Hi! Thanks for visiting! I am working on on a new project - a UT3 mod/mutator for the PS3 called ESACPE::PROTOCOL_ This project is important to me as I pursue my goals of one day having a career as a software engineer as a Gameplay Engineer and one day a Weapon Designer. And I want to prove it by making this gameplay mod. Currently, I'm working at Electronic Arts and have worked at other game companies like Sony, (so for all my EA and Sony friends or associates, drop me a line :) ).
I apologize for this being late, but there were last minute changes and bugs that had to be finished and fixed before I posted. I feel better putting out something that shows progress and onwards to completion rather than having bugs and work that I will need to eventually revisit. So with that:
WHAT I HAVE DONE:
· Continued finalizing of level design(from starting cell to Cell Block 2 entrance) including additional geometry for cell interior including prisoner cells, guard tower and entry hallway leading to cell block 2
· Additional static meshes for lighting assets, doors individual cell computer terminals for door access to later be used by MPC and NPC's
· Matinee sequence for Introductory pan as user enters game and begins in starting cell and pointing first objective to deactivate wall panel
· Matinee sequence for Cell block 1: intro panning length of prison cell and glimpse of cell block layout; includes zoom, fades and pan's highlighting key areas including, prisoner cells, the guard tower, Cell block 1 door exit and deactivation panel
· Kismet sequences used as parent functionality of Matinee sequences for all cell doors in cell block1
· Kismet sequence used as parent functionality of Matinee sequences for cell bar deactivation; DEBUG = trigger is used for computer on desk - this is not the final design....
WHAT I AM BLOCKED ON
· Basic colors for texture and materials still in progress; for now the default tiling on geometry seen for beginning of March iteration
· Unable to test PS3 mod authoring; lamp in entertainment/living projector that is connected to PS3 has burned out; a new bulb has been ordered and informed by shipper of a 7 to 14 day delivery.
· Creation of decorative meshes and objects (signs, posters, desk, chairs, beds, cameras, NPC droids, etc.); need to install a free 3d modeling program such as Blender or "find a way" to get 3DS Max
WHAT I AM DOING NEXT
· Continuing finalizing level design creation and attributes will include from hallway 2 entrance to Cell Block 2 exit.
· Use Matinee to create a Cell Block 2 intro
· Test PS3 mod authoring
· Implement Basic colors and textures from starting cell to Cell Block 2
· Improve cave pathway from access to Cell Block 1 to Cell Block 2
· Being creation of a prison lockdown clock
· Begin creation of a prisoner message ticker banner.
(see timeline below)
Please see the attached updated screenshots and video for the February walk through of the changes described in the post.
Thanks for taking the time to read and feedback is always welcome!
WHAT I HAVE DONE:
I felt that there was some pretty good strides made, but I could have definitely done more, and actually needed to do more. It became apparent very dauntingly that I have made a very large map! Adding decorative and static meshes and geometry to the starting cell, hallways and cellblock 1 took some time! I will say in terms of the iteration 6 goal of finaling the level, while I did not complete the tast, I made good progress. I also learned about Skyboxes sand implemented a test one just to see. Also, I put it in a couple of basic emitters for steam and malfunctioning fan also. Last, the creation of the guard tower and the cell block large windows were important for the level as well.
WHAT I AM BLOCKED ON
Implementing Materials and Textures! As seen in the latest walk through I have none in yet. I studied textures and material and while I do feel I understand the material editor in the engine, I just can't wrap my head around making the right textures and materials and getting them to work. But over the past weekend I was presented with some great news. A colleague and friend from the old project is not only going to take on asset tasks in these areas, but he is also joining the project! I couldn't be happier! Now there are two of us! And thankfully he is the more artistic one (sup Albert! J )
WHAT I AM DOING NEXT
The primary plan for Iteration 7 for February, involve continuing finalizing the level design . I plan to complete the hallway leading from cell block 1 exit to cell block 2 and also begin work on cell block 2. Also, Matinee sequences for beginning of game, cell block 1 and cell block 2 entries. Completion needed on all the prison doors in cell block 1 and deactivating the laser bars from the beginning cell. Albert, is going to continue creation of textures and material and other environment decorative meshes.
