Post news RSS Development Journal - Day 1: HUD Creation

First part of a development journal describing our adventures while developing our game.

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Today I decided 2 important things (in my opinion) regarding
the development of our new project: Project Grand vault. The first decision was
to create a development journal with a view from the inside of our programming
team (i.e. just me, for now), allowing external people to know details about
the production of the different stages of the game, both successes and
frustrations. Something informal, interesting, like the video journal Peter
Jackson created while filming The Hobbit. Obviously, with a ginormous
difference budget-wise.

The second decision (and biggest disappointment of the day)
was to work on the making of the HUD for the demo. Since we are using Unreal
Engine 4 for the creation of the game, I have to say, as advanced as it is with
all the awesome features that it has, there are still very few sources where
you can actually get information for specific things you want to develop, like
the HUD. Nonetheless, EPIC games has its own YouTube channel with A LOT of
useful information and we are proud to say, the advances we have shown so far,
are possible thanks to this channel.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have much experience with UE (not
to say that I don’t have any), but I find it especially difficult to create
this HUD. In theory it is not complicated at all, just using the Blueprints
tool to add nodes here and there, changing values, arranging the nodes so that
it looks appealing… Sounds like a fairy tale, with a “happily ever after” kind
of ending. It is not.

In theory, everything works. In theory, we can talk about
what an astronaut would experience when standing at the event horizon of a
black hole (like stated in Stephen Hawking’s book). In theory, I can just watch
a YouTube video and end up with a very simple HUD attached to the camera of the
third-person demo created by my partner. But have we gotten there yet? Not
quite.

The main issue here is that I haven’t been able to recreate
the HUD samples shown on the videos, and I have watched more than a couple of
them. I have even tried to use the HUD sample that comes with the UE libraries,
but not success at all. Today, when I decided to work on this again, I found a
video tutorial that looked promising, but after watching it, I have to say it is
not very friendly, since the guy speaking is yawning every 5 seconds, and just
by remembering that, I feel like yawning. However, I paid no attention to that
and followed the tutorial.

It is interesting how I am getting a different output (or
not output at all, to be honest) to what I see in the video tutorial. I have a
few different hypotheses, one of them being that somehow I managed to corrupt
the project file so badly, that even the simplest thing won’t work. Don’t
worry, this is not the only nor the most updated version of the file.

The truth is, among my prayers in the morning, I ask for a
very well developed video tutorial explaining how to create this HUD,
preferably if this video tutorial is developed by EPIC (so far I haven’t found
one created by EPIC and sometimes I wonder if my googling skills are
decreasing).

To be honest, I haven’t worked on this project for several
weeks due to personal commitments, and I want to seize this chance to thank
Kyle (my partner) to bear with me until now, although he is not aware of
today’s work as I write this journal. Soon, he will be aware (I hope).

This is it for the first day of this journal
(thus, the “Day 1” of the subtitle, not because this is the Day 1 of the
development stage). I hope to bring better news next time, or at least news.
Cheers!

Julio Ordonez
Technical Director
DeadCell Games

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