Sorry no new updates this week. I've been very busy these past weeks. However my schedule should clear up a bit in the following week, so expect new updates next time.
See you guys soon.
Im a homical Maniac who likes dounuts!
New York CITY!!!!!!
Joined on 9/21/07
Posted by JoSilver - 2 weeks ago
Edit: Didn't mean to make this a front page post... Opps. Better add a NSFW Tag.
As always, I'll be making a post every two weeks on what I'm up to and other arcane secrets, HERE, on Newgrounds, So be sure to check in for all the forbidden dark arts.
So I'm writing this a little earlier than usual this week because I still have a lot to do today and tomorrow. So on top of starting classes this week, (it's only one class but still plenty of work) I also started a new job last week.
My Old boss called me and asked me if I could come work for her, With the Scourge and other things, she was in desperate need of an extra hand. We met we negotiated terms and at most until the end of October she's needs me everyday, Open till close. She's been good to me as an employer so, I was willing to make a small sacrifice to help her out in her time of need.
She needed the big guns, I and I was the big guns.
So needless to say I have a lot of things to do besides just work on Project Honey lately. That doesn't mean I've stopped working on it, it's just that things are moving very slowly right now.
But that doesn't mean a I have nothing new to show. So I wanted to give you guys another breakdown of Progress so far.
In my estimates this is the breakdown of Project Honeys Progress so far.
Largely the nuts and bolts of Project Honey are all sorted out. Now I'm more or less in a Bug Squashing/Refinement phase of systems work. There are occasionally holes in the design that I need to patch up be largely project honey plays like the final game, just a handfull of missing gameplay features. There is still plenty to do as far as extra mechanical things here and there but that will be easy to implement Since core systems are pretty rock solid now.
The layout of the world is largely properly mapped out. I'm still debating on whether or not do go bigger or smaller, but given my current schedule smaller is probably the way to go. What's really left is play testing.... Lot's of play testing. Adjusting enemy placements. Pick up locations, layout tweaks. as I've said before I want project honey to be a fun game and balanced game. I don't want things to feel haphazardly placed around the world, Largely they currently are but I'm tweaking and adjusting and adding things. Moving this over here, adding a pick up where the player might need one there. testing different enemies in different formations that are unique and fun to deal with.
There is still a lot to do, But most of the layout and planning work is done. Things still feel empty, but once I start adding props, it should all come togather.
I really haven't worked on this aspect yet, but I'm almost at a place where I can say I need to. I want to have a game first, then I'll figure all that out. But with that said, I have a solid idea of the core story now and game scenario, Things will diffidently change over time but I know more then ever how it will play out.
This is a part of development that has taken a large portion of my time as of late. I'm in the process of bulking up the variety of enemies in Project Honey. My schedual was always pretty tight and I'm just one dude, palette swaps were always inevitable. However one thing I didn't want to do was just have a palette swap with little variation, I still want them to be visually unique.
Now these two designs aren't radically different but isn't exactly just a recolor of the other. I'm confident there will be plenty of variety in the final game. That said a lot of the work ahead is refining and really nailing the looks of each of Project Honey's lovely ladies.
This is a part of development, I simply have done no work on. As I've stated before I want to know exactly what assets I will need before I start that work. Really it will be quick and easy work when I get to it.
I've recently done a lot of gameplay animations for project honey. There are still a lot left to do but a good number of important ones are currently in place. Development was coming to a point where I needed to know how certain animations would work on a technical level, Things like jumping and swimming and taking damage were so elementary to getting the game working they were the first things I had worked. But I wanted enemies to taunt the player or laugh at something, or get angry or happy. or shocked. So I took the time to really figure these things out on systems level.
They are not happy with you
So far things are going great. Each Character will have unique abilities and moves so I whipped up some animations here and there. That said, there is still a lot of work to be done.
Unfortunately I haven't done any sexy animations yet, But They are not super important to have in place yet. When I start working on them I probably will want a VA or two on hand to aid in the process.
While I haven't done any sexy animations, I have done quite a bit of work on that when it comes to visual effects.
She came so hard she passed out!
