How to achieve your goals as an indie game developer

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How to achieve your goals as an indie game developer

Becoming a great planer is as good as becoming a great game developer. At least, that's what we believe in Unforgiven, plan like an adult but dream like child. In this article we wanted to share with you our approach on planing and how we go about on setting goals for the future of the company.

Below dear readers, our tips to become a great planer and achieve your goals!

Establish your vision

Nothing is more important than having a clear vision of where you want to go. Before you make any plans, you need a goal to go for. Let's learn how to find it by asking yourself these questions:

What do I really want?

This is your vision and dreams, this is what will keep you on track when things go sideways (and they will). This will be the foundation of your long term goals. Don't be afraid to dream, it doesn't cost you anything!

What is important about it?

Here you must define the reasons you find this vision so important to you. This may change along the way and evolve but they must be crystal clear.

How will I get it?

Start to figure out which methods you are going to use and what are the action steps required in order to accomplish your main goal. If your goal is to make a game that has a beautiful 3D environment, begin by figuring out what you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. Start small and go for bigger and more difficult tasks when you get more experience.

What is preventing me from having it?

This is where you start to analyze all your obstacles. You will notice that many of the obstacles you have are found within you. Being disciplined and developing good habits are great tools to overcome these obstacles.

How will I know I am successful?

Make a list of tangible goals that are measurable. Perhaps you want to reach a goal regarding a certain amount of people has played your game or you may want to get featured in a popular site showing your game or your artwork. Also, a good idea is to make a list of all the projects you have accomplished and see in retrospective how better you have become because of the practice obtained (and don't worry, you will get better). 

Your list of goals

After you answered all these questions, you will be amazed at how much information you have. It is always better to put your thoughts into words and by the time you answered all these questions you should have a better understanding of where you want to go. Reviewing those answers from time to time is something we do at Unforgiven and it's highly recommended. It keeps us on track and reminds us what our mission is and purpose as a company. If I can tell you a little secret is that the vision defined will also help you make better decisions.

As a small game studio or any small business it is frequent to lose track and stray from your goals, opportunities may rise that involve work that is not aligned with what you want to do. Just stay focused on your goals and stick to them. Make the choice according to what your vision is and remember there isn't a safe choice in life, so why not take a risk to make your dreams a reality? Better live 5 years of adventure than 50 years of boredom.

It's amazing how we spend many years in our education without receiving a single class in how to become a great planer. As game developers, we are focused on learning one or many disciplines: 3D, concept art, programming, music, animation, technical art, production, business, and the list can go on. We want to become the best in what we do but to achieve it you need to become a great planer if you want to get to the top.

Long term vs short term goals

Now that you have a clear vision of where you want to go, it will be easy to make a list of long term goals. For instance, you may want to have 2 games selling on the market that really make you proud by the end of 2020, build a great relationship between the community, your company and the games you make, or you can even be working in your dream company by that time.

After you have your list of goals, start to make the goals smaller. If your long term goals are 2 years from now, start making the list for the first year and then make the list for the next six months, 3 months and so on. How many lists should you have? Eventually you will have a daily list of tasks you need to do now. And with this method you can be certain that every small task you complete is taking you a step closer to your bigger goals.

The daily list

This is the most powerful list you can have. This list is also filled with your vision, values and mission. This is not a list filled with random tasks. Not only does it has all the things you need in order to achieve your end goal, it is also aligned with your "1 month list", "3 month list" "6 month list" and "1 year list"! It means that if you start doing what that list says today and continue to do so over the course of 1, 2 or 3 years. Guess what? You will be living your dream!

This is the difference between success and failure. Failure is the result of making small bad decisions every single day for a long period of time. Success is only an small adjustment from the failure formula: the result of making small good decisions every single day for an extended period of time.

I'm not going to lie here, working on the list is hard work. The list is filled with hard decisions where you will often chose to do the easier ones. That's why I'll share how we go about finishing the list.

