Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Brains Eden 2010 at Anglia Ruskin University

Outlast was shown at the Brains Eden Exhibition 2010, here's some footage:


Friday, 18 June 2010

Bot difficulty variable

- Added bot difficulty variable in kismet which changes shaman/minion health, weapon strength, fire rate & whether or not shamans can spawn minions. This gives fine control over each stage's difficulty. So now difficulty scales properly with each stage.

- Fixed a few trigger glitches

- Modified/improved the first cut scene

To do:

- Add extra elements that helps a player determine if they are within charging distance of the energy cells. Give the player a natural/intuitive reason to stay within the energy cells range, to help teach the player the games objectives.

- Create a training level on Alpha's ship, this will help/guide the players to control Alpha and will teach the player game objectives.

I leant a lot watching people play Outlast for the first time at the degree show, players expect to be able to jump into a game and play without taking the time to read instructions, they want to learn the game while playing the game (Which is fair enough). So games with or above mid-level control complexity or game mechanics should help the player to learn and improve over time, bit by bit to stop player frustration.

Saturday, 29 May 2010


- Infinite Ammo glitch fixed.

- Spawning error message fixed.

- Outlast footage now shows on game startup.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Outlast Ingame Footage!

Ingame footage:


Please feel free to comment and rate!

GamePad & Outlast Trailer

Ok so degree show is next week and I've been trying to get everything together, it's all going nicely. I've also joined a team of people making Archasis as an Environment Artist, visit www.Archasis.com for more info.

I spent yesterday making a GlovePie script which would emulate my GamePad inputs into key strokes to control Outlast at the degree show. The reason I did this is because it seems my GamePad isn't supported by the unreal engine, I have mucked around with the input.ini quite a lot and this seems like the only way. The hardest part was getting the acceleration to work properly and actually get the analogue sticks to control nicely ingame.

This morning I have finished editing the Outlast trailer / ingame footage and in the process of uploading it to youtube. Will provide the link shortly.

The only major problem I've stumbled across is that there's a major bug in Outlast to do with the ammo. Although I will be fixing this later today.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ambush bots added

-Added Elite Minions which ambush Alpha at several different locations, Elite Minions are more powerful than normal Minions.

-Added dissolve sound & death sounds for Shamans and Minions.

-Increased Minion spawn chance, Minion speed & hit chance to make them more deadly.

-Decreased spawned bots by 1 on the last stage to compansate for bot difficulty increase.

-Fixed a bug which enabled the player to fire during cinematic sequences.

-Kismet spawning error still happens on rare occasions.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Bug Fixes

I've been trying to get all the fixes done to Outlast before the degree show. Fixes include:

- Massive optimization fix, frame rates increased. This pretty much resolves all the performance problems, man this made me happy.

- Tempary fix has been added to the enemy death dissolve, there's a problem with kismet not animating the material variable when the game is run from outside of the editor. By adding the animation to the material itself and destroying the bot I can fake the effect and get similar results. One of the problems is that by doing this I give up a lot of control over the material when played, this means the dissolve transitions wont sync and the player will see the bot disappear when destroyed.

- A few bot fixes on the last stage.

Other updates:

- Fog has been added to the beginning of the level.

- I have spent most of my time trying to get rid of kismet errors involving in summoning/spawning the minion. Normally it works fine, however when more bots populate round Alpha some bots will try to summon minions which will collide on spawn creating errors. I have already tried various different trace methods with no success. It may need to be done in code, if anyone has any ideas let me know :)

I am also in the process of getting some in game footage to post on the degree show website.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Hand in day.

So... Hand in day :)
We've got a beta ready and playable, we busted our guts every day but we finaly got there! In the end the project was probably too big for only two people within the time frame but I don't regret doing it. It's been an incredible learning curve and I hope to put those newly learnt skills to good use. Thx goes to Ross for working with me, the UDK forums users and anyone else who has given us advice.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Kismet solution for summoning bots.

Been very busy lately, deadline is this Thursday & haven't had time to update. To many things to list now but will say progress has been incredible. e.g. New animations, particles, sounds, nav meshes working, new AI bots & lot, lots more.
Will post Thursday morning before hand in.

