Out With The New, And In With The New, As We Get New Work To Do

Out With The New, And In With The New, As We Get New Work To Do

Everyone still here? Anybody melted? If you’re in the UK like me, you’re probably feeling sweltered. I hope you’re staying cool! Maybe paddling in a pool? Our houses aren’t build to stay chilly, but to capture heat, silly.
Ahem err, sorry, forgot this wasn’t the title, and that I don’t need to rhyme. To be honest I think this heat is sending me round the twist! Before I take leave of my last remaining sense, shall we have a looksee at what occurred over the last fortnight?

It’s been a bit chaotic, I’ll be honest. Do you remember last post when I said we were waiting on a new project kick off? Well, since then I’m pretty sure the project changed four times or more! I didn’t get to spend that much time on Unreal learning as I had hoped, because I spent a lot of my time in meetings. However eventually the die was cast, and the project decided. And you know what? It was worth the headache! It’s really cool! As per standard, I can’t really talk about it yet, but it’s a horror game with a cool tilt, and again, is very different to any other project we’ve worked on!

The turnaround on this one is pretty tight though, so I’m busting out my overtime gloves to make a head start, and giving up a few of my internal project days to get things up and running. I’m hoping I’ll be able to tell you more about that sooner than you might think!

So what can I talk about? Well, Vorp! I spent a longer-than-reasonable amount of the time I did get to spend in Unreal learning how to make PiP (Picture in Picture) work. If you remember the concept of Vorp – leaving shadows behind to Vorp to – then you may understand why I decided to have the Vorp locations appear when you choose which Vorp point to use. This proved to be unreasonably simple, and yet phenomenally confusing all at the same time. In fact, by the time I was making headway, we moved onto the new project. However I did get it this point:

Since that image I added a border so it’s easier to see and had it always centred around the player. However, I also broke the PiP blueprint and I’ve no time to fix it! As you may be able to see, the PiPs are all using the same camera to render. This is not ideal. I’ve generated some render targets in code, but I couldn’t for the life in me get them to behave. I’ll probably go back and solve it immediately when I next get the chance! A fresh head often helps! I can only live in hope.

Background for non-techies: Ok, this one may be a bit confusing, but I thought I’d try to break down what I’m talking about here. So to make a picture-in-picture on the screen, I need to draw the scene twice – once to the screen, so it displays, and once onto something in the world. Don’t worry about the order of things, it’ll hurt your head. It hurts mine.
Anyway, the way it works is that we take a camera in the world, and instead of telling it to draw onto the screen, we instead tell it to draw straight into a texture, specifically, a “Render Texture”. We can then use that texture as we would normally use textures, i.e. apply it to a material and apply that material to an object. When the game starts, that object will be drawn with a texture that is a real-time depiction of whatever the camera you use is looking at. The result is that you can draw the game, inside the game.

I’ve also taken the liberty of upgrading my graphics tablet this week. Basically, it’s just bigger. That should give me more fidelity, and reduce wobbly lines and the like. I’m expecting, as a result that this thumbnail will be worse, but hopefully subsequent ones should markedly improve as I get used to the new kit! Until then, I’m off to earn my pay check!

Matt out.

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