There were a surprisingly large number of things to take into account trying to get the animation above alone working. For one I need to get ragdolls working in the game, a part of unreal that is a real pain in the ass. I wanted the balls and penis to dangle properly other wise they might just jiggle but not fall over and sway naturally. At the moment the game won't have ragdolls, but dangly bits work. Then I wanted characters to be dirty with cum. The solution I came up with works quite well really. I still need to flush it out more but it seems to be working with out to much issue.
Then I realized character should be able to wash off in water, and then I though... What does a cumshot look like underwater... So I had to figure out how to do that effect. It still needs some work but it seems convincing enough.
Doin' it, fishstyle!
There are still a large number effects I need to complete, I don't have any attack effect yet and there are a large number of them I need to work on.
Things are unfortunately going to slow down for Project Honey. But things are not going to stop. I'm still making progress and the next time you see Project Honey, there will be far more to show.
And with that, I'm out of news to share but,
See ya'll again soon.
Posted by JoSilver - 1 month ago
As always, I'll be making a news post on the latest of what I'm working on and other things, here on Newgrounds. Be sure to check in for all that juicy details.
Sorry for the late post and the short post, But last week was my birthday week and I took some time for myself. Me and my sister also partied pretty hard. We're getting to old for this shit. We drank for probably 2 days straight... The diarrhea and awful hangover was worth it though.
We saw Modest Mouse, and before anyone asks, I wore a mask the whole time while being super vaccinated, like a True Red Blooded American would. ( I got them Bill Gates microchips flowing through me, Makin' me a Femboi and shit!, Can't wait for my tits to come in. ) We went all around flushing queens, a bit around times square. Did a little shopping, a restaurant or two. It was a HOOT! If you got a birthday coming up I hope you guys have a bangin' birthday too.
If you missed it, I Posted this just before the partying started, I wanted to make sure I didn't leave you gals hangs this week, seeing as I was going to be drunk for most of it.
I plan on doing more with these chicks. Keep an out for it.
Next Week I'll have an update on Project Honey, I do have a lot to talk about But I'd rather save it for next time, cause then I'll have a real meaty post for you all to dig in to.
That's all I got for you this week,
See Ya'll again soon.
Posted by JoSilver - August 1st, 2021
Hey, Be sure to check here every two weeks for more news on what the flip I've been up to. Right here on Newgrounds. Don't miss out!
If there is one thing that's true, it's this. Working on any project is rarely a straight line, when it comes to making a game that comes doubly so. To say I almost ripped all my hair out would be putting my frustration lightly. I am however fortunate that I came up with solutions in the end.
Over the past two weeks my main goal has been Figuring out details for character designs and animation. My goal was to explore solutions for different character types and the general technical aspects of getting each characters working. Lately I've been shoring up my ranks with simple pallet swaps as a place holder. It makes designing new character behaviors possible without knowing exactly what the character is going to look like or have a model ready for them.
During this process I asked my self the question... What about a bird character. If I knew the kind of hell this one thought would drag me through I would have never even considered it.
Simply put, nothing much. The problem lies in the fact that each character will be sharing a large number of animations to speed up animation production.
So while designing her, I had to do so with limitations in place. For the Eyes and Mouth all I've been doing for them was simply placing a texture on them. The animation is simple but effective for a cartoony look. So given this limitation... How do I do a beak?
So I quickly put together a quick bird girl. Nothing fancy, She still needs a lot of work but the most important bit was the beak.
Simple Bird Girl.
So now I asked my self how do animate the beak. To fit in with my current scheme I tried to come up with a solution with textures. And I did after a bit of brain storming the solution came to me.
Use a texture that contains vertex displacements to animate the beak, GENIUS I SAY!
But how do I make that texture?
Usually, you use your 3D Modeling software to generate these more exotic textures, Textures such as normal maps. These textures could be done by hand but due to their technical specifications it's usually best to let a computer do it for you.
A Typical Normal Map
I'm pretty sure there is a way to generate the textures I needed in blender but I had become frustrated with blender and just decided the hell with it I'm gonna write my own software, With blackjack and hookers! The first step was building the rasterizer, lucky for me I happened to have a triangle rasterizer lying around. Then came loading in meshes and and processing them. I had decided to use a file format that blender natively supports, stanford (.ply)
The file format is simple, basically just an unbroken list of points and how they go together... Just one problem, it doesn't support The encoding of Tangents and Bi tangents...
All that tech jargon means I need to extra work to get them.