(see timeline below)
Please see the attached updated screenshots and video for the January walkthrough of the changes described in the post.
Thanks for taking the time to read and feedback is always welcome!
Hi all and Happy New Year!
WHAT I HAVE DONE:
Iteration 5 had considerable progression and movement in the right directions. First, I began successful impelementatin of static and decorative meshes. I am thankful that Epic has provided so many objects and packages. There was much to search and test with. I finalized a list of good assets to use. I was successful implementing these items in the beginning prison cell, hallway 1 , cell block 1 and hallway 2. Second, I successfully used a Matinee and Kismet sequence for a Prison cell door for triggering the opening and closing of a door through a trigger. Now I know how to add them all. Third, I put in in a damage volume sheet on the laser bars upon exiting the starting prison cell and also at the door leaving cell block 1 accessing corridor 2 - the damage works successfully, Fourth, I began studying materials. I found it absolutely necessary that I need to create the look and feel I want for the environment and gameplay. Fifth, I have also began writing sample code in C++ for the mini game I would like to add. And last, I have enrolled in university course Theory of Autoamata. It is a curse about the models of programming languages and algorithm theory and design. his course will strengthen my program skills.
WHAT I AM BLOCKED ON
There were some tasks and objectives from the last iteration that had to be diverted. First, Particle Effects research and implementation will not occur until later iterations. While i enjoyed studying the subject matter, it is complex and tutorials do take a while to watch and then summarize. Technically, its not necessary to have this feature implemented early on (I feel). Second, I am unable to find the correct look (textures/materials) for prison interior . The walls need to have a certain look, and studying materials further is required. Third, I am blocked on finalizing the other areas for the prison world/level. It looks like I underestimated how much work is required to adding all final meshes. It has a good start, so things will go faster now. And last, learning 3DS max and implementing objects is a task that will have to be taken in much later iterations. Right now their is no time for the studying.
WHAT I AM DOING NEXT
The goals for this iteration is going to be dedicated to Level completion, meaning adding all final static and decorative meshses, basic Kismet and Matinee sequences and using basic materials on walls. I also plan to finish my knowledge of materials and create some basic materials to to use in the Level.
(see timeline below)
Please find updated in the video section the December video walkthrough with the changes described in the post.
Thanks for taking the time to read.
Hi everyone. I appreciate you checking on the status of the project.
I wanted to start by first apologizing. I know their so much to check on this site, and I have been observing and exploring ModDB and I have taken note of the blog submissions by other groups and projects and I realize my post can be sometime irrelevant and too light hearted (not focused). Since I have structured this project development progress to be modeled after an Agile/SCRUM methodology, I will make my post themed after that model - I will only post one blog per month according to iteration deliverables.
WHAT HAVE I DONE:
I have completed my level prototype. I feel really good about this as I consider this initial level construction to be Pre-Alpha. (See attached video) This means I can run around in it, add static meshes, emulate other gameplay features and most importantly I won't need to spend an extensive amount of time with the game shell and can add finer features of the Escape::Protocol prison theme. Also as a side note, I passed another course in the Computer Science program in college (3 more classes till graduation!). The course was in Software Engineering, where I learned SVN control using Subervision implemented in an Eclipse IDE, plus improved with Object Oriented programming code and principles. I also performed in a role as a Scrum Master for the project where I was in charge of creating User Stories and milestones for the project development and iteration deliverables for the project submission. Overall, I felt things went really well. I will be transitioning form Java back to C++ very soon.
