Hi there, folks! So… we’d like to tell you how was our first experience developing a game in 72h for LD34 with Unreal Engine 4.

Everything began at 3:00 a.m (Spain). Our first reaction on the “two themes draw” issue was… well, laughter! Our first Ludum, and beggining like this…!

We had a breath, and then we decided to make a very very simple game, talking about mechanics. It was our first time joining LD, we didn’t want to be incautious. We had to plan something “accomplishable” for us in 72h without dying in the process.

Finally we decided to make a “choices” game, where you only had to decide which button to push and when to push hit. Relfexes were the key. Also, we wanted to make it frenzy, so the player had to look at both sides of the screen without rest.

And then, we started searching for references and making sketches at the art department. We wanted a Little carácter, but very very glutton, (related to “growing” theme)

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Once we had the main ideas and sketches clear, we did a layout, so that the “coders” could have something to work in as soon as posible, and the “artists” could finish modelling.

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While the layout was being done, we started with the PJ. It was important thtat this one was the first “final model” to be done, so that the animator could start rigging, while the rest kept on modelling props and scenario.

Lightmapping and Ambient Occlusion textures done, as well, and then, to UE4!!

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Once modelling was finished, we did the UVs and then gave them to the RIG department.

Rigging and Skinning finished, so our animator could start as soon as possible.

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Meanwhile, all objects were modelled and UVs were done, so that UE4 lightmapping worked perfectly and optimized for HML5.

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When every UVs was ready, we started rendering all lightmaps and shadows. Then, we treated them in Photoshop and passed each texture to each material.

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We wanted some variety in the suitcases, so we did 3 different textures. It’s a pity, but we couldn’t use them in the end :(

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Once every model and map was done, we put toghether everything in UE4, replacing the initial layout.

In order to optimize and make it work smooth in HTML5, every light was “Cooked” and the used the least amount of opacities we could. We also used simple materials, as well. Almost all lighting work is pre-rendered.

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To achieve the ‘growing’ effect, we used morphers, so that we can make it “grow” as he swallowed.

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Meanwhile… in the “coding” department…

After the “initial joke” (two simultaneous themes), we took a while to think how we could structure this game, and more important. What did we need?

  • A system that pulls out the suitcases in both ways.
  • A “suspicious case” detector.
  • A “feeding tube”, where we could gather the suitcases.
  • A suitcase with some different internal values and a “thruster”
  • And a “game script” that could connect everything

We decided to use “Blueprints”, because in this game we didn’t need extremely complex coding, and results with these are just great, they’re easy to do and intuitive.
So, we started to work in separate parts and, the moment we had the layout ready, we started putting everything toghether.

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This is a very basic scheme. Each scanner “reads” an internal value the suitcases going through have. A boleean (Radiactive? True: scanners change material to “Green”, False: Leave the suitcase alone!)

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Each scanner have three colliders. “In”, changing the suitcase material in case Plutonium is “true”. “Out” turns the material back to normal in case it changed previously (and the player couldn’t grab the suitcase on time), and “feeding tube” collider, which “gathers” every suitcase the player decide to pick.

There is also a “BoxTraceForObjects” collider that “sucks” every suitcase inside it when the player push the button.

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Each suitcase is a “dummie blueprint”, containing only a boolean value, mesh with its materials, a thruster, activated only when “sucked”, and some internal values, as speed and direction.

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The tube is an array, storing suitcase in the lower part and feeding “Springol” in the upper part. We add a “floating” effect to the suitcase and kept the material color of each sucked suitcase.

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To pull out suitcase, as well as point calculation, “radiactivity” indicator, etc… we used the same blueprint to control and communicate them all.

And… well, that is the most important part!! Now… talking about audio…

This was the most “abandoned” part of the Project, but we really liked the result in general. We used, mostly, Audacity. (Free, simple… did I say free?) for the main SFX. We took most of the sound effects from freesound.org, but “Springol” voices were our recordings.

Fort he “feeding tubes” (or the suckers) we used turbine sounds, mostly, and treated them so that it fits with the main idea we had in mind.

For Springol, we only could finish “joy” and “death” sounds. (Poor, por Springol), which are, basically, my voice treated with so many filters. We couldn’t make a proper ‘character’ design. 😛

Fort he music we had, literally, just one hour! We used Logic Pro X and lots, lots of VST, and started playing, just having in mind one thing: it had to be a loop, so it couldn’t be too “messy” for the player (we didn’t want you to get bored of the music).
And that was, literally, the only consideration we could have about music… it’s a pity, but we think the results are really nice, if we consider we only had… one hour!!! L

Anyway, again, we thing the results are quite good. Just take… an ear!!!

So… i think that’s all! We hope you like this game. In the future we will fix some stuff, like playability, achievements, difficulty (suitcase types, time…) and it’s quite sure we’ll be making iOS and Android versions in the future so… keep up!

Cheers!


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