Dev Log - Dec10.2021

So, before I even pulled the trigger on making website, development blog, etc, I wanted to make sure I had the fundamentals of my tech built to my satisfaction that I could reasonably start world-building. I wanted my landscapes, weather, lighting, effects, etc all to be of a certain fidelity else I just wouldn't be satisfied, hence not want to make the effort - lol. Not really a perfectionist, but I wanted the satisfaction of at least hitting the median on current gameplay and graphics, even if it was something of a decently simplistic type-game. However, no, I have to go to the multiplayer, actionRPG/MMO type dealy, Dark Souls (all praise Miyazaki...) but it seems to be attainable.

At the very least I wanted to be able to build expansive environments, and get that 'Gorgeous View!' moment. In practicality, I could bend this to many other game-types or even a product on the Unreal marketplace, so even if I was not ultimately successful in my chose game-type, I wanted to be flexible in what I could at least pick-from and practically-deliver.

I have some character-development and UI-work off on the side that I'm not quite ready to present yet. Once I have that, and the need for vids, I'll present, but in the mean while, I'm just breaking out. My combo-system is working but I don't want to show it outside the context of a few other things. I still have to learn sequencer and/or a few other things before I reveal, but it's not just all landscape and material stuff (I know it's all I show in Imgur...).

Otherwise, for over the past year, I've been chipping away at my landscape material/process (see Imgur link at the footer). It powers the overall outside world the player will be able to run around in, as well as the backgrounds on this website.. There is a sky-component as well that controls clouds, the sun-disc (the bright spot, eg: 'the sun') as well as the atmospheric scattering/fog in the world. Add to that a post-process effect with distance-blending fog colors, and other effects, particle systems for weather, I can drive the entirety of the 'outside experience' via material-shaders and cover rain, snow, fog, etc; likely most/all aspects of what I need.

Below is an overview of a 2k heightmap w/snow, sediment layering, post-processing, etc. Most of the levels of my game will be within these kinds of bounds, but they are large and detailed enough to work (for me). At full speed, even with an ungodly sprint-boost, it still takes a player over 10+ minutes to go from one end to the other. The amount of stuff I can cram into such a space is very heartening. Lighting is just the sun, a directional-light. There won't necessarily need to be other main-type lighting sources, but I could put in torches, critter and spell effects, all dynamic, Overall as much as I can make it, the world will be dynamic.

There is actually a mannequin in the very center of the image, selected, but you still cannot readily see him. Zooming in, I'm happy to see a consistant level of detail and no tiling!

Cannot wait to try in Unreal5 once they get the Lumen lighting-system up and running with landscapes. For now, my target Unreal build is 4.26+.