How to finish the list

It's better to do the list the day before. Think about the tasks you need to do the next day and order them by priority. How do you know which tasks are the most important ones? Try to answer this question: If I were to leave for a trip tomorrow and won't get back to work in a long time, what would be the most important task I can complete to save my team from headaches while I'm absent? This will usually solve the problem of your most important tasks.

Change the list if you think it's needed. It is normal for the list to change, your monthly goals will change and adapt to your circumstances. Changing the list is part of the process, it means you are working on it, at first you can have a plan but after working on it everyday you will notice that there are a lot of factors you didn't considered the first time. Don't be discouraged by the changes, as time passes you will become a better planner.

Celebrate when you achieve a goal when you think is worth celebrating. It will keep you motivated to pursue your goals. Congratulating yourself is a sign of maturity! Never underestimate yourself.

My last tip on the list: check the list everyday. Part of the fun making the list is checking it out! Otherwise it doesn't work. You will notice that the list has a positive effect on who you are becoming as a human being and a professional. If the future gets clear, the price is easy!

Discipline

This is a topic that deserves it's own article but discipline is what will make you finish your list. To be disciplined in difficult tasks, you need to start being disciplined with the easier tasks. Think about it, to start changing the world you may first start by making your bed first, it's easier.

The good thing about discipline is that you can improve in that area. We are filled with decisions every single day to do the right (also hard) thing and the wrong thing (also easier). Choosing the easiest option will level up your level of laziness and you may start to become a procrastinator without even noticing it. On the other hand, if you start choosing the difficult task, you start to becoming better at it and as you become better you will be able to do harder tasks. That game or project that you waited for so long to start it, now you are prepared to go for it and finish it easily.

That's it for this article, I hope you find it useful and apply it to your work. As game developers, we often forget to learn about this areas. This is what will make you achieve your goals and set a clear vision for your company or what you want in life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hoverbike Multiplayer Development Log 2

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Hoverbike Multiplayer Development Log 2

Week 2: New Hoverbike movement behavior and replicating the mount icon visibility

Hello again! Ram here with another development log of the Hoverbike. 

Before fixing the movement of the hoverbike while replicating, first I decided to revamp the hoverbike blueprint. One of the few things that bothered me the most was that the hoverbike was using a character blueprint as base instead of a pawn blueprint. This limited the movement behavior that the hoverbike could achieve. Although this approach meant that the gravity would have to be simulated it gave better results than the previous one.

Now you can ride the walls! I need to tweak some values to achieve the movement I'm looking for but at the moment it is very pleasant to use the hoverbike.

This revamp took most of the time I dedicate to this project but I wanted to do some networking stuff before posting this article so I fixed the mount icon visibility. This icon shows up every time you are near the bike to notify you that you are able to ride bike. In single player this worked flawlessly but with multiplayer I discovered that the icon was popping up for everybody. In the video below you can see the bug.

It took some trial and error to run something only in the desired client but I manage to do it by changing these nodes.

This affected everyone

This affected everyone

This only affects the client that trigger the function

This only affects the client that trigger the function

In the images above you can see the function that sets the icon visibility (in the previous version I used visibility and in the new one I used Hidden in Game but it shouldn't make any difference during replication). This function is executed when an character overlaps the hoverbike ride collision and tells the bike that someone is near to ride it.

To make it work, I just needed the character reference that triggered this function and compare it with the player pawn. The get player pawn node will return the local pawn and will only be equal to the character reference if the hoverbike version is the local one.

And now this is the status of the hoverbike

In the next development log I will show how I fixed the replicated movement of the hoverbike. See you soon!

 

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 7: Quick look at the enemies Artificial Intelligence

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 7: Quick look at the enemies Artificial Intelligence

Hey everyone!