Just wanted to show this kismet sequence, will come in handy for people who want to spawn bots from other bots. In our case the shamans summon these brute minions, spawns cannot spawn on other bots because of the space required. To solve this, the location vector and rotation of the summoner has to be taken and manipulated so that the spawning bot spawns in the right direction and is offset enough to allow the spawn:

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Physical Assets

- Finaly got round to adding physical assets to our custom pawns, this makes them behave correctly when killed instead of stretching everywhere as soon as they go into a ragdoll state. It took around 2 hours to get th

- Finished the graphics settings, there are three presets with different settings. I used the process I mentioned in the previous post, which works well. Having all the graphic console command settings called through script helps make quick adjustments and is re-usable. These settings may need to be tweaked later to get the ultimate combination for each preset. It took a while to weed through all the settings and commands and to test if they worked.

- Added a comfirmation screen before exiting on the pause menu.

- Fixed an issue with the skybox glitching on some machines.

- Imported & setup Ross's Alpha weapon into UDK.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Menus, Loading Screens & UIScenes.

Wooo, sorry.. Tiredness getting to me lol. Been a couple of days since updating, I'v been working pretty much non-stop. Here is a general breakdown:

- FrontEnd completely built and very close to being fully functional, the only thing left to do is tweak the graphic options so low end machines can run Outlast. The frontend includes the following options, Start Game, Free Roam, Options, Exit. The Options menu includes a resolutions menu and a graphics menu. Resolutions options include fullscreen or window mode, it includes a wide variety of resolutions at three different aspect ratios. The graphics menu includes low, medium and high graphic settings. Due to the way UDK handles graphic changes, the game has to be restarted for the settings to take full effect. Menu music and sound has been added to the buttons and menu transitions.

Believe it or not this whole process has been done without any coding (Which would be the proper way), instead I'v expanded a UIScene kismet hack I learnt from Hourences. The basic idea is to relay radio button pushes in the UIScene to the levels kismet, the level then keeps track of all the variables and any console commands that need to be issued to do certain tasks. This method can then be expanded by calling custom exec functions in Unrealscript from kismet, which I believe is what I'm going to be doing to change large ammounts of graphic settings quickly, the other option would be to call all the graphic settings indervidually from console commands (Which would be a huge mess). Heres a screenshot of my frontend level's kismet handling all the menu logic:

- Four loading screens have been added with custom tips, took me a while to realize but they are actually bink files located in UTGame->Movies. If your making your own loading screens make sure you keep the naming conventions, so... UT_loadmovie1.bink, UT_loadmovie2.bink, UT_loadmovie3.bink etc... Then just edit the DefaultEngine.ini under "[FullScreenMovie]" and add the loading screens movies. A few other things to keep in mind, you may need to keep the resolution the same as the default loading screens, convert using the RAD video tools program and you may need to convert several duplicated frames instead of just one still image, this is mainly because I had problems converting a single image with RAD. e.g. LoadingMovie_1, LoadingMovie_2, LoadingMovie_3... These would all get picked up as an animation sequence by the RAD tool and for me worked. If you want custom tips messages then look in the localizations folder in the UTGameUI.int file.

- Pretty much all the Menus are built and working. This includes an in-game Pause menu, ready menu, controls menu & Scoreboard. The scoreboard kill count was linked in through a datastore bind. Here's a screenshot:

- Splash Image changed to give a personal touch. Both game and editor.

I must say, spending time to round the game up like this has really brought Outlast out and given it an identity. I'm looking forward to finishing it. I know I'm always promising fraps footage but I think I will give it another go, I'm sure I can get round the Gamma recording issue.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Hey, over the past couple of days i've been modelling and texturing the capsule which the alpha character crash lands on the planet in. There are also animations for the opening and closing of the shutter, which will hopefully used for the opening cutscene. Here's a couple of screenshots of the model with the diffuse texture only:

My prority in this final week is to finish any texturing, including the weapons, and improving the earlier character textures.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Heres a few recent screenshots: