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Multiplayer Arena Using UDK

Dean Smith 25/06/2011


Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 3 Completion Overview ....................................................................................................................... 4 Comparisons to Original Design ....................................................................................................... 6 Resources & Assets........................................................................................................................... 7 Suitability for Intended Concept ...................................................................................................... 8 Errors and Glitches ........................................................................................................................... 9 Testing and Beta Testing Comments ..............................................................................................10

Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Introduction Within this document I shall review and reflect upon the 3D experience that I have created for a multiplayer death-match experience for the videogame ‘Unreal Tournament’ using the 3D development engine UDK. This document will be divided into these sections. 

Completion Overview

Comparison to Original Design

Resources Used

Suitability for Intended Concept

Errors and Glitches

Testing and Beta Test Comments

Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Completion Overview In the wake of the 3D development project for Unit 68, I feel I have advanced greatly in the use of the UDK development engine. I now understand some of the more advanced concepts of the program such as utilizing the various Actor Classes that can be applied throughout and the UDK Kismet and Matinee systems. Additionally I have gained knowledge in how to take previously generated content of relevant media, such as custom textures and 3D static meshes and incorporate them into the system. This has allowed me to create a map of such design, that players can make use of the environment to enjoy not only competitive death-match scenarios, but also an interactive environment that can extend game-play through ‘sandbox’ interaction. By this I mean I have included elements which the player’s can use to freely play with in a fashion of their own design that generates fun and replayability. Such elements within my design include the variety of pool balls that I have placed across the surface of the table that can be manipulated and controlled by the player to simulate the game in its entirety. There have been however, areas during the production process that I have found to be difficult in application through either complexity of use or natural faults within the software creating glitches which hinder the work. Such occurrences were in the attempt to incorporate personal 3D static meshes of my own design. In one such instance, I attempted to place in the model of a Japanese Katana melee weapon. I found that importing this as a package proved to be difficult if incorrectly applying the model within the correct file format. I had automatically assumed that the universal standard of using ‘OBJ’ files would have been appropriate however; UDK only functions if the mesh has been exported as a ‘Collada’ file type. I spent a great deal of time attempting a variety of means by which to include this model all to no avail before being able to finally research the correct steps. This incident cost me valuable time within my production schedule requiring an amendment causing the project to overrun the deadline. I must ensure that I correctly account for such circumstances within future productions. The images below display the evidence regarding this amended schedule: Original

Amended

Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

I found that the use of BSP Brushed to generate CSG 3D varied heavily from the traditional means in which to produce such media. I believe the system to be a very unique and original concept however I feel that the requirement to use such a design has its limits. The process can, at times, feel very time consuming and occasionally inaccurate to grid placement. This is due to the fact that the grid snapping mechanism employed by UDK often is very basic and only accounts for a certain range of grid snapping possibilities that ensure geometry is limited to the UDK engine. This, although necessary for UDK CSG, can at times be inconsistent when applying personally constructed geometry. I believe this should include its own placement design. I did enjoy the use of the Kismet trigger system and matinee animation however as this mimicked traditional computer generated animation software using a timeline. This is an activity that I naturally find appealing and felt comfortable in its use to produce a custom animation of a sliding gate. I felt that the Kismet system was well implemented and easy to use for my intended ideas. With these systems combined I produced the following triggered animation complete with sound cues.

Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Comparisons to Original Design

The following images within the table are of various sections throughout the completed map. The design has changed from the original concept in several ways due to change of opinion on play as well as inability to adhere to the design plan. This section of the document will review these changes and the reasons for their implementation.

Screenshot

Original Design

Reason

The initial intention was to have spawn points located alongside each of the table cushions.

The inclusion of a formations triangle set in rest along the cushion has meant that a spawn location was required to be moved to the right nearer the pocket.

The central corridor of the table was originally planned to remain with the same width as those leading from the corridors.

The layout has changed due to considerations that the central corridor would not have enough room for the intended volume of battle possibilities.

The mouse hole was initially conceptualised to include a secondary area with a water element to house another valuable pickup.

This idea was removed for 2 reasons. The first was due to the demand within the schedule that was required in order of its implementation. The second was due to the idea creating confusion within the player.

