Game Developer - Level Designer - Environment Artist - Author - Tutor - 18 Years of experience with Unreal Engine 1, 2, 3, 4
Log In | Cart        

Epic Games have been so kind to feature a showcase and interview about Solus and my work at the website.

    “Blueprint is the game-changer for me. It goes far beyond Kismet in Unreal Engine 3 and is incredibly powerful. I am a designer and artist, and for the first time in my career, Blueprint allows me to make entire prototypes and games without requiring me to touch a line of code. Never have I come across any other visual scripting tool or editor that comes within a thousand miles of the power of Blueprint.”

I also received this poster from them:

In other news:

  • Solus develop goes well. Especially level and script wise. We are close to having the first 30 or so minutes of the game properly playable now. I managed to find a great cave style as well (more info on that later), and we got tornadoes in. Which are mightily impressive to see. The world also transformed into an archipelago for various design reasons. Once things are more final, I will begin showing the next batch of Solus media and talk some about why certain design decisions were taken.
  • My Prison level time lapse video made it to IGN’s front page and various other big sites. The video shows the creation of a level in 20 hours time. Rekoil by the way is due for release very soon. A level design competition for the Steamwork mod tools is also underway.
  • We’ve just released a brand new one hour long The Ball level on Steam, for free!

    Named Quizaz, the level is the product of some of the design students class 2012 at the Swedish game development education FutureGames. Hourences set them up with access to the The Ball editor, and guided them into and through development.

    Major credits to Anders Bergman, Jacob Antonucci, Björn Jonsson, Christoffer Näll, Claes Fornell, Ludwig Sjöstedt Samuelsson, Tobias Ekholm, Sebastian Contreras – and additional thanks to Peter Cornelius, Stefan Alfredsson.

    Steam users can find this level in their Survival menu. Let us know what you think on the Steam forum!

    I was interviewed by The Square, a site about the Swedish indie game industry.

    I spent the last couple of weeks entirely on visuals, in order to get the video and screenshots ready in time, so after last week’s deadline I now moved on full time to gameplay and scripting. Bianca Savazzi joined me to help out with scripting and programming. We are working next to each other actually, first time I work on one of my own things with someone else working next to me in person.

    What we did this week:

    • We researched and thought out how the entire survival aspect should be done. Wrote some documents, looked up a lot of information, and made a simple overview map that will help us with figuring out what you should talk to what (script wise).
    • World now correctly updates and communicates environment temperature, humidity, wind.
    • Player now has a PDA/tablet that holds his vital stats, instead of a HUD (Oculus and immersion preparation).
    • Player’s body temperature now gradually drops or rises dependent on environment temperature, humidity, wind.
    • Humidity updates realistically dependent on environment temperature and weather. Wind also picks up dependent on conditions.
    • Standing in sunlight is now actually warmer.
    • Local temperature/wind/humidity offset zones added (fires, shelters, etc.).
    • Fires, wind sounds and particles now increase in speed dependent on the wind values pushed by the atmosphere control system.
    • Player now has a compass.
    • Visors and damage events improved.
    • Voice acting evaluation and figuring out how to approach it.
    • Managed to improve FPS on the beach (you could see in the video that it was noticeably choppy) by about 80% through a combination of playing with shadow range, foliage shadows, and cubemap capturing.

    Also I received word my Oculus is due to arrive on Wednesday.

    Next week we will implement the basic sleeping system, food and water system. Possibly make a start on the item systems, and continued polish of previous things. Our deadline is end of December for a first playable build. Survive the beach. 15 minutes. That is it.

    So design wise the major features and elements we figured out are:

    • Wilson. The volleyball from Cast Away. This was the element I was looking for for a while. The game doesn’t has a clear icon, so I knew I had to find something that could help give it character (like the ball in The Ball, the heli in Unmechanical, the masks in Payday). A symbol similar to WIlson (Wilson being the working name) would do that. Also the problem is that the game relies on quite deep psychology, and I needed a way of portraying the impact the ordeal has on the player’s mental health somehow. Wilson fits that perfectly.
    • Decided to push through Water and Food. At first I did not want this in because it may make it too chore like to play the game, but I figured that a scavenging game must have consumable items or else there is too little to scavenge for. Thus there must be food and water. Also surviving is pretty much all about finding food and water in real life, thus it should be part of the game also. I do want to make sure it doesn’t get too annoying though.
    • Rebalanced the world so that the cave world has opposite dangers and opportunities from the exterior areas. Neither of the two should be perfect or save, but they should be different. Areas in general should all come with their own problems and dangers, challenges. Been going over how to balance them out to each other.
    • Humidity and wind got added. At first I had just temperature, but surviving is about identifying a problem, and trying to find some kind of solution/work around for coping with it. Thus I added additional variables. It will also lead to a more dynamic complex world.
    • The player’s mental health was mapped. He is expected to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for one, plus various physical health problems such as dehydration and starvation will also have an impact on his mental health (confusion, hallucinations, etc.).

    Right now everything we got working was done without any programming at all, pure visual scripting, which shows the enormous power of UE4′s scripting system.

