EDIT: Just gonna toss up some new shots from some more basic lighting work and such I finally got around to doing. Still a bit away from being finished but lighting helps a lot. Here are the same shots from before with new lighting and meshing!
I got around to working a bit more on my basic Gears of War combat encounter and I wanted to throw a quick update of my work here. Behold, screen shots!
I would upload a video but unfortunately I don’t have time to make a proper one and upload it tonight. So expect an updated video soon to show off the new kismet and gameplay tweaks.
So, Whats New?
Although most of the improvements can easily be seen come from meshing and texturing the level, I did actually get a lot more done on the kismet / gameplay / cinematic side of things.
The texturing and meshing work is just a basic first pass. The wood texture I worked on is far too clean but also helps give some life to the Gears color pallet and might end up staying mostly clear with a slight grunge material added atop of it. Everything is still early but I like the direction it’s currently going in.
Lighting is still completely missing, right now I’m just using two directional lights and an ambient to keep things from being completely shadowed. Many of the scenes look flat because of this but a quick lighting pass should be coming shortly to help out and make it look a bit better.
From the Kismet side of things I added in some quick changes to the AI. Most of these AI issues were fixed from manually moving some of the cover, adding in blocking volumes and assigning cover groups and move groups to the spawn nodes. Although it seems simple enough, the outcome effects were huge, helping alleviate the difficulty problem and keep the level more stable and easy to manage from the player’s perspective.
Cover groups are the main thing that keeps the AI from constantly charging the player. I setup these groups to use the center island cover as the main front while player’s use the high ground cover as their own front. A small kill zone occurs in between the two areas and the rounded balcony allows the player to complete a text-book flank. The AI still sometimes moves into places they aren’t suppose to so more tweaking needs to be done, however the difficulty of the encounter got significantly easier now that player isn’t in constant danger from all sides.
As well as a large amount of kismet additions, I was also able to create a new starting area for the player. This helps with basic pacing, allowing the player to walk around, explore, grab / switch out weapons and learn about their situation and story a bit more before jumping into the combat. This area also allows me to throw in some cool interactions for the player to keep them interested while they explore.
As I continue working in the Gears Editor, I’ve found a number of issues and kismet nodes that I have never seen before. Many of these nodes aren’t explained well, or at all, and its taken a bit of time to figure them all out. If I have time, I’d like to put up a few tutorials about the editor to not only to help others out, but just to help me think of ways to better my own work flow while tackling these tasks.
That’s all for now, but I’ll continue updating as I go!