Moved Spawn Point

Width Increased

Water not included

Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Resources & Assets The table below details the various assets that I used during the maps creation. Materials

Static Meshes

Triggers

Sound Cues

Misc

CubeMaterial

S_LT_Light_SM_Fluorescent_01b

Gate Matinee

A_Door_Metal03_CloseStartCue

S_UN_Sky_SM_SkyDome05

M_Constant3Vector

S_LT_Light_SM_Light01

Light Matinee

A_Door_Metal03_CloseStopCue

LightMass(Mesh)

M_Detail

Sphere (Dynamic Actor)

Sound Cue

A_Door_Metal03_OpenStartCue

Point Light

M_DailyLilly

S_HU_Deco_SM_Chainlink02_B

Reverse Gate Matinee

A_Door_Metal03_OpenStopCue

Spawn Actor

M_HU_DOCK_SM_FWindow_GlassBroken_Mat

*Frame*

Small Health Actor

M_HU_Floors_BSP_Asphalt01

Large Health Actor

M_NEC_Base2_BSP_TileColors01

Strong Armor Actor

M_UN_Terrain_Dirt_04

UDK Weapon Pick-up Factory

M_NEC_Trims_SM_Turk182

UDK Vehicle Factory (Scorpion)

M_NEC_Walls_BSP_Turk182Plain_B M_PaintableRock_Master_Opt M_PoolDirt__02_Opt *Bricks* *Burton College Logo* *DarkWood* *LightWood* *PoolFelt* *CueBall* *RedBall* *YellowBall* *8Ball*

Those marked with between (*) indicate custom media. Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Suitability for Intended Concept

It is my opinion that the map achieves well in the intention of creating balanced play whilst achieving a fun sandbox scenario. I believe that the use of dynamic meshes as pool balls achieves well in its design and can create immersive game play. The only concern is the management of the balls navigating through table once potted. The layout of the pockets has meant that a ball may lay rest within a pocket and not roll through as the bases of the pockets are flat.

An aspect that I feel achieves well for suitability is through the use of the pool cues gain access to various levels through the map. This is not only a functional aspect but also relevant to the theme. I have a concern however that only one cue allowes re-access to the table surface. This limits the players ability to navigate the map.

Finally, I feel that the inclusion of a ‘Scorpion’ class vehicle represented as a remote control toy creates a feeling of character within the map. I found that when accessing the unit, the perspective within the environment fully captures the effect of miniaturisation and it does indeed feel as though a remote control vehicle is being utilised.

Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Errors and Glitches

A flaw within the creation of the map emerged as I attempted to use animated materials for the screen of the retro style arcade machine. Once I applied this material, the surface of the geometry became semi-transparent. Additionally, I found there was no obvious method in which to change it, the usual channels such as using ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Z’ simply did not work. I researched a variety of sites, such as those found from 3DBuzz.com, in an attempt to solve the issue, yet there appeared to be no relevant resources. I was however satisfied as from a distance, the material I had applied produced an effect well enough so that players would not be able to detect the issue and so the material was left within the design.

Another glitch I experience during production was within the shadows left by the point light. Despite adhering to strict issues such as editing settings and constructing a ‘Light Mass Importance Volume’ around the environment, the cue resting on the surface of the pool table simply did not produce a well rendered shadow. I could not find a way in which to resolve this. A final error of note was within the material applied to create the effect of glass within the window. I found that in a similar fashion to the screen of the retro arcade screen, this material not only created transparency as intended, it had inadvertently removed created transparency within the surrounding wall. As before I could not resolve this issue yet as the players could not perceive that fault during play, the material was left in place.

Project Reflection

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Dean Smith

25/06/2011

Testing and Beta Testing Comments Throughout the course of production I have performed various tests to ensure the stability and integrity of the map. These have ranged from personal tests to public beta testing by other users. The tests I have performed were primarily in the creation of Triggers, dynamic actors and scale of interior corridors. For example, as a player comes in to close proximity of the gate trigger, the pre-generated matinee and sound cues come into effect. To ensure that the sequence played out correctly I had to play the map and note the timings, increasing or decreasing the time parameters of the relevant trigger to achieve the desired effect. This was for the purposes of ensuring the sequence remained feasible and believable to a player. Another test was to make sure that the dynamic actors functioned correctly. This meant playing the map and shooting the pool balls to see if the desired effect had been accomplished. Secondary to these critical tests I allowed other users to test play the completed map, taking note of the comments that they made. Some of these comments were: 

“The room feels bland and empty in the area surrounding the table”

“Weapon placements should be easier to access and in more locations”

“The remote control has materials that do not suit the theme”

It would be wise to listen to the opinions and make subtle changes to any further versions of the map.

Project Reflection

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Pool Room for UDK

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