Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

[W.I.P]Kilogram Effect

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    [W.I.P]Kilogram Effect

    Greetings, UDK community! I am Curious, so I decided to investigate the possibility of recreating the Mass Effect look & feel through UDK. It's the perfect time - holidays and I need some rest from developing my rendering engine.

    More disclaimers about this project on page two. This is a Mass Effect 2 fan project / tribute with the goal of understanding the functionality of one of my favorite games ever and one of the best games in 2010. My intentions are just those of a fan - pleasure and creativity. If this is illegal, so is machinima. I have no intention of recreating ME2 and then releasing it for free, that's impossible to do. If I were able to do it, I'd be right now at their studio working on Mass Effect 3. I'm just a loving fan and a one-man army trying to enjoy his holidays and sharing my successes and new findings with the UDK community. If I broke any of the rules, I apologise, my intensions weren't bad. And yeah, I have legal copies of both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. And I've already pre-ordered Mass Effect 3. Good games fascinate me, I am just trying to get a grasp of how difficult it actually is to make them. It's my pleasure with no bad intentions.



    Here, have some cookies:




    My start was a pretty good one, since a good enthusiast from these forums named research already gave me an awesome basis for working towards generating a persistent game where the actual choices would propagate further than the level itself. He created some useful extensions to the existing Scaleform classes adding functionality for accessing a Flash-developed UI from Kismet and generating a way of a communicating various options and text back and forth.

    What am I doing with the conversation system?

    Well, although research has done a good job, there were a few things that needed improving/expanding upon. One of them was the wheel pointer logic - in research's version, the mouse pointer is hidden and the wheel pointer uses it's location to create a vector of direction, which has a downside. Depending where the invisible mouse pointer is in screenspace, the further it gets from the conversation UI, more sluggish it gets (imagine that it is in the upper left corner, and you want to access the lower-left option, you'd need to drag quite a bit, get it?). I decided to make it more relative, instead of using the mouse pointer for a direction vector, relative movements are taken into account, generating a more uniform motion of the pointer, and a less annoying experience for the end user (which is a cool way of saying me).

    Second one is - persistance. Sure, in the initial version you can talk to someone, create some cute matinee sequences, blow unsuspecting pedestrians up with a specific option, but those actions won't persist, they cannot surpass the barrier of a level. They need to be stored and accessed later in the game to allow NPCs to react differently to the player based on his past decisions. I have some experiments in mind I'm working on currently to achieve the persistance needed which a game like ME boasts.

    Third is the design of the wheel - although research based his design off the Mass Effect conversation UI, he explicitly told that it's a basic system just for a simple conversation, so precision was not a priority for him. The actual wheel in Mass Effect has a bigger perspective angle giving it more of an elliptical shape as opposed to research's circular design. Also, there are slight things around actual fonts and positioning of the conversation UI.

    What am I doing with scenery and levels?

    Well, currently, I am extrapolating all the data from CookedPC from Mass Effect games, from skeletal & static meshes to various animSets, sounds etc. To create a Mass Effecty experience, one must access the data from Mass Effect. Since this is a fan project/tribute in form of a mod, I don't see a problem with that. Although, I will expand upon it as I see fit and try to add some stuff of my own (not better probably, but just for the fun of working with such a project).

    IMPORTANT NOTE! I would like to point out this is a project made by a loving fan dedicated to a fantasy of mine - working for BioWare on a project like Mass Effect. I am by no means affiliated with them, this is not a commercial project. I am not the best with UE3, I am just a regular guy enjoying games with a wish for learning and creating. All comments and suggestions are very welcome!

    Since some people don't bother reading unless it's shiny and doesn't spark fire, this is meant as a fan project which would allow the reconstruction of a Mass Effect experience, custom told, think of it as a mod which you cannot basically do with the game itself. Therefore, it requires a lot of effort, like this project, so I am using Mass Effect data and files to capture the look of it. It seems logical, and I only used Kilogram Effect as the name because I cannot use copyrighted names for my project. This is by no means an original/new IP project, just a challenge for me to get it working because I love the game and want to do simple custom-told missions.

    Kudos to: research, BioWare's ME team

    Happy holidays everyone, I hope you achieve all of your projects in the coming year. I love watching all the amazing stuff you guys do with UE3!

    With regards,
    Domagoj "Curious" Pandža.

