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Development Info The New World Update #16: Unreal Engine Report

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Iron Tower Studio; Nick Skolozdra; The New World; Vince D. Weller

    Iron Tower's latest development update for The New World, formerly known as the Colony Ship RPG, is a report on the progress they've made setting up the Unreal Engine for RPG development. It's highly technical, but should give you an idea of how much better Unreal's capabilities are compared to Torque (which sounds like it was pretty bad). Here's a description of its item editor:

    [​IMG]

    In AoD we used ItemGen and CharGen editors which stored lists of items and characters in their own custom binary databases. We liked them and gotten used to them but Unreal offers its own way of storing, editing and searching data, in many ways greatly superior, so we decided to discard our square-wheeled bicycle and do it the way cool kids do. Here is our new item editing interface. It does everything our old ItemGen did and then some:

    1) One item class now will not contain data fields from other classes, i.e. melee weapon will not have a field "Magazine Capacity", armor will not have "Range" and "Attacks Supported". Now each item class contains only the related data due to the inheritance hierarchy. For example: InvItemInfo (properties for all items, like name, weight, etc) -> InvEquipableItemInfo (adds properties that define 3D visuals) -> InvWeaponInfo (adds properties common for all weapons, like damage type, range, AP cost, attacks) -> InvRangedWeaponInfo (magazine capacity, ammo type, etc);

    2) Unreal typed fields: you can enter/select only related data, which is displayed in the most convenient way. Take a look at "Static Mesh" property for a weapon on the image above. It's not a generic text field anymore, where you had to type some string and hope that the mesh/animation named like that is somewhere in our files and the game, with gods' blessing, will hook it up. Now you get a proper menu with a full list of suitable resources to select from, thumbnails, search field, view options and full information about the selected asset:

    3) There can be not only properties, but functionality attached to each specific item in a form of custom blueprint graph. Do you want this item to shoot sparks when reloaded or shine when it's thrown? Do you want this grenade to go boom when it hits or spawn a distortion effect instead? Want to inflict some specific status effect when this club hits, but just this club, not others? Well, no more shit code and special cases checking for "if this is acid do this, else if it's net do this, else if it's napalm ...". All specific functionality is completely self-contained in this item - just place, drag around and connect some blueprint nodes to make magic happen. We also can (and surely will) inherit some functionality from parent classes - like, every item derived from ranged weapon will be able to spawn a muzzle flash, every item of every class will spawn a map object when it's dropped because core class (InvItemInfo) will know how to do it, etc.

    We've already set up a core hierarchy of items, but we can improve and expand it at any time, from adding new properties to creating new item classes. Check out GameplayItemsBaseTypes . In order to create a new melee weapon, right-click InvMeleeWeaponInfo and select "Create Child Blueprint Class". That's it! Give it a name, edit its properties and move to an appropriate folder (GameplayItemsWeapon, for example, but we'll sort out specific folder structure later). You can easily find any item out of hundreds we'll have by typing a couple of characters from its name in the Content Browser's search bar. Also, your new item will now appear in all selection menus, where you need to select an item - like character's weapon slot in Character Editor.​

    Vault Dweller says there's going to be another update in a few days. More engine info, or something else entirely?
     
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  2. One-and-a-half-Ivan Cipher

    One-and-a-half-Ivan
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    Just thinking about the way they had to do it in Torque makes me shiver.
     
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  3. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Good for you guys, I hope that having better tools will allow you to make even better games!
     
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  4. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    Goral
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    Hopefully it will mean that translating the game will be easier too. In DR (and AoD) translating menus/character screen and other buttons was rather tedious, and many things were repeated way too many times (since I know nothing about making a game maybe it's a standard thing but from a layman's POV the files seemed bloated).

    BTW, Vault Dweller Nick Elhoim , why does it say on steam that only interface has been translated when it's a whole game (so there should be a tick sign under subtitles)? Same goes for AoD.
    [​IMG]
    Something else, it's going to be epic!

    Show Spoiler

    I don't know what it will be about.

    Show Spoiler
    Or maybe I do know?
    :troll:
     
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  5. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Subtitles kinda imply that there's audio (full or limited) and I don't want to mislead people. The new update isn't anything major (random info and minor art), so don't expect much.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Excidium II Self-Ejected

    Self-Ejected
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    Looks like UE is massive incline for ITS efficiency.
     
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  7. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    So, release already at Tuesday this time, eh?
     
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  8. HeatEXTEND Cipher Patron

    HeatEXTEND
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    :lol:
     
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  9. Wehraboo Unwanted

    Unwanted
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    I had no idea they were using Unreal now. That's awesome.
     
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  10. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Really excited to see the result.
    Colony Ship is the most most awaited rpg after PathFinder KingMaker.

    Also, when is the gameplay? Pathfinder Kingmaker was able to provide high quality alpha footage as soon as it entered kickstarter campaign, but I have seen proper Colony Ship/New world gameplay yet. Thats concerning.
     
