I am still somewhat new to game development, but learning very fast. I know several programming languages and have a background in 2D and 3D art. I am currently learning UDK. I'm looking for a supportive community and maybe even some team members as I venture into making my first game.
I've started making a new website to replace the one I have at www.glenbland.com The new site will have a few different blogs. One of which will be dedicated to game design and development similar to this one. Another one will be similar to my Blogger called Tech Talk and Tutorials. This covers a wider range of technology. Another will be more personal like stuff I would put on facebook. There will be a few others as well so I can keep different topics organized and allow people to subscribe to only the things they want to see. There will be tutorials, resources, etc more than anything. I am always learning and I love to teach and help others. If anyone is interested I will post links when the sites are up and running. I will more than likely replace my main page at glenbland.com which currently only focuses on web design.
I have been working on some of the problems mentioned in previous posts and have had much success. I can now unwrap UVs in Blender, texture them in Photoshop, then import them in UDK with no problems. I had to adjust for the difference in scale from Blender to UDK; which is way off. Scaling up that much in UDK seems to rip the mesh, but scaling up in Blender does not. I also learned how to Bake materials made within Blender to a UV so I don't have to start from scratch with those. I am not getting the desires quality from this method yet though. I'm sure it's just a matter of finding the right settings.
I am putting these new skills to test by modeling the menu stand at Dennys. Almost done and it's looking pretty good. Pictures coming soon.
So, I think I had mentioned a specific game idea or two before. I am at such an early stage of learning all this that I decided to put all game concepts aside and focus on fundamental skills first. So I am modeling things I see daily for practice, which happens to be at Denny's Restaurant. I used to go there to get away from distractions and have coffee and be able to smoke inside while I work on homework, or projects like this. I am no longer a smoker, but the other advantages are still there, and I have made friends with the other regulars there. Anyway, I am going to have all these Denny's themed objects before long and have started thinking what I can do with them. Maybe a 3D version of Dinner Dash sponsored by Denny's?? I think that would be pretty cool. I could move on to learn scripting and such once I have the required 3d objects. That would give me a game idea that reuses stuff I previously made instead of starting over. It's all for education though. The long term goal is to get hired at a real game development company, or maybe win the lottery and start my own company. (I can dream right?)
I started building my nearest Denny's restaurant in UDK using mostly BSP brushes and custom textures made with Photoshop and normal map textures with a plugin for photoshop made by nvidia. This was all going very well. It's starting to look pretty nice, but it's at the point where I need to start bringing in my own static meshes. So I imported the booth I made in Blender (there are pictures of it here) and the textures are just ...wrong. It looks mostly white instead of being colored. I think this has something to do with the fact that I did not make a texture map in blender. Instead, I just made materials within blender. While viewing in blender this looks great, but now I realize (I think) that the materials in blender are not exportable without a texture map. So I started learning how to make texture maps, and for some reason I am having a lot of difficulty grasping how to make seams to unwrap objects properly. It's all fine and good for a simple cube as most tutorials show, but anything more complex than that just gets weird results. Maybe this would be easier to learn in 3ds max or maya.
So with said frustrations I took a break and have not worked with UDK or Blender in about 4 months. I started studying for my A+ exam and started practicing guitar more. I tend to take on hobbies in phases that eventually work back into rotation. I've always been like that. I tend to spread myself too thin with many projects and fields of study and time share them on a rotating cycle that usually lasts 3-6 months.
That being said, I am back at it again with renewed vigor to push past these obstacles and hone my 3d modeling/game design skills. My primary objectives in the near future are to find a way to make texture maps, successfully import them into UDK, and fill out my currently empty Denny's with realistic static meshes (with color!)
On a side note, UDK has released newer versions every few months. I think it's great that they are keeping us up to date with new improvements, added features, and bug fixes. I am having trouble keeping my projects from one version to the next though. So far, I have just been starting new projects with each new release. I get missing dependencies and incorrect file path errors and such. I could probably work through these things if I really wanted to; I just haven't taken the time.
Anyway, if anyone is actually reading this blog please send me a comment with any advise or just to let me know it's being seen. :)
I am almost finished with all of the 3d buzz tutorials on UDK now. I just have the final top down series of 24 videos to go. I have made use of BSP brushes, geometry mode, static meshes, kActor Meshes for moveable objects, Matinee for cinematic, Kismet for visual scripting. I've made my own Materials with Photoshop and UDK's material editor. I've imported my own meshes made from Blender 2.5.
I feel like it's all starting to come together. I know I still have a ton of things to learn, but I am a lot more confident that I will be able to. Sooner or later I am going to have to set up Visual Studios for writing Unreal Scripts so I can start learning the scripting language beyond what Kismet will do (Which is a lot already).
I still need to find some good tutorials on making my own characters, armatures, animations, textures, etc and how to import all of that into udk to change the users default character and add new spawn-able AI characters. If anyone has good resources for this line of study, please leave a comment.
Over the last month I have watched somewhere around 200 training video tutorials for UDK. Most of which were found at 3dbuzz.com
I highly recommend this site if you learn well from watching videos. I actually followed along with the videos by pausing them to complete the steps. That way I remember them better, and have something to show afterwards. Sometimes I will see something different from my version compared to the video, but it's usually easy to figure out.
So, I have completed the Simple Level tutorial series for UDK made by Zak at 3dbuzz.com. I am getting a lot more comfortable using UDK. I still need a lot of help with Kismet, Matinee, and the Material Editor.
I made some static meshes with Blender and imported them into UDK. The textures are missing though. I'm pretty sure this has to do with Blender, not UDK. I am also fairly new to Blender. I am following the Blender 2.5 for Dummies book and watching training videos found on Blender.com and youtube. I've gotten really good at making complicated shapes in Blender, but I'm still in the dark as to the proper way to make textures. I'm great with 2d art and Photoshop, but there is some art to stretching 2d images around 3d surfaces that distorts them. I've seen grids with coordinates to help in other programs, but there should be some better way. Maybe I'm just missing something.
So for today I am moving on to the Particle System editor in UDK. Particle systems have always fascinated me, but I have not studied them much before now. They seem really complicated, but I'm sure I can learn it.
I will be using this space to share my progress as I learn more about game design and start to make my first game.
I will be using UDK for the game engine. I'm using Blender, zBrush, and Poser for 3D modeling, and Photoshop CS5 for textures and other 2D art. I am considering Visual Studios for scripting.
First game concept:
I would like to make a game that uses telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and other psi abilities. It will be a single player action adventure with some RPG elements. Guns and hand combat will also be used.
I am in the very early stages of writing a Game Design Document and learning more about UDK.