LakeView - UDK Map

My 1st UDK Map - I call it LakeView. 
Here's a couple of videos.

Things I learnt :

1. Always, always block out the level first instead of going into details

2. Plan ahead if you are making multi-floor approach (like 2 floors or more)

3. Terrains are one-way objects.. means to say from below they are invisible

4. Design levels based on type of game. For something like Unreal Tournament don't waste time beautifying the level - players don't get a chance to enjoy them much, so focus more on elements that add up the fun.

5. If possible make copies of UDK assets in your custom package (don't edit the original)

6. Add bots and test out the level in the initial phase itself. You see, you can have this glorious imagination of bots acting like smartasses and doing cool things - but they don't.

7. Check out UDK documentation for path nodes and stuff. You can see the navigation map in the editor that shows connections and also color-codes the links. It's really helpful when bots don't use way points.

8. If you make a 3D editor - for fuck's sake don't use mouse right click for navigation.

9. Fog - very useful to blur out those distant objects. Use exponential height fog when possible

10. Never make a "forest" type of level for your first map. Foliages (grass, leaves, herbs etc) are hard to place - they can cause a hit on frame-rates. Experience will teach where to use and how much to use.

11. I use blender - use your scale properly. If the model is too small then even if you scale in editor, the lightmaps will still have issues. Also, if fbx is ASCII format - you can set default scale using notepad++ :P

12. These 3D level editors - any of them - be it UDK, Unity or CrySDK, they keep crashing. Always take backups of your files - multiple ones. Use them as check points. (For me, UDK removed a lot of foliages by itself and by the time I realized they were wrong I had made too many changes to just revert to old version)

NTFS: Recording game play, compressing and uploading videos is a fucking pain in the ass

Mecanim Tryout

Let's make Unity's Ethan shake hand with a very very hot invisible chick. Press 'X' to shake hands
Very simple state machine

Idle to Shake Transition

Shake To Idle Transition

Idle keeps looping
When "Shake" is set >> transition to Shake
Stay there until exit-time has occurred and Shake is set to false (It should be play once)

So we do need to write some code for this, Mecanim can't variables and stuff I think (not sure).

The trick for using "Boolean" trigger in Mecanim is -
Check if we are in proper state.
Set Flag
Next loop - Unset flag

Animation re-targeting is cool and all.. but I'm not so impressed with the design / architecture yet. Looks to me like it's gonna end up being a big pile of mess with lot of patch-works everywhere. Hope I'm wrong for my own sake..

A long time ago

A long time ago, I was a student. I was in my 12th (means final year of schooling, next up engineering). I had an exam the next day. Like always, I thought "let me study later, the day is still young and I have all night long to prepare."

So I started watching some highlights of a soccer game I had missed. Then came Dragonball Z. Then came something else, something else and so did the evening. It was sunset. Suddenly lights went out. But why? My dad had got an inverter installed an year back, I had UPS backup? It was then I realized there was a major power cut from morning and I had used up most of the battery.

WTF! My exams.. So while I was still like "Meh.." my parents freaked out, sometimes power never used to come back till next morning those days (actually sometimes even now). So we decided, we'll use the power judiciously.

So when I was studying, other than the one light in my room everything else was switched off. Then when my mom went to cook, only the kitchen light was on - and I waited. So using 1 light the whole night long, managed to pull it off without tripping the inverter.

You are probably thinking why I wrote this now?
Well... Unity just released a new version and you can have 1 dynamic light in the free version ^_^
Just saying... 1 light can make a big difference.

Also, a contest [See what I did there? O_o]