This week we'll be sharing some behind the scenes' info related to the artificial intelligence used in Stage 3: Azaria. It can be somewhat technical but I'll try my best to explain in general terms so it can be understood by someone that doesn't have a programming background. Let's keep in mind that it's a work in progress and that a lot of things are going to change. Without further delay, lets begin.

Heroic Keeper

First, we have one type of warriors who joined Eolica's army to fight together. In Stage 3, these warriors are called Heroic Keepers and are trained by the Heiron Alliance. These are the kind of unit you will find as a security guard of a castle. That is because they need to work their way out until they get into higher ranks. However, they are characterized for being alert, loyal and young. This is because they are fresh out of training which means they know how to defend themselves but lack experience in battle. These units take pride in their teamwork and have a strong willpower making them take head on all kind of hardships.

While making the AI of the each enemy we have to take in consideration their characteristics so they behave in a believable manner. So taking in account the previous description, we made a troop that when assigned an objective it will push forward in that direction. When it encounters an enemy it will try to surround it with their teammates and when close enough it will attack you and strafe around to avoid getting hit.

All the work done in the AI area uses the Behavior Tree that Unreal provides. A behavior tree is a graph that depending on the state of the enemy, map, units and environment it will choose a branch and make the unit execute the actions wanted.

Our troop behavior tree looks something like this:

Work in progress of the Heroic Keeper's behavior tree

Blue nodes are decorators that decide if the branch proceeds or not. Purple nodes are the tasks that the unit will execute and green nodes are services that executes certain task while the branch is being run. If you want to know more about behavior trees, a good place to start is the Unreal Engine documentation.

It's amazing what you can do with this tool. To be able to watch on real time all the nodes and have a visual representation of all the possible behaviors allow us to focus on what is most important, which is the game, and not get too caught into low level technical details. Let's take a closer look to see how these branches work together.

In general terms, the first branch checks if the troop has a weapon equipped, if they doesn't it  will look around for one and if there is no weapon around they will flee. The second branch checks if there is an enemy near, if there is then it will attack depending if it is in melee or ranged mode. In the ranged mode we may want to implement a cool spell the knight can cast or make them throw their weapon at you!

The third branch is to make them attack an objective but there is more work to be done in that regard. Finally, the fourth branch are just fallback actions.

In game it looks like this:

In the video you can see that the troops try to surround you and make their move once the find it appropriate. Also you can have a closer look into the debugging systems tools inside Unreal! These are amazing to check in real time what is going on with your code and save you a lot of time in the debugging process. 

Unwavering Keeper

We can also add the Unwavering Keeper, also known as the "tank knight", into the mix. The Unwavering Keeper is a high armored soldier who is experienced, strong but also slow. They also have good reflexes, patience and an almost unbreakable guard. Their weapons of choice are the spear and shield.

Let's have a look at some artificial intelligence created for them:

It is still in progress but we hope we are able to add more interaction between units, like an Unwavering Keeper protecting fellow troops! Also, did you noticed that the model is the same? As programmers, we can use all the assets at your disposal and just with the click of a button we can have new art entirely. The most important thing is to focus on the gameplay first and everything will follow it up. Be it art, music, or animations, everything follows gameplay.

Wisps

The wisps are magical creatures that inhabit the areas near the Heorogan Castle. They are created by the strong magic aura this place emits. They are usually harmless unless their territory is threatened. These creatures are known for their ability to fly, high mobility and ranged attacks that follow their target. When on low health, wisps magical energy becomes volatile and will follow their target, self destructing and doing high explosive damage!

Let's take a look at the current Wisp's behavior:

As you can see, Wisp's try to attack you using the element they correspond to and when they are about to die they decide to go right after you, real fast, and explode really fast.

