It has been another productive few weeks since the last time I wrote to you all. Each day I spend hours working on this game, and each day something new and excited is created. The goal of this batch of work was to both improve on what was already created and to make entirely new things. Sit back, relax and have a nice hot cup of tea, and let's explore what's new in the world of Corporate Entity.
Quality of life Changes:
Improved ladder code
The first of today's exciting accomplishments are just a few quality of life improvements I made to the game. Let's start with the ladder climbing code. The first iteration was janky at best and unusable at worst. Up until now I had never made a ladder, so mistakes were inevitable. Originally the player had to press "E" to interact with it and start climbing, which wasn't a bad thing; however, I could not find a way to get off the ladder when I got at the top. So my solution was to make a teleportation block to force the player off the ladder. In the end, I found that going down that same ladder was impossible, so I decided to find a better way to handle this.
Now the system works more like it did in Half-Life and Cry of Fear. All the player needs to do is walk up to it and it works. You can move up and down with no trouble. Once the player hits the ground they are off, and once they reach the top they can simply walk away from the ladder. You can even jump off it if you choose. I find this method a more reliable way to handle ladder interactions.
Turned off Hazmat dude...for now
During your romp through this quagmire of corporate corruption, you will encounter an entity encased in a hazmat suite. He shows up all over the place in the game at seemingly random and unexpected times. He also possesses the power to displace himself and teleport to seemingly any location in the facility. The problem lies with a small glitch I keep encountering at random intervals every time I test the game. With for no rhyme or reason I'm teleported to a random place on the map. This problem has vexed me for some time. Trust me when I say that getting stuck in a wall by your own creation is frustrating indeed.
Until further notice I have hidden him from existence. So for now, no more unwanted trips through time and space. Reality ONLY bends when I tell it to!
The Joy of Art And Creation:
Next let's move on to some art assets. I'm currently in the process of going from room to room modeling and texturing each one of them. Some places will even be re-worked completely. So far I have re-worked UVs on most rooms and have finished ONE. But let's start with something smaller first.
The world is infested with unthinking and therefore worthless people: people whose days are filled with schedules they did not write, steps they take with no intention or caution to their future's end; people whose very thoughts and actions are dictated by others. They pass you by in the blurred corners of your vision. It's like they are nothing but mindless drones, indistinguishable from one another as you trudge through the misty haze of the city's streets or when you pass them by at work on your way to the bathroom.
This is the bitter inspiration for the Faceless Shambler, a common creature you'll encounter in the game. Its design is simple in nature. Its skin is twisted over itself to reflect the person's conflicted and contradictory nature of projecting the illusion of sentience and self-determination, yet possessing none of the aforementioned traits in and of themselves. Its face is twisted, warped, misshapen and eyeless, like how people who constantly spew pre-memorized rhetoric without meditating on them, taking no time to understand them. It has no eyes because it is blind to ALL facets of reality. Living in a constant haze of hubris, unwarranted pride and a willfully blinding ignorance
This monster is a grim reflection on what I view to be some of the saddest of human qualities, and illustrates some of my more unfriendly and callus thoughts. Alone they are not overly dangerous, but in a group, the mob, they are violent, savage, and lack any sense of morality and sensibility. This is what wasted human potential looks like. I have a video showing off the painting process for the head. As you can see a lot of care and attention went into his creation, just like everything else.
Another fun bit of geometry I added were some electronic doors. In the future I want the player to be able to break the glass, but for now simply opening when the player walks up to it is fun enough. The geometry, simple and easy, and the code behind it is much of the same. Each door has an invisible transform it moves to when the player is detected. If I wanted to, I could adjust the speed. So far there is no sound played when it moves. For now.
