Posts Tagged ‘Knights’
Our blog’s been a little lazy here unfortunately, so I’ll strike it with an insightfully intriguing post on the Rooks Keeps character content pipeline. I won’t go into the specifics of actually creating the content, rather focussing on the work inside UnrealEd. This doesn’t include the rather large coding side of things either; it’s simply the content side of things. That’s somehting for another section entirely.
So, let’s start at the beginning then.
Firstly, we design the character, followed by the concept art for it. DC does the concept art and modeling for the character, then the UV’s and then renders up all the required maps that I will need for texturing (Normal, Ambient-Occlusion, Cavity and Wireframe). Once texturing concludes, I’ll do the rig and create the required animations, sounds and anything else specific to the character (such as masks).
Once all the work outside of UE is finshed, it’s time to get it all ready for the game. And that’s the stuff I’ll list and explain here.
The characters are made up of several meshes, and also require other objects for various gore and FX related purposes.
- Character [The actual character mesh/rig]
- Weapons [The weapon(s) and other attachments that the character holds in their hands]
- Head [This is a character specific head gib used for gore]
- Gibs [These are a global set of gibs used for all characters. These include both flesh and metal pieces]
-Textures: [Often a character has more than one material slot]
The character requires a fair number of textures, which includes the usual Diffuse/Specular/Normal set and extras such as masks and emissive maps. The textures (primarily the masks) will often have various color channels dedicated to specific material functions, which will be listed here as “RGBA=”.
- Diffuse [This is the characters primary color map and sets the overall look of the character] [A=OpacityMask]
- Specular [This sets the 'shininess' of the character texture]
- Normal [The normal map appears to add extra detail to the mesh, by performing some voodoo magic]
- Emissive [This map indicates areas of the texture that are unaffected by lighting, and is often used to make areas glow]
- MaterialMask [We use this texture to set various properties on the characters material, such as reflection intensity, specular power and others] [R=Reflection G=SpecularPower B=Fresnel A=DetailNormal]
- Color Mask [This mask indicates which areas of the character can be colored by the in-game color chooser. It also sets where blood appears] [R=PrimaryColor G=SecondaryColor B=WeaponBlood A=SprayBlood]
- Gore Mask [The gore mask indicates specific areas used by the gore system] [R=Decapitation G=FootBlood B=InjuryBlood]
- Footsteps [These are bloody footstep textures used as decals when a character walks through a blood pool]
- Head Gibs [The textures used by the head gib meshes]
- Gibs [Gib textures]
- Decals [Blood decals used for various gore requirements, such as spatters, explosions, pools and drips]
- Particles [These are the textures used by the various particle systems, including gore and weapon effects]
- Charge [A walking sequence used when a piece is in combat with another]
- Idle one-shots [Idle sequences to break up the otherwise looping idle animation]
- Quick Attacks
- Slow Attacks
- Parry: Left / Right / Up / Down [Each piece requires a parry sequence in each basic direction]
- Quick Attacks Parried [These sequences are used when the attack of the character is parried by the enemy]
- Slow Attacks Parried [These sequences are used when the attack of the character is parried by the enemy]
- Death: Stab / Slash / Decapitated / Fried
- Effort[Beasts] [Used when the character attacks and performs some other movements]
- Impacts [These are sounds of weapons successfully hitting characters. They come in both flesh and metal variants]
- Footsteps [These include various foot types on various surface types]
- Swing Weapon [Played when weapons are swung]
- Attacks [Character attack sounds. Right now, these are used by the Bishops of both sides]
- Parry Attack [The sound played by the attackers weapon when it is parried]
- Enemy Parry [Played by the victims weapon when it successfully parries an attack]
- Weapons on ground [Played by weapons left by dead players as they are moved around]
- Corpse Impacts [Sounds of dead bodies been moved around by other players]
- Blood Splats [When blood hits a surface]
- Decapitation [The joyous sound of a head leaving it's owner]
- Gibs [Gib impacts with surfaces]
- Heads [Decapitated head impacts with surfaces]
- Explosion [When a character explodes]
- Gore Slash
- Gore Stab
- Gore Smash
- Gore Decap
- Gore Explode
- Gib Trails [Blood particles flicking off flying bits]
- Weapon Impacts [Played when weapons parry]
- Weapon Drips [Blood drips from bloody weapons]
- Weapon Trails [Trails left by weapons swinging through the air]
- Attacks [Effects used by certain attacks, such as the Bishop fire and lighting]
- Blood Pools
- Blood Splats
- Blood Footsteps
- Gib Impacts
- Blood Explosion
-Other/Miscellaneous: These are some of the other, equally important, elements that need to be added:
The main character mesh also requires 3 extra LOD’s to improve performance when required. These can, fortunately, be generated inside UE.
Sockets are locations placed on meshes that are referenced by code.
- Neck [Spawns a head stump mesh when decapitated]
- HeadGore [Gore particle spray upon decapitation]
- Three Weapon Edges [These are used by weapon FX trails, referenced by animation notifies]
- Weapon Sockets [Held weapons]
Notifies set events during animation sequences, such as when to play trails left by weapons as they swing and when to play footstep sounds.
Physics calculated cloth objects, such as the cloaks on the King and Queen of the ‘Knights’ faction.
Physics materials set various properties on meshes and physics objects.
Map Based Environment/Reflection-maps
We’ve added support to character materials, that allows them to search for map-specific reflection maps.
Whew! And that’s that for now! As you can see, a lot of work goes into each character piece, and this doesn’t include the actual content creation and coding for them.
I trust you found this insightful, useful or an otherwise educational experience. If, on the other hand, you were bored stiff and angry by the end of it.. Hahaha! Sucker!
That’s right, there have been some big changes to Rooks Keep! The beasts set has been implemented in-game, the UIs are starting to look wicked and music is starting to go in, but the biggest change of all has been to the combat.
The combat system has been given a total overhaul so instead of having limited movement in 1vs1 combat, players will now be able to roam freely around the arena in third person and engage any number of enemies. This opens up lots of crazy new game possibilities including mass battles against many other players and bots, invasion game types and large team battle. BlackEagle is busy right now working on realizing these new gametype possibilities.
With this, player controlled combat is now the primary focus of Rooks Keep, putting chess into the backseat. If you can’t imagine how the game works, to try to give you a general idea of what exactly Rooks Keep is; basically, Rooks Keep is a bit like Unreal Tournament with swords!
Also not minor is that the Beasts have been added. This means there are now 12 characters in-game to engage in various flavors of brutal asymmetric combat.
Don’t let the wild character colors frighten you, we’ll be attending to those as we go.
Also notice ShadowBlade’s new UI graphics compared to the previous shots of the UI I posted.