I returned home last Friday night from a crazy week in the south of Sweden. Here is what happened:
Solus Receives Funding
Solus received 55 000 USD in funding from the Nordic Game Program. This was the second time I applied for Nordic Game Program funding, and the second time it was awarded to us. We previously received 45 000 USD for the development of The Ball in 2010.
The Nordic Game Program is funded by the governments of Scandinavia to further the growth of the entertainment games industry in the nordic region. Since 2006 1277 applications for funding have been filed, of which just 107 have been granted. This year 185 applications for funding were submitted, and just 9 were approved. So I am most grateful to the Nordic Game Program for their continued belief and support in what we do.
Here is my and Wiktor Öhman, artist on Solus, receiving the award on stage.
The funding will allow us to get the game to a point in which the first couple of hours are properly playable. Release is still way off. We are looking at some time 2015.
Nordic Game Unreal Engine 4 talk
I did a re-run of my Swedish Game Awards talk at Nordic Games, where I presented Solus and UE4 again on behalf of Epic.
Unreal Developer Meeting
I worked with Epic to set up this event over the past couple of weeks. We rented out a bar near the Nordic Game conference venue, and the whole thing worked out great. We had a great turn out and awesome weather (almost too warm even).
Here are some pictures of the evening.
I had a great time meeting up with Epic these last couple of days. And finally had the chance to meet up with Alan Willard, who was one of the level designers on the original Unreal, and has been at Epic ever since.
I am working with Epic Games on setting up the Scandinavian Unreal Engine meet and greet, next week during the Nordic Game Conference. I will also be speaking at the Nordic Game Conference, about Unreal Engine 4 and how the engine aids the speedy development of Solus. And of course I will be at the meet and greet myself as well.
The event is free and open to all. Feel more than free to join in!
Epic Games will host a casual get together on May 22nd at the Green Lion, Malmö, Sweden (close to the central station, and the Nordic Game conference venue) from 4.00 PM CET – 7.00 PM CET.
We are inviting any interested developers to hang out with us and our Scandinavian friends, enjoy some food and drink, and check out Unreal Engine 4.
Attending from Epic will be Mark Rein, vice president; Mike Gamble, European territory manager; Andy Hess, Evangelist; Alan Willard, senior technical artist; and Alan Noon, developer relations technical artist.
In addition, the evening has been organized by our good friend and Unreal Engine guru Sjoerd De Jong, so there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss your projects and challenges with the team.
When: Thursday May 22nd, 2014, from 4.00 PM CET – 7.00 PM CET
Where: The Green Lion bar at Skeppsbron 9, Malmo, Sweden (close to the central station, and the Nordic Game conference venue).
The event is free and open to people of all levels of experience. Free drinks will be available to all developers. A Nordic Game Conference pass is not required to join in on the fun!
The response to my The Solus Project has been awesome. Thanks so much for everyone’s kind words and the feedback I got!
Thanks a lot to Epic also for the great support given. My videos are mirrored on the official UnrealEngine Youtube channel, several retweets, and on the official Facebook page. Thanks! Awesome community support!
As for future videos. I do indeed plan to record more. A Blueprint Continued 2, along with a Blueprint for Artist video are on my list. And I will probably re-record the UDK Asset videos in a while as well. So far nothing has yet been recorded though. I am going to wait at least a week more before deciding or starting on anything.
“Bought all 3 of them and just finished watching the 2nd one(bp intro). Absolutely blown away by quality and quantity of information contained in the tutorials and I would wholeheartedly recommend them to everyone looking to get up to speed quickly with UE4.” SpirosMakris
“Finished watching @Hourences @UnrealEngine Blueprint tutorials. Really great stuff! I’m highly recommend this! Andrej Sumenkov
“@Hourences UE4 video’s are AMAZING if you are looking for some great tutorials to learn @UnrealEngine – find them at http://www.hourences.com” John Wise
“Purchased @Hourences @UnrealEngine Blueprint tutorials. They’re REALLY good, soon done with the intro, learning a lot! 10/10 would recommend” Daniel K.K
“I finished the tutorial series today and I’m still trying to pick up the pieces from where my mind was blown. As always, great job Hourences (and to the rest of the contributors)! ” Zooch
If anyone builds stuff with the videos, feel free to mail me a picture or video! I might retweet/post it!