    #2
    Thats actually really impressive. i've got a question for you though:
    is the convo wheel scaleform/flash using as2 or is it procedural textures, and if its the former (as per ME) did you learn AS2 purely for this project, since im looking for implement a convo system but my flash knowledge is well, less than non-existent so im wondering if its really worth it.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Deliverance6 View Post
      Thats actually really impressive. i've got a question for you though:
      is the convo wheel scaleform/flash using as2 or is it procedural textures, and if its the former (as per ME) did you learn AS2 purely for this project, since im looking for implement a convo system but my flash knowledge is well, less than non-existent so im wondering if its really worth it.
      Research, a guy from these forums actually created the initial version of the conversation system which can be found here: http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=736432

      Basically, the answer to your question is yes, it's developed through the new Scaleform solution for UIs (just like the one in Mass Effect 2), which uses Flash with ActionScript 2 and wraps it into UE3. It's a really simple solution, but nonetheless awesome.

      I just picked it up and continued adding stuff which would make it a more stable game system where your actions could propagate through levels. Also, I just captured the original look of the wheel and I am doing the necessary corrections to the look of it... It's more of an ellipse ingame, here it's like a circle.

      I will certainly release my changes to the public, just like research gave me an awesome shell to work with.

      You can pickup Flash and ActionScript fairly quickly, so I sugget you give it a try!

      Comment


        #4
        Here's one more pic from the progress of reconstructing characters (also added to the screenshot section):

        Comment


          #5
          Well, I've finally managed to reconstruct miss Miranda, here's a pic of her in the editor:



          Unfortunately, the iPhone test curls up and dies without optimization even with a singular hi-def mesh. But that was just a little side experiment, nothing important. Would have been cool, though...

          Comment


            #6
            Looking good man Can't wait to see this finished, keep it up!

            -Mr. Illusive

            Comment


              #7
              looks like they were just ripped off the mass effect game.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by TheAgent View Post
                looks like they were just ripped off the mass effect game.
                Read the description, that's the point. I scramble through 8 GB of files to find the skeletal meshes, realign them and make them usable. There is lots of reconstruction necessary to make them work again, making all the materials, connecting it properly, making the head work with the body, exporting for animation.

                The goal of this is to make a ME-looking and feeling experience, as I pointed out when I started this project.

                Well, currently, I am extrapolating all the data from CookedPC from Mass Effect games, from skeletal & static meshes to various animSets, sounds etc. To create a Mass Effecty experience, one must access the data from Mass Effect. Since this is a fan project/tribute in form of a mod, I don't see a problem with that. Although, I will expand upon it as I see fit and try to add some stuff of my own (not better probably, but just for the fun of working with such a project).
                Models are just for the look, the goal is to make it playable and ME alike. There is no point in reinventing the wheel when it's not necessary for a fan-made project. If you still believe this is in any form simple, I challenge you to do it yourself and then say it's just a rip off.

                Cheers!

                Comment


                  #9
                  This sort of thing is okay if you never plan on releasing it and it is for your own fun/information...

                  But it is highly illegal and constitutes copyright infringement. It is one thing to do a fan-made game with your own custom assets (even though this is also considered theft of an IP), you are using the assets from Mass Effect.

                  I highly doubt the UDK allows for its users to legally deconstruct a game built from a license version of Unreal Engine 3 (that Bioware paid millions for) so that users can remake the game and release it for free.

                  Just a fair warning. Might not be the best place for your project to be advertised. Normally this sort of thing should be kept to one's self, me thinks.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ya, they might hunt you down and rip you apart financially if you try to release this...u might want to contact Epic for this

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by BenNadler View Post
                      This sort of thing is okay if you never plan on releasing it and it is for your own fun/information...

                      But it is highly illegal and constitutes copyright infringement. It is one thing to do a fan-made game with your own custom assets (even though this is also considered theft of an IP), you are using the assets from Mass Effect.

                      I highly doubt the UDK allows for its users to legally deconstruct a game built from a license version of Unreal Engine 3 (that Bioware paid millions for) so that users can remake the game and release it for free.

                      Just a fair warning. Might not be the best place for your project to be advertised. Normally this sort of thing should be kept to one's self, me thinks.
                      Where did he say that he wants to remake the game and release it for free? He's trying to recreate the Mass Effect feel/atmosphere with the dialogue system in UDK. Stop blowing things out of proportion. And millions? The most Bioware paid was $750,000 which makes it where they don't have to pay royalties to Epic Games.

                      -Mr. Illusive

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I haven't got even the smallest intention of recreating ME2 just to release it for free. That's impossible, recreating every scene, every sound... And dialogues, there is no way recreating that...

                        I am just trying to recreate the conversation system and create a small level of my own just like I have always dreamed of doing since I first started out playing Mass Effect. I have no intention of damaging BioWare or anyone else.

                        I'm just trying for my own pleasure to create a level with some amount of custom complexity and BioWare's awesomeness. If this was illegal, then all machinimas which have done something with models from Mass Effect should be taken down.