I have included some screenshots of the original level design concepts and the level deliverable that was to be completed by end of month. It includes a video walkthrough of the game level. (Consider this tentative as the entire game - I feel for what I am trying to accomplish, this is a good start, perhaps finish)
WHAT I AM BLOCKED ON:
I still need to learn 3DS max. I am concerned with this goal, because I am definitely not an artist, but because of the level design experience in Unreal Engine 3 and thanks to the advice of some good friends (Pete!), I am ambitious. It will be very important to learn this application. I must acquire the skills to design objects to use in the game that I fell will be very helpful, such as weapons, environment objects like cameras, signs, and fuss boxes and more.
WHAT AM I DOING NEXT
Next, for the December Iteration 5, I plan to finalize the level. I will implement additional Matinee and Kismet sequences and Material Instances in key areas. I will also begin studying Particle Effects. Next, I plan to continue my early lessons in 3DS max and produce better objects. And finally, create 1 more audio track, and edit 2 - 3 tracks. Please refer to the update timeline revision Excel spreadsheet.
I would like to give special thanks to the friends and colleagues I have made here on ModDB: ambershee, DazJW, flipart, jjawinte, hourences, and kornswag (hey kornswag? good luck with the GOTY! I voted for you J )
Thanks friends! Go ModDB!!!
Hey fellow modders!
Man have I missed out on a lot. I have 500 topic updates from projects and technologies I am following! Wow! :( No one to blame but myself. Stupid responsibilities and goals! lol. NO seriously, I was gone for a while because I was taking some university classes. They were good too - I took one in Object Oriented Programming 1 (Java) and Principles of Network Security. Both were extremely rewarding, but I was definitely swamped with studying, plus gong to work.
And being away from this project this long made me think. I think for everyone in life their is a point where you have to decide how you want to carry out your life: do you want to pursue the things that make you happy or do you want to be just be safe guarded with a skill or opportunity that you can have a job or career with?...It was a choice that was affecting me everyday. Between my job, school and this project, it seemed like the battle lines were being drawn. Well friends it wasn't until recently, like Wednesday my birthday (where's my present?), that I finally made the choice for certain - I was gong to pursue what made me happy! Why? Because I was already, and still are doing the things that safeguard my job/career/responsibilities and it is a day in - day out routine. I am good at what I do, but my heart is not really into it. But making and playing games, especially 1st person shooters - my heart is really into that! For example, just looking at this site: Have you guys seen the FPS Terminator mod? (http://www.moddb.com/games/fps-terminator ) or the Tactical Assault Moddb.com )? My hat is off to these teams - these guys have taken the UE3 and done some amazing stuff! It is really inspiring to me and it is among a small group of people that I would like to be a part of of hobbyist and/or engineers taking programing and game development to a high compliment...and I would like to leave my mark as well.
2)What's with the Project?
So with that being said, I want to finish this mod and in order for me to do that is going to require my undivided attention and completion of tasks and milestones to accomplish this end goal. my enthusiasm is of course there, but I will have much to learn and implement so I have created a timeline for myself to stay true. Its sort of based of the Agile Scrum planning:
So I have just finished User story 1: Kismet. I viewed all the tutorials, and summarized the notes and executed all of the tutorials and have demoed them in my sandbox level (see attached footage). Kismet is absolutely wonderful and intriguing! Please if you know where I can find more Kismet tutorials on line, please let me know. :) My only concern with Kismet is that their are so many sequence objects how do you determine the appropriate arguments to use with the applicable sequence objects? I wonder if their is Kismet API or something out there. Well anyway check out the footage.
And that's pretty much it for now. I'm glad their are no more mysteries in my progress. I will most likely complete the Level Construction Users story and then Matinee. And again, I invite any information about additional tutorials and I do accept constructive feed back, so feel free to reply.
