project team. A lot of things went very right during this quarter, as I shall list:
  • The team got along very well.
  • Communication was strong and constant.
  • Meetings were productive and frequently attended by most team members.
  • The CCI team was a design equal and not just a workforce.
  • The core mechanics of our game came out very strong and fun to play.
  • The game is visually striking and has a strong identity.
  • We released on Steam Early Access.
In terms of what went wrong, a few things did. Mostly:
  • Some topics should have been handled earlier (better recording of footage primarily).
  • Time management was an issue for me, personally.
  • Vital portions of our game did not make it into our presentation or the showcase build.
  • Basic game mechanics of our game don't function yet (menu, etc).
  • Some team members didn't have access to the required hardware that they needed in order to properly work on the game.
So what did I learn from all of this? Well,
  • Think of your game in terms of mechanics first, then fill in the gaps with your setting/story.
  • Find people you like to work with but also whom you can trust to do their work well and deliver on time.
  • Do lots and lots of concept art, frequently.
  • Create a style guide.
  • Playtest and iterate often.
Whew. This was a great experience but a draining one, to say the least.

Mike Cancelosi PPJ: 5/23 - 5/30

This week I did some polishing, quality-of-life iterations to the game. For instance, spinning the audience, fixing the ball textures, and helping others implement art into the game. We, unfortunately, spent some time trying to fix the repo after breaking it, but that's bitbucket for you. Also, we shrunk the stadium as we had received a lot of feedback that says it is too large.

Hours Spent:10 hrs

Pros: Got done a lot of little things that needed to get polished.
Cons: Lot of bugs/bug fixing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Team PPJ: 5/17 - 5/23

This week I didn't get a whole lot of sleep. But that's beside the point.

The main event this week was the DIGM side recording a metric buttload of new footage for use in our presentations in order to capture our most up-to-date build. We got lots of good footage that includes a simultaneous view of the player from the outside, so that viewers can see how the player's movements affect the world. It looks good and should be good.

The main menu scene is looking super duper cool, as are the new tools. They got a good look to them.

Menu Scene
Team-themed Controllers
They gloo

Finally we spent some time making a cool poster for the final showcase. It's more colorful than our previous one for sure.

Draft 1
Draft 2

Alright that's enough for now I'm going to bed.

  • Lots of cool visuals happening inside the build now
  • I am sleep deprived