                        Ahah, recreating Mass Effect 2 and releasing it. Yeah, right. If I were able to reverse-engineer the entire game in a matter of few days, I would be working for BioWare right now.

                        I'm just one person doing a fan project / tribute which will not damage nor BioWare nor the Mass Effect IP nor EA. Or anyone else, for that matter.

                        Imitation is the sincerest of flattery. I really have no nasty intentions, just my own personal pleasure while I'm studying UDK.

                        Here's my intention: I want to create a custom level with some of the assets from the game, with my own custom enemies which would the player would engage on his own as a detective in the style of the ones in Mass Effect (Liara's mission). And after that, I'll just demonstrate my work to the community ( the improved conversation system etc.). If this is illegal, so is machinima.

                        And as Mr. Illusive pointed out, the engine cost is 350 thousand dollars and maybe something more for avoiding royalties.

                        But for all of those lazy to read, I've made it clear on the front page with big bold red letters what this is about. I'd make it spark fire for you to notice it, but I can't.

                        @Kel'tar - Thanks for the heads up, but I am aware of that and I have no such intention. Just for study, creativity and personal pleasure. Personally, if someone was so inclined on modding my game that he actually started to rebuild a tribute to it from scratch just to tell a story or two, I'd give him a commendation. Plus, good publicity. For EA, for BioWare and Epic Games as the engine's creator.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Don't worry, what you're doing isn't illegal. The only thing that would be illegal is if you're using the ME2 models and plan on selling your game. The dialogue wheel isn't copyrighted by Bioware or EA. It would be like trying to copyright first or third person. Since you're not selling your game you have nothing to worry about. People on the internet tend to overreact due to ignorance. Keep up your good work.

                          -Mr. Illusive

                          Comment


                            #14
                            LOL...Ya, We didnt read, did we?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It's funny how people always assume the worst case scenario.

                              Back on topic, here's a progress update for tonight.

                              I've managed to replicate the actual wheel from Mass Effect and assemble it in Flash with the initial research's version. Also, I've adapted the code to not use the location of the mouse but rather mouse delta movements. As of the actual gameplay, I've adapted the game's camera from UDK's first person to a weapon-holstered behind the character camera. I will do the over-the-shoulder one once I establish some working weapons and a basic UI. Also, I've successfully implemented an Eclipse mercenary as the active player pawn, there are slight problems with the animation I'm working out but it should be good. Also, hopefully I'll have an NPC pawn with whom I'll create a first true animated sequence. You've probably guessed why I am using Eclipse mercenaries as the player and the NPC for the first run, so I don't have to die trying with FaceFX right on the first sequence.

                              I should have a video demonstrating a fully-voiced sequence soon and I hope you'll see why I've decided on such an endeavour of recreating this. It's funny how fast you can get a prototype going when a game is considered. And how much of the total time is just the effort of creating a story, characters, voiceovers, animations, various static meshes etc.

                              This is the list of things (priorities) that still need to get inside:

                              Interrupts - I've extrapolated the Paragon and Renegade textures which appear when you can interrupt the sequence, but I still need to add the necessary logic to drive them. First attempts haven't worked very well. But I have managed to make the conversation UI hide the wheel when it's not necessary and just proceed with giving subtitles and regenerate it on the last one. But I don't think it's been implemented very well, I'll probably refactor it.

                              Team, two pawns - In the game you have two AI pawns following you around, that shouldn't be hard to implement, at least until the part they actually need to defend the player. But for now, just following you around will be nice.

                              The rest of the UI - Capturing the look and feel of the ME2 UI, except the inventory window. And the implementation of the UI doesn't mean the actual functionality (ie. can't use powers, I'll give it a try later)

                              Cover system - I wanted a reason to try and develop this, just a basic version. The actual logic behind it is simple... Mark different static geometry as cover, take the camera lookAt vector and look for the nearest cover-marked geometry in that direction (if not in range, do nothing) and execute a quick animation to cover which alternates depending on the size of the cover (upright or crouch). The animation is perhaps the biggest problem, but nothing a little hard work won't solve. But I can already see how retarded the first animations will be, so bear with me. =)

                              And the last thing is persistance. But priority comes to level matters and then the inter-level considerations of storing and accessing information.

                              I'll try to keep you informed daily with screenshots and videos when able. I'd really love any input you can give, other than commenting on the legality of my efforts. What I most likely won't do is teaching the AI pawns how to take cover and listen to commands. I'll just let the UDK standard UT AI takeover for that.

                              And I must say, I am very impressed by what the UDK can take on.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X