I'll check back in shortly...promise. :)
<!-- I feel it is only appropriate to address my inspirations and excitement of the things I've experienced and have been encouraged from this website. ModDb is so great! I don't think their is anything else out their like this. First, I want to say congratulations to the team that did the mod “The Haunted" Not only did they win a lucrative prize, but they got recognized by Epic and ModDb and also the rest of us Unreal Engine 3 lovers and the other mod followers as well, and then possibly other gamers to come. Hey big congrats to you guys! And second, the other mod, that caught my eye that I want to keep track of is the FPS Terminator. I think it is going to be great. I love the sample gameplay footage and tech demo you guys demonstrated and I wish you guys the best of luck too! It looks to be a challenging shooter and overall fun game that stemmed from a lot of hard work. So best of luck to you guys.
2)The story of Escape::Protocol_
Well I'm committed to finishing my mod the best I can and I mentioned last time I would give you a guys a back drop of the story. So here goes...
A man who was once a decorated soldier for his government, later became one of the world's top weapons and arms designer's at a secret R&D manufacturing company. His latest invention is on the verge of becoming a world changing super weapon, capable of eradicating an entire civilization.
His government has planned their target ,but for the first time in his life, the engineer, who was once a soldier that vowed allegiance to his government to help rise to power, finds himself at a life changing moral conflict - and decides not to create the weapon.In an instant, he finds himself framed and incarcerated. Unknown to him if it his company or the government, or perhaps a collaboration of both, he seeks to escape and find out who did this to hime and why.
Locked away in one of the governments most top technological prison facilities, deep down and submersive below the surface, he plans his escape. On the inside he finds a slim window of opportunity to launch an encrypted program on a housekeeping drone. He succeeds without notice and the drone unlocks his cell door. His mission begins: gather his earlier weapon projects to use for escape, then hack into databases and delete all weapon design files and then finally demolish all prototype weapons for humankind's sake.
There are databases he must access on his way to escaping the facility– but to get to them he must encounter and shoot autonomous robotic Sentry guards, Sentry drones, motion sensing turrets, and other alarm triggering devices. Once successful by reaching each server, he must decrypt each escape protocol file on the server terminals that will unlock the doors and weapons that will allow him to escape.
With his freedom at stake, his search for who did this to him is his only motivation.
He must use the ESCAPE::PROTOCOL_
I have much work to do, but I am very excited an motivated . I have been brushing up on some past tutorials and even getting a chance to use 3DS Max for the first time. It is pretty cool . I attached some sample screenshots to show how things have been - nothing deep I know, but over time I plan to work hard and hopefully display some impressive things to you all.
I just want to say thanks again to everyone's support and please, keep me posted on your guys cool stuff too and even other avenues of resources you think will be helpful for me. Of course your suggestions and critique are welcome. I love games and I want to make this one cool for me and for all of us.
Till next time,
How much do I love video games?
Well, enough to not let minor setbacks and unparalleled visions and goals between friends stop me from making a mod!
I wish it could have all worked out, but its funny - I read an article on here about why most mods fail and it was right.
Sometimes like the old saying goes "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself" Now I'm not saying I can make this mod alone - I don't think anyone can do that without giving up some of things they wanted to put into to it that is. But my point is, I feel it is necessary to show others, this community, my colleagues and especially myself what can I do & how bad do I want this to happen?
I want it bad friends! So bad, it keeps me up at night wondering what if i don't do it, what will I be missing? What will I be sacrificing? What could have happened?
I will keep you all posted on progress and milestones and reveal a little more of the story in the next blog. Hopefully I can pull a rabbit out of a hat...a jackalrabbit with fangs!
Hey! What's up everybody? Where's the party? Right you are - in my pants. j/k
A lot has happened since the last blog post:
Okay, I'm really starting to realize and appreciate how kick a$$ my team is! But admittedly we are little broken up and scattered slightly right now, but through email and other means, we all still talk and stay focused with tasks and we are feeling pretty good right now - I know I am. I mean the guys I work with are good. It's funny, since I started this ModDB blog and uploaded the photos, I deceided to Google myself one day (because Google search is like and FBI tool these days) and the images that showed up under my name was some of the concept art Ted and Albert made, and I thought "No, no, no...I didn't model or draw these". So I want credit to go where credit is due and introduce the team to you guys, and this is no particular order:
Ted - Lead Character Director/Modeler( he modeled the concepts!)