Security Card Reader
Next we have the security card readers that will be placed everywhere. Inside the underground corporate building there are sectors that require a badge ID. Each door is locked and you must use a button. Each employee has a badge on their chest and the card reader uses a camera to scan you to identify if you have the clearance to enter. Once the security doors are finished, I will place these everywhere in the level. This can also mean that some monsters may not have the clearance to enter certain areas, so if you close the door behind them, they can't get to you. Just hope they don't have a friend that has higher clearance with them, you know?
Next is a vent cover. It's a thin box with a see-through texture. Simple and easy. Moving on.
Janitors Room and Cleaning Items
Next we have the Janitor's room. This room was really fun to make. First I re-used the shelves from the fuse room, then I made boxes and cleaning products to decorate the shelves and floors. I decided to leave all the items in one file to make finding them easier. After making the objects, I populated the room with them. After the room was populated and fixed up, it still did not look quite right. I was missing some wall variation. So I quickly make a low-rez sheetrock wall. In the end it helped to define the scene and make it look less bland.
Custom blood splashes were made to help pain a clear picture of violence. If you follow the blood you can see where someone was attacked and killed. Which brings us to Paul. God rest his soul.
Low resolution gameplay texture....
Paul, like most of the maintenance and janitorial crew, is a short older man who enjoyed the simple things in life. He was a handy man with a heart of gold. You could find him often in the breakroom or in some hidden crevice fine-tuning the facility's electronics and machinery. However, Paul met a terrible fate. After the incident, he started feeling delirious so he left the vents he was working in. After stumbling around and regaining his composure, he was met by his mad assailant and was swiftly sliced open by someone he called a friend. You could only imagine the look of horror and betrayal in his eyes in those final moments, garnished by sharp pain as the knife was savagely thrusted into him.
Paul's textures were first painted in 2048 x 2048. Once done I made a low-rez copy. At first I did not think I would pay too much attention to him, so I made the UVs quite even in size and distribution. However, in the end, I put a lot of effort into the details of the face and body. His mesh is very basic as well. In the end I'm happy with the result.
The High resolution texture...
The Sounds of Fear
Lastly on this list is audio. Recently I found Unity's mixer. I had no idea it even had one! Now by trade, I'm a sound tech; every week I mix music, so finding this gave me more confidence when working with sound in the game.
Music: Awaken Into A Broken World:
Recently I bought a bass to work on music for the game. So when I finally got my hands on my new bass, I quickly turned out a song to play at the beginning of the game. The song plays right after you leave you office. I set up a trigger to play the music in a stereo fader track on the mixer. It's a song encapsulating the feeling of waking up into a familiar place that has been torn apart by an event you barely remember. The world is empty and there is a faint foul smell lingering in the air as the spinning emergency light sounds off in a dying distorted murmur. I played all the instruments in the song, as well as the mixing and mastering.
Link To Music: Soundcloud.com
If you listen carefully, you can hear some room noise I put in the game.Some places will more than likely be completely silent, but I have yet to be in a room that did not have some level of background noise. More will be added in the future.
Footsteps in the darkness:
Finally the last thing I wish to mention is the footstep function. I have been working on this project for a while now, and let me be the fist to say that when I heard my character's feet hit the ground for the first time, it was an amazing rush of emotions. I had no idea I needed something so bad until I created it.
So as the recordings go, there are a total of 10 individual walking footsteps and 6 running ones. I set up a script with an expandable array (in case I want to make more samples) that selects a random sound every step. This way when the player walks, it sounds more natural and less artificial. Hearing the same two soundbites would get annoying very fast. Currently the footsteps are not effected by the room yet, but as time goes on I plan on adding that feature.
This is no the end....
I have much left to do in Corporate Entity. My next modeling project is to finish the security room, and as a consequence remake and reimagine how I want my player to interact with security monitors. As it stands when the player interacts with a monitor, the camera switches from the player's cam to the one behind the monster. However, I would like to set up a system where, like in real life, you are controlling the camera's movement with a controller on the table and looking at individual monitors. This way it feels more real. But that will be done on a different day.
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~Thank you for watching.