Advice and final words

Artificial Intelligence is a wide topic, like everything in game development it's a never ending process and you will always find better ways to work your way around to create new and interesting behaviors. There is so much to talk about this topic, but the main thing we want you to address is that with having the right tools and the documentation at your disposal, you can create really amazing behaviors for your game. The team at Epic gives away everything for free, not only you have the Unreal Engine (which by itself is super awesome), but all the projects like Robo Recall, Unreal Tournament and many more to see how these veteran developers create artificial intelligence for their game. It is a place where you can learn the best and from the best and the same applies to all areas of game development. 

That's it for this week, we hope you enjoyed reading the article and learned more about the development of our games! Don't forget you can always leave feedback in the comments below. See you next week!

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Know more about Unforgiven

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Know more about Unforgiven

It's been 2 years since Unforgiven was created and we haven't dedicated a post about what it is like for us to have been together this long.

It all started 2 years ago after we took the decision to create games for a living. As things have progressed, the company's vision started to take shape and we set on the path we are now.

To put it simply, we are just a group of friends who want to create games that makes us proud. Everyone has good memories about how games have affected their lives in many ways, and we want to take the opportunity of creating an indie studio to give back to the world what it gave to us, be the experiences, the good feelings and thousands of hours of fun.

Since we value the time invested by the players who try our games, we are making sure that they can fully enjoy themselves with our work. One of our goals is that the player is happy to spend their precious time playing the games we make. This goal gives us a lot of pressure and pushes our desire to learn more about how to make games in all the areas like art, programming, production or design. Learning is a never ending process and we are grateful to be on a journey where we are all learning and at the same time sharing what we love to the entire world.

Many people don't know it, but we are only 6 people here at Unforgiven, and that forces us to wear many roles in the company.  The team is formed by Mauriccio Torres (3D Artist), Ramanand Purizaga (Programmer), Guillermo Rossell (3D Artist), Andres Revolledo (Programmer), Antonny Vega (3D Animator) and Vania Torres (Concept Artist). However, we still want to specialize in what we enjoy most, be it art, animation, programming, you name it. It's a great feeling to go work to a place where you can tone up your skills, it feels very refreshing and that's something we really enjoy!

We all have common interests here, we love fantasy and RPG games and the kind of games we make reflect our taste in those genres. That led us to decide that we needed to create our own IP such as the Final Fantasy games, Zelda and many more great games.

It took around 5 years to hone our skills in order to turn Stage 3 into what it is now. Since the very beginning, we determined that it was essential to study the basics of game development and all the techniques involved in the process. Polycount became our favorite place to learn and we highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to enter the industry to go into that forum, it is full of invaluable information! 

It's amazing to see what we have accomplished so far and the best is yet to come!

At the very beginning of Unforgiven's existence, we started working on assets for Unreal Engine Marketplace. This decision proved to be very useful to us because it made us learn new techniques and the entire asset production pipeline. Looking back, we are amazed on what we did during that time since we can do better now. But our real vision was to create games that everyone can enjoy around the world. Without Epic, we wouldn't be able to do what we do today, they helped us by creating a great platform to monetize our skills and gave us a tool set that comes with everything we need to create the games we want.

Stage 3 is evolving a lot, the first time we showed it in Colombia, where we worked non-stop for 2 months to create an Action RPG game. It wasn't even called "Stage 3", it was called "Le Blank". Most of the reactions were related to the "Cool" factor and people seemed to enjoy it a lot. It was the first game we created and it served as a proof that we could make something bigger, given enough time and developing consistent discipline. And right after it, we showed it into a local convention called Mas Gamers Tech Festival where we had a blast!