Albert - Lead Art Director/Artist( and he is repsonsible for the drawings!)
Dan - Lead Engineer/Weapons & Front End Engineer (...so far. He's that good!)
Mike - Executive Producer/ Level Designer( he came up with the story, concept & levels; and he's also a cheesehead - j/k :o) Mike is a cool guy and friend )
George - Lead Animation/Assistant Environment Artist( Poor George - he has his hands full, but he can do it, cause he's cooler than cool!)
(Me)Bryan - Technical Director/Gameplay & Back End engineer ( my life is over...sounds fun!)
So that is the 6 man band, ready to slam and watch us do our thing.
ii)I built that rig I tell you...
So I finally finished building the rig! I wasn’t too bad, but getting parts was a slow process and I guess since I am A+ certified, it was more fun than a challenge. I will include images after this blog post. You guys can see some parts and the progression thatI made and admittedly, I don’t have the largest budget, but I think I’ve put together a pretty good machine. One thing I am extremely pleased that I put in, was a video card – and Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 also my board is SLI capable, but for now I just have one card, but in the future I may have to get another card and really use the lifetime of this board I put together. All together I spent close to $700.00 and just to give you an idea of my specs
And with all this I will have the video card connected to my projector. So let’s see if this will work. If you get a chance, check out the pics!
iii)school + work = crying and venting for your amusement
Well I don't know if anyone cares, but thankfully I am still employed with Electronic Arts and a lot of you have been hearing the news about the layoffs and in lieu of layoffs in the economy altogether. Well as for me, I have been working a lot of overtime and guess what? As of yesterday March 30, Spring quarter started that has me excited. I am enrolled in a software engineering course "introduction to object oreinted programming in Java" and it is very important and will make me a better programmer. I am grateful already for the concepts of Java and enjoying the feedback I get from the engineers on my project. Ironically the syntax and usage of Unreal Script and Java are very similar. I have seen very familiar concepts such as class names being to be identical to file names, main declaration syntax and keywords like extend, public and static are much alike in their behavior and is actually pull them very shocking. I think that is why my progress with the game has been really coming along while. But I miss having free time. In
fact I just missed the GDC and I knew I couldn't make it, but it’s just that if I knew I
had free time to kill I could go. Now the next time I go I’ll be glad to see will be in regard to this project that you’re reading above all for now which is not a bad terms are on an
iv)what's next? well...
Hopefully a lot. I have done some great regressions for all the tutorials I have watched and I have some great ideas. Also, I am handing the group a sandbox level I crated and I can't wait to see their reaction! So it's time to get some core stuff together. So I'll keep you guys posted. ..
i) Hey all!
I think I mentioned on my last blog that I'm pretty bad at this blogging thing. Sorry! Who has time to rant and rave everyday. I don't know who, but please forgive if I haven't checked in in a while. Well, between school and work and getting a second job, needless to say I have been busy. So scheduling is tight. The mod project is still underway. Our ideas and assets build more and more each day and despite some speedbumps we are still on target for the is mod because it is so important to us.
ii)So where we are at now...
Team wise spaeking, we are still doing fariily well. We had one guy drop out because he was relocated by his job and that hurt because he is one of our environemnt and objects artist and he was freaking good. But we have one more guy that is freaking really good as well, so I think we'll be ok. Then we had another guy who is doing engineering take another job, so it's a little harder to communicate with him. So people are moving around and it makes meeting harder each week. To compensate we've used tools like the Ventrilo server to try and talk each week and we stil have our monthly and hopefully soon bi-monthy face group meetings.
I myslef, I think I have been doing pretty good. I have studied 13 of the 18 planned tutorial lesons and have been practicing them in the engine and editor. I am still a little concerned their aren't a lot of tutorials out their on Unreal Scripting and engineering practices and tips, but I am fortunate because I have talked to some great people here on this site and online elswhere including Ambershee and HerbyG. So I'm not despairing yet. :)
A lot - Many of us our building spec worthy rigs computers so we can be better equipped at home for this project. I think everyone is really excited at the release of Gears of War 2 to see the ideas and, assets and innovations the engine offers and also we are still moving ahead as we look to keep our 2010 IGF deadline.