    I will post another update on progress next week. Hopefully some pictures also.

    I uploaded a new version of The Expert Classes Lighting. The assignment level had some left over meshes, and a problem with prefabs (that weren’t suppose to be there anyway). This was fixed.

    If anyone wants to get their hands on the new version but finds their previous download links no longer working, shoot me a mail and I will set you up.

    I am proud to announce my new game Solus -

    Solus is a single player exploration and survival game, experienced in first person and developed in Unreal Engine 4. It is set on a mysterious and uninhabited alien planet.

    With Earth on the brink of destruction you are sent to explore a distant planet. After 20 years of space travel you arrive but experience a catastrophic landing.
    With your team members dead and your equipment destroyed you have no way of communicating with- or receiving help from an earth that might no longer exist… Your are completely and utterly alone.

    Core Gameplay Values

  • Explore – Survive through exploration. Unlock the strange planet’s underlying secrets. Are you sure you are the first one here?
  • Scavenge – Aid your survival and rebuild a communication device through the scavenging of useful items you come across.
  • Survive – The planet is hostile to your presence. The planet is your enemy. Survive tornadoes, storms, volcanoes, meteors, lightning, extreme temperature changes, and so on.

  • ________________________


    Features and Development

  • Immersion – Strong focus on atmosphere and immersion. The planet is to be captivatingly beautiful, but its dangers very real.
  • Oculus Rift – Supported for total immersion.
  • Atmosphere – Fully dynamic atmosphere. Temperature changes. Day and night. Tides. Winds. Dynamic weather. Disasters.
  • Extendibility – Extremely modular workflow within the game will allow anyone to easily create levels and areas to explore.
  • The Ball – Spiritual successor to The Ball. Same universe, same atmosphere.

  • ________________________


    The Planet

  • The planet has a suitable atmosphere and houses large quantities of water, but is barren and mostly made up of rocks and desert.
  • It is circled by two moons, one large and one small with the big moon affecting the tide. One sun.
  • Days are hot (40C and above). Nights are cold (-35C and below). Vegetation is red.
  • Large number of caverns present. Different types of caverns depending on the depth you’re at. Normal stone caverns at the top, ice in the middle, and lava at the bottom.

  • ________________________

    Next gen Unreal Engine 4. I have been working with UE4 since last March, and have been working on Solus since July on an off and on basis.

    It is meant as the spiritual successor to The Ball. Same universe, different planet. Like with The Ball it is a big new game early on in the Unreal Engine cycle. It is atmosphere driven and level design heavy just like The Ball. And like with The Ball I am being the one man army doing loads of work on this all on my own. It is my vision, concept, and style. The whole sky and weather system is mine, the color pallet and atmosphere, a lot of the models, all of the scripting, many of the particle effects, etc. And I did all of that in just 4 months time, part time.

    The idea is to make a living and breathing planet, so you really feel like you are trapped on this beautiful but dangerously active alien planet. I took it far. I got tide, temperature, wind, and so on. They change dependent on the environment. If it is clear skies nights are colder but days are warmer. If there is a lot of wind, nights are colder. You can be hit by lightning and die. If it rains the temperature goes down. Flowers close during the night. The environment actually reflects everything when it begins to rain. And so on.

    For me this wasn’t just a challenge to learn the new tools and features, and to get the style right, it was also all about making it not just work and look good, but doing those two things in a way that I can reproduce and extend it further rapidly. On the beach scene, spaceship parts aside, the only things that were actually modeled were the foliage meshes and one single hexagon pillar. Everything else you see is generated through clever tricks.
    Everything is highly modular. I designed a giant box of legos that I can now give to level designers and have them make whatever they want using the same pieces over and over again. The thing takes less than 1 GB memory while running, while using 4096 and 2048 textures for nearly everything you see.

    The game is far from completion, this is just an early sneak peak and teaser. Nothing in the pictures is representative of the final quality.


    Just a quick heads up – I am one of the jury members of the new and just launched Unearthly Challenge! I am honored to be part of this and looking forward going through all the amazing art work later.

    Just quickly wanted to put my discovery up here. After years of headache and having found no other artist who was able to tell me how to fix this, I just hit the solution.

    When you got modular on grid meshes in Max/Maya, and you bend them 90/180/270 degrees, their ends are never ever on grid, even though the original mesh was perfectly on grid. Most people, that included me, would in that case manually move the vertices on one end and snap them to the grid. That gets very tedious to do very fast though.

    I just found out that if you take the length of the mesh, divided by exactly 86.0576519035213, and then take the result of that division and use that to offset the center of the bend deform with into the opposite direction the mesh bends, then the end of that mesh will be exactly on grid! So for example, a 1024 long mesh that bends needs to have its bend pivot point offset by 11.899 units and it will end up exactly on the grid.

    I verified this on all kinds of Unreal grid sizes. No idea how it holds up on other scales.

    Copyright 2006-2017 - UDK, Unreal, Unreal Engine are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

    Website Design by
    Powered by Wordpress