This is the first teaser we made to be shown around in Colombia during the MICSUR 2016 event

A screenshot of Stage 3 in its early stages when it featured procedural generation. (Formerly called LeBlank)

A screenshot of Stage 3 in its early stages when it featured procedural generation. (Formerly called LeBlank)

Mauriccio on the left and Ramanand on the right showing Stage 3 during the MICSUR 2016 event in the Peruvian booth

Mauriccio on the left and Ramanand on the right showing Stage 3 during the MICSUR 2016 event in the Peruvian booth

From left to right: Antonny, Mauriccio, Guillermo, Andres and Ramanand during the Mas Gamers Tech Festival

From left to right: Antonny, Mauriccio, Guillermo, Andres and Ramanand during the Mas Gamers Tech Festival

Ramanand in the booth with the LeBlank banner soon to be named Stage 3

Ramanand in the booth with the LeBlank banner soon to be named Stage 3

Because 2 months wasn't enough, we developed a more polished version of the game and we went to the GDC to show it to the public and other companies. The reaction was the same as the previous version, it seemed to give the effect of "cool as hell" factor, that gave the attention of many developers and some publishers. We even got our development kit to develop Stage 3 for PlayStation!

Latest teaser for Stage 3 used in our greenlight campaign

Stage 3 screenshot showing the new art

Stage 3 screenshot showing the new art

Stage 3 screenshot showing some gameplay

Stage 3 screenshot showing some gameplay

We managed to show the brochure we made to Tim Sweeney! 

We managed to show the brochure we made to Tim Sweeney! 

Mauriccio carrying the box with the Play Station 4 dev kit in it.

Mauriccio carrying the box with the Play Station 4 dev kit in it.

After that trip, we focused entirely on the IP and reworked the game almost entirely. We reworked the characters, story and the entire world. By that time, we saw the potential of VR and we wanted to translate what we created for the Stage 3's universe into a game that is completely different from what we have tried before. This game would focus on an important character called Azaria and will introduce new characters and enemies that you will find in Stage 3.

The first time we showed Stage 3: Azaria was in a local convention called PGX. Despite being a super early version which didn't show our entire vision for the game, the people enjoyed it a lot. They even waited for 3 hours to play the game! 

Stage 3: Azaria, our new VR game

Stage 3: Azaria, our new VR game

Gameplay of Stage 3: Azaria

Gameplay of Stage 3: Azaria

Environment done for the PGX event

Environment done for the PGX event

People waiting for their turn to play the demo of Stage 3: Azaria

People waiting for their turn to play the demo of Stage 3: Azaria

A local news outlet doing Guillermo an interview

A local news outlet doing Guillermo an interview

Play testing of Stage 3: Azaria in a local convention

From young to old people both males and females enjoyed the experience. That is something very rewarding for us since it's the reason we are doing this and commit to work everyday! Hell we've even been on national TV 3 times and it encourages us a lot when the work being done is appreciated.

We are closer than ever to release the first Demo of Stage 3: Azaria and we are working very hard to deliver a great experience to you guys. It has been an amazing journey so far! We can't wait to see what other amazing things come to our life as we pursue our mission and purpose.

To contact us leave a comment below or you can send us an email at contact@unfgames.com. See you guys in the next blog post!

 

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 6: Blazing and Glazier warlocks

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 6: Blazing and Glazier warlocks

Hey everyone!

In this new development diary, we'll share some information about the fire & ice spells, as well as the lore behind them and the casters, the Blazing Warlock and the Glazier Warlock!

Blazing Warlock:  The Ebullient Scream

They are mages chosen for their pure and unstable emotions, which made them able to transform their fiery emotion into a burst of offensive magic, as one moment of big emotion can make them become the most powerful wizards for that short duration.
They can be calm as the wind, and at the next instant they can burst into an uncontrollable anger, making them unreliable teammates in the battlefield, as when they are flooded by emotions, they become emotion itself. Although they control Fire as another extension of their body, they depend on their emotions to unleash their power, and can be easily manipulated.

Here's a showcase of some of the fire spells we've been working on - They're not perfected, but there's a good example of what we want to accomplish with them.

One of the upgrades of our fire spell, is that the Fireball can be charged by rapidly putting together your hands. This makes the area of effect larger, the range increases and the damage multiplies.

Glazier Warlock: The Piercing Needle

These mages are chosen for their cautious, logical minds and emotions, which makes them able to strike on the very precise moment it is needed.