I plan to add more functionality to our site and continue practicing tutorials. I can't wait to save up enough money to build a new rig - I already got the tower! lol. Should be before the end of December.
I think sometime this week I will officially announce our mod here and I will introduce the members of the team.
1) Can I tell time?
Hey what's up all? I know, I know...I promised in my last blog I would check in every week and give you guys status updates, but I totally blew that. Sorry - believe me a lot has been going on. Some bad, but some really good. We just made a huge foundation change with our project by switching engines, which I'll talk about a little more in the next sections, work hasn't exactly let up - more OT., and I'm out of school for the summer like I mentioned before, but I got a couple of projects stretching past their deadlines and one team member is moving and we have another one joining, so things aren't letting up. Time is just not a luxury, so I have been swingin left and right trying to knock out as many things out as I can.
Ok, so here's the deal. This project has been established for three reasons. These reason are shared by each one of us in our group. A)We love video games, b)We want to prove our talent, c)we want to get out of QA and be involved with game development, d)we love unreal tournament and the unreal engine. So we've been making some great progress. Myself with engineering, was producing awesome results with the engine and runtime and proving the mod process is possible for a total game conversion, our level designer was producing cool stuff, our artists and animator were really proving what they knew and producing some cool stuff. So everything was going great right? Well, we realized that we had some high expectations for ourselves and the UE2 engine, while it was good, by the time we finish in Feb 2009, it would be outdated. Most of us on the team already have UT3 on PS3 or just about all of us have fondled with the idea of the next project or 2nd part of the story being done with UE3. So we decided, "why wait?" Officially:
WE ARE NOW CREATING OUR MOD WITH UNREAL ENGINE 3.
We are no longer creating any assets, ideas or gameply using the Unreal Engine 2 and our project will now be done with the Unreal Engine 3. While PS3 support is still in debate, the point is to create this mod with an up to date Engine and finish our mod goal using this engine. One key note, with this change, this also means that we will be moving our deadline back on year as well. Intentionally, we wanted to be
complete by Feb 2009 to participate in the GDC IGF, but now expect us to enter the 2010 GDC IGF.
I will update my profile header and all images and references and we have made preperations for this including purchasing the UT3 collector's edition, any PS3 owners have UT3 and out FTP is finally up! Told you I've been busy. So my ModDB friends, we hope you will continue to support us and give us feedback and rewarding resources just as we contiune to lend our voice to the community as well. For example, for using muators and modding on UT3 while running on a PS3, I found a wonderful resource. It is here Ut3mod.com . I want to give a very special thank to a friend I have met on there HerbyG! HerbyG has been real supportive of UT3 modding on the PS3 and his site and forum is full of impressive modding and mutating examples you can do easily with the PS3 and PC as well. You can drop him a line and say hello and even add him to your friends list on PS3 :) Check out this post and look for my name, MrBCut, and check out the cool dialogue: Ut3mod.com Also, be sure to check out my website for additional info and resources too.
3)Show and tell - finally...
I'm a little regretful and excited about this change. Well, regretful because of the time and things we produced are not going to be used, but als excited because we feel we have the feel for the "Camaro" so let's wee what the "Corvette" can do. Well, I can share with you guys some of the past (obsolete) work we've done ( I don't think the guys will mind ) and give you guys a feel of what are game is going to be like and hopefully keep you guys checking in for more. So you'll find the assets attached, so enjoy! Sorry _ I am not including specific artwork for char's, level, weapons or any specifics. You'll have to wait for that. You understand, right? If not, suck it up.
As usual, I'll try to post again next week, and thanks for your support. And if you guys know some cool UE3 resources, please let us know and we will share too.