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  11. hivemind Guest

    hivemind
    kikescammer "games" need to provide (((alpha))) """"""footage""""""""" in order to lure morons rpgfans to pledge and support their project while established developers can take their time with that as they have the full trust of their customers based on previously completed products
     
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  12. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Owlcat games may have way more experience in game development and such prestigious rpg titles as Silent Storm and Evil Island (considered by many to be top rpg). Compared to them Iron Tower is rather inexperience sutdio with a lackluster track record (one good game and one bad game) but this does not dissuade me from believing that New world will surpass Age of Decadance and become one of the best rpg which will be remembered profoundly.
     
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  13. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Which means it was in development long before that.

    It's not. Gameplay requires all systems and assets, which is a very long road. For example, even to do a simple combat demo we need to have:

    - the character system
    - the combat system
    - the gadgets
    - the inventory system (items db with all the properties, icons, weapon/armor models, etc)
    - practically all animations (well, over a 100, AoD had over 300)
    - all interfaces

    It's not something that can be produced after a few months of work, regardless of experience, so you won't see any gameplay videos for a long time.
     
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  14. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    :shitposting:
     
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  15. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    God speed.
     
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  16. deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
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    Speaking of magazine capacity as a statistic: Can guns in The New World be loaded to +1 capacity with a round in the chamber?

    Will crafting include reloading? New Vegas didn't have that complex an implementation, but it added a lot to the game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  17. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    As a separate action, you mean? Probably not.

    The game won't have a crafting system similar to AoD's or New Vegas' and you won't be creating new items out of raw materials, which means there won't be bullets reloading either. In general, reloading fits Fallout's post-apocalyptic setting but would be a bit out of place on the ship since neither cartridges nor propellant won't be lying around. Bullets are manufactured by gunsmiths who have access to proper supplies and equipment.
     
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  18. you know what time it is Arcane

    you know what time it is
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    I really need to get on UE bandwagon.

    :negative:
     
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  19. TZ3K Arcane Patron

    TZ3K
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    Definitely interesting technical info for budding rpg devs wanting to get a start somewhere in UE4.

    You know what time it is you know what time it is.
     
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  20. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    Goral
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  21. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I was planning to start as rpg developer myself! Thanks for useful link, you can expect first results from me in about a year.
     
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  22. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
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    Does it count as first game screens?:P
    :troll:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  23. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    The magic of object orientation paired with entity-component systems :salute:

    I hope they are defining good message interfaces. Always saves a cast or two.
    Also, defining object behaviour within the world is super easy like that.

    Take for example a telekinesis spell. Obviously a crate and a lever act differently after being affected by that spell. The crate might float towards you, the lever might just activate.
    Both objects probably have different superclasses, due to their general behaviour. But if you slap the telekinesis interface into both blueprints (or their respective parents), the spell can interact with both objects and you can implement different individual behaviours.
    From the side of the player controller classes nothing changes. The player is just shooting "telekinesis" messages out into the world and that's that. No cast, to typing, no special cases, just self-contained, reacting objects receiving messages.

    I'd be interested what their main data model looks like (the place where all the character stats and inventory items are stored).
    Back when I began with UE I made the mistake and put these things into their own blueprints. But now, since I implemented saving/loading and scene transitions on my own project I refactored all of that and pushed most of the stuff into the game instance (which is always the same object in memory - doesn't matter if you load a new level)
     
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  24. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    So, you are basically saying that when cast telekenesis event occurs, an object can emit a signal which would be handled in corresponding slot of an object which is supposed to be affected by telekenesis cast event (as long as signature of a signal mathes signature of a slot)?
     
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  25. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    Yes. Basically there are two objects involved:
    The caster which casts the telekinesis spell (e.g. the player) and the object affected by the telekinesis spell (e.g. the lever).
    Programmatically the caster sends out a message (for example by looking at the object). That message is not bound to any object type. Any object in the world can receive it. Now if the receiving object implemented the right message interface, it can react accordingly. The object can activate or float towards the caster.
    If the interface is not implemented the message is just discarded. No exceptions, no errors, it's just thrown away.

    The beauty of that system is: It doesn't matter if the caster is the player, or an enemy or maybe a mechanism placed into the world. As long as the caster sends out messages other objects can react. All without the caster actually "knowing" what the reacting object is. Whether it is a crate floating towards the caster, or a door opening far away, or a lever activating.

    This whole system has a couple of really nice side-effects leading to a lot of emergent gameplay features.
    For example I had a fireball spell implemented in my own project. I don't exactly remember the entire class but it both sent messages for hitting destructible objects and also implemented it itself. I'm not sure why I decided to do it like that (and I certainly have to rework that spell at some point), but essentially the effect was, that you could catch a fireball out of the sky by destroying it with another one.
    Thinking about it now - as long as I implement the right interfaces - I could probably even catch it with the telekinesis spell like the grav gun in half life catches those energy balls.

    That's one for the bucket list.
     
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