Their will never wavers, no matter the situation they always try to come up on the top. Ice magic allows them to slowly take the fight on their favor, using tactical moves like chess. Aside from magic, these Warlocks excel at manipulating allies and enemies. Their acts and emotions always try to go along to whatever situation favors them - taking things slow, and assuring their victory that way, although often overconfidence blinds them sometimes, not finishing a fight when they have the chance to.


Here's a showcase of some of the ice spells we've been working on - Like the fire spells, they're not perfected, but there's a good example of what we want to accomplish with them.

The Ice shard is an spell that when it collides with an enemy it adds a slow effect. If it collides with the floor it leaves a trace of snow which can be used to spawn an icicle by doing an upwards motion towards the desired direction.

The mages inside Unreal

Take a look at some in game screenshots of the Blazing and Glacier Warlocks inside Unreal Engine!

That's it for this week, hope you enjoyed the article!

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 5: New level design

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 5: New level design

Hey everyone!

We have some big changes going on inside Stage 3: Azaria's development. Today we'll tell you about the changes in the level design and the main objectives of the map, which are two of the most important aspects in the game. While we are changing our level design drastically, we believe it is for the best of the game; after all, it's you who are going to play it and we want you to have thousands of hours of fun with our games!

Let's begin by sharing information about the world of Stage 3, and the location where the battle takes place.

Heorogan's Castle

The universe of Stage 3 is composed of multiple families fighting for power and respect. Each one of these send their members to endure harsh training so they can become members of one of the following factions: Heiron Alliance, Viridian Resistance and Sanctum Order. Which are the main power holders in the continent. The families are recognized by the talent of their members, so the most respectful of them have very powerful members.

The Heorogan's family is the strongest in the kingdom and they possess a castle that is strategically positioned to gain advantage of the resources on their land. While controlling Azaria you will have to face Eolica Heorogan, whose army is composed of Heiron Alliance and Sanctum Order members, while trying to protect the castle's main gate.

Level design

The battle takes place in Heorogan's Castle territory and it's surrounded by giant floating islands that connect each other via magical artifacts. Before creating the art of the game we must make sure the level design has a new flow and the player finds it engaging. Let's take a look at some of the islands the player can explore.

First island

This is a 3 layer island, with height differences, designed so the player can keep track of the lower levels of the island by going to the edges. It has multiple paths to the objective on the second layer, so enemies wont be that predictable from where they will come from and they will be able to adapt to obstacle spells.

Objectives are situated on the topmost layer with spawning knights on the lowest layer and wisps on every level. The cover has been placed on the first and second level so the player can fight on these areas better.

First island blockout map

Second island

The second island has 2 entry points for knight enemies and keeps the objectives on the middle of the map. The player will need to go to the lower levels to secure a second objective, leaving the main objectives exposed to the topmost spawned enemies, keeping the player always moving on the map.

The main area is kept mostly symmetric but with some natural cover objects to make it interesting and fun.

Second island blockout map

Third island

A bridge island, it is used by the enemies to teleport between the main islands Has 3 entry/exit points and bridges that connect them, these bridges can be disabled by the player temporaly. Allowing the player to manage the waves of enemies coming at them. It has minimun cover and its not designed to be an area to fight enemies.

Third island blockout map

Modularity in art

While the game designers are focusing on making the game and levels fun, the art team is focused on trying to tell the story by creating the characters and how the world will look. At this stage, it is important to focus on modularity and the visual language that the models will translate to the player. Different forms and silhouettes give different feelings. For instance vertical lines give a sense of stability like the pillars of Greek columns or other architecture elements; while horizontal lines give a sense of peace, just like watching the ocean when there is a sunset.

When working on games, it is important to be as efficient as possible. You never know how the assets you create are going to be used in the game so the best you can do is to create pieces that by themselves don't make much impact but together can create something interesting. This is the beauty of creating worlds in games and it's where your creativity shines!

