Implementation

Game/Time Completion

So I have been working on the project for several months along with a lot of major other projects for my other modules and I have basically hit my time limit. I had the play test demo yesterday (25/03/2014) in which I was required to demo my level in front of my peers and lectures and let them have a go and write feedback on what they thought. Generally the feedback was very good, I had comments for improvement, like to add a world hook-up for the level, meaning to attach my level to the design and layout of the existing game. Other feedback was to add in a quest system. Both of these was my intention and its a shame that I have run out of time. However given the amount of hours I have truly spent designing and implementing this level I am proud of what I have achieved, I hope this comes across to those that have played the level and to those that will get to play it.

I will be adding a video shortly of my run through the level and try to cover all areas of detail. Please have a look and comment on your thoughts.

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Implementation

Optimizing Continued

I have now pretty much finished the level optimizing and I was going share a more details view of how the portals and room markers look like in the editor.

Optimising (Almost Finished

So there is a large quantity of room markets and you can now see a clearer view of the portals and there connections to each block. The white arrows are the connections between rooms from there relevant portal. The next image will show you a a further detailed view of the completed portals.

Optimising Finished

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Implementation

Level Optimization

I feel I have finally reached the completion stage of the development for the level. I have certainly come along way since the beginning, and now I feel its time to optimize the level so it will be run at a smoother more consistent frame rate on lower performance machines. I have been reading through the provided material on the GECK Wiki and it became apparent that optimizing your level isn’t completely necessary but is highly recommended and appreciated by the community. As such the GECK program supports and has a built in system to allow you to optimize your level by splitting up the level in to sections, for example room by room. This tells the renderer that it should only render graphics and objects inside a room in which a player is in.

OcclusionDiagram

This is an image taken from the Bethsoft Tutorial, during the explanation of how the render view works. Basically the black being the player and the triangle being the field of vision, the render on renders objects inside room A, and the objects in room B where the view penetrates the room. The render system works using Room markers and portals. I will show you the start of my implementation for the optimization.

Optimisation Start

Here you can see a number of blue room markers, which act as the separate room sections. You cannot see it very well from the above angle but there are several portals for the bottom 3 rooms that connect them together. The portals cover say a door way or window, effectively any section in which a player could see from one box into another. This is so that if the players vision is pointed in the direction and penetrates another room, the renderer knows to render the view through that portal, rather than the rest of the world.

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Implementation

Lighting & FX

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These lights I use for the main hall. I only have 5 of these lights in my level. The other style of lights I use for smaller rooms like the corridors or classroom etc. These smaller lights do not include the FX light beam as its just not needed as it would look out of place. These and other lights look like the following:

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I will post what these what these lights appear like in the game soon, It will give you a better idea of how these lights effect there surroundings.

 

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Implementation

Hackable Terminals

To slow the pace of the game down to a more manageable level, I have begin implementing Terminals that can unlock doors and hack in to the turret control system. This just adds an extra element to the game. The way in which the terminals work is by have a difficulty based password in which you have to try and guess the pass word from a list of 10-20 on the screen, clues are given to help you make your choice. You are limited with tries however so this does add a sense of reward to the game if you manage to successfully hack a terminal.

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Here is an example of door controlled terminal. As you can see there is a link between both the terminal and the door as the connection is vital when implementing a control based system such as this. The terminal can unlock the door once the security system has been hacked. Another example in my game is this:

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This terminal is connected to the turret from previous posts. There is a connector line however is goes through the wall so you cannot see it from this angle. This terminal is placed strategically in an office so that if the player explores around the map before encountering the turret, they put themselves in the position to actually hack and disable the turret in advance and avoid all sorts of trouble. So with this I am trying to cater for all types of players, by giving some sort of reward for those players that explore and giving the all in players a straight fight with turrets etc.

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Implementation

Enemy Auto-Turrets

What better trap than an auto turret pinning you down, well naturally that’s exactly what I have put in my level. I looking to channel the players movement away from the turret initially, and more to explore and find the terminal that can either deactivate the target information, which means it will shoot everything not just me, or deactivate the turret altogether. Sounds cool right! Well here is my turret:

Turret(editor)

Well it doesn’t look like much but trust me it is. I did encounter a huge problem that set me back several hours trying to find a fix. That problem was that when you place turrets in world they would sit happily like you can see in the picture. However when you load the game and test the level for real, the turrets seemed to obey the laws of physics and would fall to the floor. Now this isn’t a problem that effected Fallout 3 development, but in Fallout New Vegas this was a real problem. So after spending hours trying to find how to place turrets effectively, I came across a solution that meant implementing  a box collider to sit underneath the turret to effectively just support it in its position. Strange right. Well it worked and you can sort of see it in the above picture, there is a grey transparent plane underneath the turret that is actually its support. This turret is a Raider owned turret, this means that the turret will not engage any type of Raider. This just adds to the story making you feel like the raiders are running the place and have secured it with defenses.

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