No problem right!
BEHOLD, DISPLACE-O! (Patent Pending.)
So for the less technically inclined among you, a Vertex Normal is a vector that points outward from a mesh and a tangent points along the mesh surface.
Example of Vertex Normal, Tangent, and Bi-Tangent.
All you need to know about them is that you need them to do just about everything to a 3D Mesh, from lighting to texturing, it's goes from being very useful absolutely required. and for what I was doing I needed all three.
It turns out calculating Tangents and Bi-Tangents is significantly more complicated then I had anticipated, I'm sure I could have figured out eventually, But I had already spend a few days just TRYING TO MAKE IT WORK TO NO AVAIL!
So I thought to myself why calculate something I know I can get from blender. So I opened the hood of blender and and did some good old modification to the stanford exported to include tangents and Bi tangents. Seeing as my Python as kinda garb-o and I know next to nothing about how blender works... It took a while but I got it working.
So now that I had my normal and tangents importing properly, it would turn out that not bother with them would have been just fine.... OK THEN!
I'm really quite well acquainted with Unreal Engine. I'm very comfortable working with it, Turns out I was doing something they didn't really want me to do. For anyone in the back screaming Just use morph targets, Well that is the obvious answer but, Again my solutions needed to fit what I was already doing.
So at this point, I'm already about a week into this process that I anticipated only taking a day or two to bang out in it's entirety. So I have my textures and models load up in to Unreal and it look awful. It would have been at this point that a sane man would just give up and move on... BUT NOT ME!!!
So for whatever reason my Tangent space displacement textures worked like crap... I don't know whether it's my software or Unreal, but because I can, I'll blame Unreal for now. So, I decided, fine I'll just use a world space texture what could go wrong?
So I'm pretty confident what I'm about to say is true, there is no way in unreal to modify a skinned mesh before the it is skinned, what that means is I can't displace parts of a mesh before it gets animated. Not with out MORPH TARGETS
So why is that a problem.
So I tried my solution and I looked kinda funny, I though maybe that's just the limitation of this approach, so I made the character turn, their jaw didn't follow. Yay...
So I came up with a way to fix that, But then I had my character do a more complex animation, their jaw only pointed in one direction now. Yay...
Ok so the issuse is clearly that I need to map the displacement to the skinned mesh, no big deal, BUT I WAS A VERY BIG DEAL.
I was able to sort of get that to work by find the difference between the mesh and default location but the problem is there is now way to extract any sort of rotation or scale from this process.
So at this point I had almost gave up...
So in short What i need to do is apply bone transformations to the displacement before I can apply them, but since there was now way to do this in unreal I had to pass that information to the shader some how. And that's what I ended up doing, At the moment I am passing in two bone transformations to the shader, one for the head and one for the jaw, transforming the displacements and apply them and well.
So really this was all a really long and drawn out way of saying not only will Project Honey's character be more varied but more detailed and expressive than I could have hoped.
That's all I have for you today.
And with that, see ya'll again soon.
Look at that Smile! That's a winning smile!
Posted by JoSilver - July 18th, 2021
Hey you, Be sure to visit here every two weeks to see what I'm up to. I'll be making News post detailing all my exploits and scandals. So tune in for all the goodness.
This week I'm gonna be keeping things short as Progress has been a bit slow but I'm back on a decent pace. There really have been two things that have slowed me down quite a bit... Water and Path Finding.
Water was always in the plan but path finding, not really.
Newer releases of UE4 have great built in support for water and watery things too bad I'm not using those newer releases. Project Honey is Targeting a slightly older version, Whether it was had to or chose to, either way I built a lot of Water Systems for Project Honey. Water Shading, Water Physics and water effects... It's taken quite a bit of my time and I dare say sanity. But I think you'll agree things are actually pretty decent at the moment.
I'm quite proud of... well, just all of this.
All of it goes a long way in to making the game feel immersive and fun to explore. But graphics only get you so far,
and enemies are only as good as their A.I. Or at least as functional it is.
Many games can get away with near brain dead enemies but the more I worked on Project Honey the more I realized Project Honey was not one of them. While I don't claim that the enemies in Project Honey will ever pass as "Smart" they can at least now get around easily
SHE MADE IT!