These are some of the pieces we are using to create architecture for Stage 3:

These simple pieces may seem that they won't do much impact in the world, but these are some of the combinations that can be made if used creatively:

As you can see, just by using six 3D models we can create a wide range of architectural elements. When these combined with the power of materials in Unreal Engine, the possibilities are endless! If you want to know more about how we are using materials to create art you can check our article here

We hope you enjoyed reading the article and learned more about how we are creating our games! That's it for this week newsletter, there are more awesome content coming up soon so stay tuned. If you wish to ask anything about the game or about the development don't be shy and let us know by the comments below. Until next week!

 

 

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 4: Using Megascans and Unreal Engine 4

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Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 4: Using Megascans and Unreal Engine 4

Hey everyone! In this dev diary we want to share with you one of our workflows to texture our worlds using Quixel's Megascans and integrating it with Unreal Engine!

What are Megascans?

Megascans is a service provided by Quixel to access a huge library of photo scanned materials. We have been using Quixel for quite some time and we absolutely love everything about it!

Megascans library

We start off by downloading the material we wish in our library. The great thing about this service is that once you purchase the material you can download it forever even if you are no longer a subscriber.

Once you download the material, Megascans Bridge will automatically detect the file and add it to your computer library.

After that, you can export the textures to any program you wish to use. In this case we are using Unreal Engine. The good thing about it, is that it will automatically calibrate the textures which is very important when working with Physically Based Rendering.

We just need to import the textures to Unreal Engine. For our workflow, we are using 3 textures for each material: albedo, mask and normals. The mask stores grayscales textures in each channel, in our case we are storing: roughness, displacement and ambient occlusion. Note that the mask compression settings need to be "Mask" in order to get all the values accurately.

Material Library

Material libraries are super important in game development. They provide a non destructive workflow, fast iterations and can add incredibly amount of detail to your models. They are basically materials stored as Material Functions which you can then drag and drop into a Material and blend them with other materials. 

Creating the material function

The materials should be really simple because it can scale up really quickly when you put more materials on top on another. Like your typical material we will connect the texture inputs to their respective channels but we will take care of some stuff that will be useful to us in the long run.

Overview of the material function

This material connects all the texture inputs into their respective channels but have some useful UV tiling system that we will use for all the models we create in our game.

Tile setup

We just need to use the Object Radius to detect the size of our model. This will take care of the texel density of the 3d model regardless if it's too big or too small. Since we don't want to deal with decimals, we just want to divide it by a number to make the Tiling input a little more user friendly.

The rest of the material looks like this:

We could get more complex but like we stated above, we want to keep it simple. We just want 2 inputs: The material and the displacement mask. As for the albedo, we want to tint it in case we want to change the color later. One thing to keep in mind is that we are using a Constant Clamp to assure that the values don't go below 0 or above 1. This will make sure that the material properties don't break the energy conservation which is very important to achieve realistic materials.

After creating some materials and importing some textures from Megascans you can build a library like this:

The next step is to create our master material to apply it to our models.

Materials

The great thing about working with material libraries, is that we just can drag and drop them into our material and we can blend them between other materials! For instance we can just create 2 materials just by creating some inputs.

After that, is just a matter of creating a blend between those materials and use the vertex colors of the model to blend between those using Layered Materials.

Let's apply it to a simple sphere and see how it looks like.

The texture will tile depending on the object radius, so we won't see that much pixels even if we zoom in really close. You can always add Detail Texturing, if you wish to know more about it you can read more on our Optimization article.

After that is just a matter of paint the vertex colors using Mesh Paint Mode. After doing the same process with all the materials you wish to blend, you can create some cool materials and have the illusion of really complex surfaces even on simple models!

Mesh with vertex painting

RBG vertex color mode on

That's it for this article we hope you find it useful and apply this technique to your projects! If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out to us in the comments!

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