Following my presentation at the Swedish Game Awards for Epic, two months ago, I have stepped up my UE4 presentations. I went through some UE4 stuff at my home school of Futuregames in central Stockholm for one.
Rama and C++
My crazy friend Rama has been working on Solus alongside me for a while now, and he has all kinds of cool stuff out there for those of you who want to get more into C++, or are looking for plugins.
Vertex Snapping Editor plugin (go support his request if you think it is useful!)
Continuing on the talk I gave at the Swedish Game Awards on my game, I recorded another one and a half hours worth of Solus overview talks. This time with a quality screen capture so you can see exactly what I did in my game.
The video is divided in three parts. All parts are free and available on my Youtube channel.
Content and Level creation: How I approached building my world in UE4
Sky and Blueprints: An overview of my sky system, and how I set up my entire game in just Blueprint
Closing Words: Miscellaneous topics
The Solus Project – Application of Unreal Engine 4 – Part 1
The Solus Project – Application of Unreal Engine 4 – Part 2
The Solus Project – Application of Unreal Engine 4 – Part 3
The Solus Project In-depth videos
And (almost) last but not least my in-depth videos, with extensive amounts of Solus content included.
Using the modular and easy to use modular environment assets from Solus, this video introduces you to everything you need to know to build basic environments in Unreal Engine 4. Besides covering how to build environments using modular meshes, the video also goes over how to create a landscape, apply foliage, how to best apply the UE4 reflection system, lighting and its performance considerations, and how to keep track and organize your levels.
Starting from the basics, and building upon the free Solus Example project, this beginners video starts off by talking you through creating a door for Solus. First one that is set up in the level, then one that is set up in a separate Blueprint. Following that you will be building a pressure plate to control the door, and following that the video covers how to build a basic item system. Detecting, highlighting, and picking up rocks in the world, and place them on the pressure plate to keep the door open permanently.
Continues upon the Blueprint Introduction video. Using the same content and the Blueprint scripts set up in that introduction video, this video steps it up a couple of notches. This advanced video dives deeper into Blueprint and touches on topics such as Macros, Functions, Arrays, and complex networks.
The eventual outcome of this video is having a player who can take damage, die, respawn, enable checkpoints, pick up and switch between multiple items, and who can combine a pipe with branches and fire to create a torch.
My Unreal Development Kit videos
And also I dropped my UDK videos in price down to 200 SEK, to match the price of the new UE4 videos. Content wise the Lighting and Mobile Dev UDK videos are completely not applicable to UE4, however the two Asset videos are 95% directly applicable to UE4, if you can cope with the difference in interface. Almost all features and tools used in these two videos also exist in UE4, but they may have been placed in another menu/look a bit different.
More coming soon. My plan for the near future is to release a Solus starters project, with all of my material functions, some of my material setups, a bit of my Blueprint, and most importantly my Sky and Post Process setup. Also I intend to do a video in which I talk over the various features found in Solus and how I used UE4. Beyond that I also want to do an extreme beginners guide using the Solus content, followed by more serious videos. Long and in-depth.
I presented Unreal Engine 4 and Blueprint scripting at the Swedish Game Awards earlier this month, on behalf of Epic Games. The hour long presentation focuses on the new visual scripting system Blueprint and how it impacts the way we build games and levels. During the presentation I set up a lightning strike script, followed by taking a look at how Blueprint impacts the development of Solus.
The quality of the projector recording isn’t always superb but it will give you an idea of how scripting in UE4 works.
Onlysp.com have done an extensive and in-depth interview with me about Solus. Revealing lots of new details about how the game works and what I am trying to accomplish with the game.
“Scavenging will be a double-edged sword. While you must find things to survive, Solus is not content to let you sit pretty in one spot. Instead, the need to scavenge will drive the need for exploration – and the need to move on. “You will need to keep moving and work for your survival if you want to make it through.” This means going from the surface to below ground to find the mixture of survival gear that you will be needing.”
Also beyond that, we are moving forward steadily gameplay wise. Things shape up well, but it is still very much so work in progress. When the time is right I will release a new video of the game in action, but for the time being here is a first gameplay screenshot. Showing the PDA pocket computer that acts as our HUD and shows all vital stats. Note the crosshair is too large due a little scaling bug.