People keep asking me how to build the engine, so I put together a really basic video on how to compile UE4 from Epic’s Github.

Alone in the Dark: Illumination, Cemetary

I am currently working at Pure FPS, a small game dev team in Los Angeles, which is doing live operational support for the game Nether as well as developing the game Alone in the Dark: Illumination under the world-renowned publisher Atari. These are just some minor thoughts about what it was like to announce our game. I’ll have to loosely summarize though as there are many things that are still confidential, but I felt this was worthy of a blog post.

The PAX Announcement

Prior to officially announcing our game, it is normal to contact various press outlets about the fact that you are announcing a game so that they can come over and check it out and post new media about the new game. It usually is not normal for media to use the limited information in this invite and announce the game early for us, but sometimes it happens, and it did. So that was annoying. It is never cool to see the name of your game in the headline of an article when the game has not even been announced yet. Kind of induces an, “oh no, how fucked are we” feeling. Didn’t turn out that bad though.

We decided to have press meet up and check out our game in Seattle during PAX, which is a great time to do it as all big and some small press will generally be already in the immediate area which means more press can look at our game faster, which could either be really helpful or become really bad. While I don’t think I’m allowed to go into specifics, I can say it was a pretty interesting set of three days where all I got to do was demo the game repeatedly and then wait around for the next demo. I’m generally used to this type of thing as I’ve run demos at E3, PAX, GDC, CES, and QuakeCon; but what I wasn’t ready for this time was the fact that if you sit next to a cold air fan and an open window long enough your hand can start to go numb. Numb hand means impaired aiming which means more deaths during demos than planned.

Overall, the PAX announcement was a pretty good experience and turned out pretty good for our game. It was also nice not being on the PAX show floor but somewhere a bit more isolated, as the masses of PAX attendees are pretty intense.

The Sudden Nvidia’s Game24 Livestream

More recently, as in 40 hours before this blog post, both myself and Jason Brice (owner of Pure FPS) demonstrated Alone in the Dark: Illumination publicly for the first time during Nvidia’s Game24 livestream. The time slot was pretty peculiar, something like Friday 12:05AM PD, but the viewership ended up being more than we expected anyway. The whole event is something we weren’t expecting though and the idea of showing the world our gameplay when we still have a lot to do was a bit worry-inducing, especially when we encountered various technical issues immediately before our broadcast, but we got through it pretty well. It definitely was my first time demoing a game live where I had to sit on a couch and play with a wireless keyboard and mouse (a mouse which was mostly unresponsive and actually had tape around it) while looking at a 20-inch screen off-stage 15 feet away under intensely bright stage lights.

And The Most Valuable Thing I Learned Is…

…if I’m not actively talking or actively doing anything while on camera, I look absolutely stoned. A large number of twitch channel comments were about how I was “so rekt” and “stoned out of his mind”, while the only time I’ve ever been high in my life was when I had to get some teeth pulled and I requested the most effective numbing agent the dentist had.

This is the first post of this blog. Whoo. Exciting. I’m willing to bet the overwhelming majority of blogs only contain one post about starting a blog though. This blog could end up that way, too.

Why a new blog?

I decided to reboot my old blog because it was getting rather unwieldy. I maintained my original blog for about four years and I have accumulated a ton of original tutorials I made in regards to Unreal Engine 3, UnrealScript, and Scaleform but unfortunately they are very much outdated now.

WordPress can get unmanageable

Instead of recycling the blog and appending new things to it to keep its fantastic SEO intact, I felt that the performance and stability of a static site using Jekyll far outweigh the small conveniences of a WordPress driven website. With WordPress, every post that was image heavy or incorporated oddly sized elements that if not done in a particular would catastrophically break the theme of the site. Just the thought of doing a theme or layout switch gave way to some high-octane nightmare fuel. My thought behind this blog is some form of “lean and efficient”, however I know I’ll screw that up too.

In the past I also held all my tutorials to some sort of quality standard that now looking back on seems pointless as while my writing and presentation skills have improved they are still quite atrocious. Instead of doing full several post long write-ups about how to develop complex systems, I plan to take a more “cookbook” or “bite-sized” approach with informative but smaller posts which may or may not include some stream of consciousness or high levels of profanity.

Still worth it

The effort I put into my original blog was worth it and did help with getting to where I’m at now and I don’t regret it at all. I just no longer can justify taking the time to create tutorials for every one of all skills, origins, and sensitivities meaning that most of the content on this website will most likely be very unhelpful at best and throughly insulting at worst.

Could be a fun ride though. Or as initially stated, this could already be the end.

I released some unmaintained but stable code that adds some predefined extended UMG widgets to Unreal Engine 4 that support things like dynamic widget creation, beter skinning support, and a few other features discussed in the way too long video shown above. Source for this has also been released on my github.

Generic Shooter UE4 Marketplace Asset

Generic Shooter UE4 Marketplace Asset

Generic Shooter is a released marketplace asset is an ongoing project that allows customers to quickly start up a fully blueprint first and third person shooter with much of the scaffolding already built. It is currently one of the best selling Unreal Engine Marketplace Assets with more than 1000 units sold.

Learn more about Generic Shooter here!