Hey all! It’s time again!

I’ve gotten a lot of work done today. I started out by finishing the map layout drawing for the first Chamber, the one utilizing the Light the Way method from my guide, which involves guidance by highlighting and contrast lighting. The map drawing was pretty basic, so I started building it in UDK, adding a bit of detail to some places along the way to  make the shape of the rooms more interesting.

When I got to finishing up the basic shape of two of the rooms, a thought struck me. I had read somewhere about a somewhat recent export option in UDK to .FBX-files, a format that Unity can import. This way, if I could get my UDK maps into Unity, I would have the flexibility of designing maps with CSG while having the wider range of platform building options that Unity offers. This way, it’ll be a lot easier for me to test my maps, as I can just share a test build via my website, through Unity’s web player even. Using Unity for the final product also enables me to have a lot more flexible access to scripts, as it’s a hell of a lot easier to change and make scripts in Unity.

A proof-of-concept test of importing a UDK-made map into Unity. (Click to enlarge.)

It turned out that importing the .FBX went really smooth. It handled both the floor and wall materials I had applied in UDK, the UV’s (position, size and rotation of the texture on the surface) worked as well. This was a huge leap forward in motivation for me, as this would mean that I could test my levels a whole lot easier. Testing my levels and method applications is a pretty big step in the process, after all. It’ll determine whether I’m applying the methods right, if they’re working well at all, etc.

I did run into some issues when I added more than two materials, but it might’ve been the result of a somewhat too similar naming convention for my materials. I’ll run some more tests and see. Worst case scenario, I’ll just have to open the .FBX up in Maya and apply the proper materials through there, to see if that works better. Either way, I’ll probably go with using UDK as a mapping tool and Unity as the game engine itself, even if it means having to work around a limit with the materials. Each ‘brush’ part of the level from UDK is separated, so I can at least apply a per-brush unique material, if nothing else.

That’ll be all for today’s report, hope it’s been an interesting read. It was some very interesting work and research for me, at least! I’m really excited to do more work on the project, but I guess I should call it a day and just chill for a bit.

Oh, by the way, The Walking Dead: The Game released its final episode on PC yesterday, which I played. It has been a rough journey and the ending had me misty-eyed, I’ll admit. I haven’t felt so genuinely for any characters in any creative work as I did with TWD:TG. Shit, just thinking about everything Lee, Clem and went through, it gets me right in the feels. I cannot stress this enough, if you have any interest in games or storytelling in general, play it. It’ll have you at your toes, at some times you’ll be a total train wreck, but that’s what’s so beautiful about it.

Marcus out.