This week I spent my time working on the track for our game. I looked at some videos of tracks in Ireland and hopefully will be able to replicate that feel in unreal engine.
I learned how to use splines in the engine. This allows me to set out a nice flat(ish) track, adjust the height of each segment and morph the terrain to match that track. In theory then it should be fairly easy to sculpt a nice landscape around the track and then populate it with props and foliage.
Unfortunately it is not so simple. Using the current set up, I can easily build a track on the side of a cliff, but that doesn't represent what we would see in Ireland. The problem comes when tight turns turn the track back in on itself. Its hard to have a bank on both sides of a track when one side drops down to meet another section of the track. I think for proof of concept this should be grand but for our alpha and beta releases this is something that will take a very long time to get right.
I spent a lot of time this week getting used to the tools, using splines and different sculpting options for terrain.
I had some problems in that the models I was using to populate the track were to high quality. Some of my team members had trouble running the project and were unable to work. I overcame this by adding a prop low poly tree and replicated it about the level just to show which areas will have trees, and simple blocks for start finish and other areas of interest.
I also got some practice with landscape materials this week. I was able to build a small tool that allowed me to paint dirt and grass and add a nice grass mesh to any area painted with grass. I will explore this more when I get a chance.
Overall I feel fairly confident that given the right amount of time I should be able to build something that matches the quality and efficiency that were looking for.
This week I decided that all scrum master roles will be delegated to Michael from here on out. He has done a fantastic job so far and I don't see any need to change that. This I feel takes away from my role as Project Manager but I think my role organizing meetings, addressing any issues, and trying to keep a smile on everyone's face should suffice.
So far the issues I have are:
- Level design takes a lot more time and work that I previously expected.
- Use of high quality models and textures will have an impact on performance so we will have to choose weather to use lower quality models or sacrifice some performance.
- Current methods are not good enough to correctly represent what we need, more research is necessary.