It took me a lot of time and a lot of headaches to get my A.I. to even be able to follow the player, when I got it so they can traverse the level proper... That felt good.
With all that said where am I now... Balancing. Making enemies put up a fight with out being too tough or too much of push overs. Currently I'm buried in Spreadsheets, mulling over statistics and item distributions on top of brain storming Ideas of new Enemies. I thought I could get away with maybe 8 or 10 enemies... But no, I need way more than that. The key is variety, Sure the player can go through different location but what's the point if you're still seeing the same enemies. I'm working on Rare Enemy types that will put up a fight. Previously I was incredibly limited in what I could do but now the sky's the limit.
There is an enemy that I am super proud of getting working that I wouldn't have gotten working even kinda if I hadn't buckled down and figured out a good path finding solution. Now I'm coming up with a couple of new types that I think are going quite well.
She want you dead, SO BAD!
But really I still have a lot of work to do. If you had asked my a few months ago if I was confident I could get this game done, I would have said maybe... Now, I'm feeling really good about it.
Sadly, that's all I have this week.
See y'all again soon.
Posted by JoSilver - July 5th, 2021
As always, I make posts here on Newgrounds, every two weeks all about what I'm up to, what I'm doing, what kind of weird shit I'm in to and all other goodies, So if you feel like stalking me be sure to check in to learn all my dark secrets.
I hope all of you who live in the U.S. had a nice little 4th of July. Me and the family did. It's partly the reason this post is a little late. (A day's not too late!) And if you don't live in the U.S., Hope you had a good weekend too.
This week A bulk of what I've been up to is A.I. For the most part the A.I. of the Enemies in Project Honey has been rather limited. For example, they ain't doing any kind of path finding. Mostly this was turning out fine... Until it wasn't. I've been trying to keep the Behavior of the Enemies simple and the environment they exist in simple. But my ambition quickly out grew this. One big issue was enemies running in to walls.
You see the enemies basically would just pick a random direction to run in and go until they reach a certain point. This worked well surpisingly but, Then there was an issue of them being stuck running in to walls. if they don't hit that point where they say I've gone far enough, they don't stop running. Not a big problem at all, I made it so if they don't reach their goal fast enough just stop running. Simple. But then enemies would pile up in awkward locations, I kept adding more and more rules for how the could move but none of that was changing the fact that all the were doing was running in one direction and not stopping, not avoiding obstacles, not avoiding each other, just going.
So I sat down and decided OK, they need to do acutal path finding. Fortunately UE4 has a robust path finding system But I still needed to make them follow the paths it finds. which unfortunately meant resigning the enemy behavior from the ground up. To make a long story short I'm still in the process of revamping every enemy to the new system, Which is taking some time. But other than that things have been going quite smooth.
The game world is really coming to gather and I dare say what I have so far is almost a decent game.... Almost.
But, sadly that's all I have for you today.
And with that, See Ya'll again soon.
Posted by JoSilver - June 20th, 2021
Be sure to check in on what the hey I'm up to by checking in here on Newgrounds. I'm making a news post on what I've been up to Every Two Weeks, Don't be a square, be a round.
This post is gonna be pretty short but I've recently Hit a major milestone in Project Honeys progress. The game now is playable from beginning to end....
Sure that doesn't sound like much and truthfully it really isn't. But what that ultimately means is that foundation on which I am to build the game is complete. The real meat and potato's of what people think of when they think of a game is currently in progress.
Now is when my gears shifting from engineering work to full on design work. For example I'm not asking how I can make characters move and act and what have you, I'm now asking more in depth than ever before how they move, how they interact.
In my more limited tests, some characters behaved fine, but in a more real world settings their function leaves a lot to be desired.
Now is the point where the rough sketch gets flushed out. Some might say that's when the real works starts but I say No, That's when the fun begins. I've already done the leg work. Not to say I have no more engineering to do, I've done enough iterating that core systems definetly have bugs I'm not aware of. I'm going to have to take a real deep dive weed out any potential problems now that I have a more concrete and static design.
But really It's beginning to resemble the game I hope to make.
That's All I got for now, Like I said a short post this week.
See y'all again soon.
The game is slowly, but surely, taking shape.
Posted by JoSilver - June 6th, 2021
Be sure to check in every two weeks to get all the updates on what I'm up to, right here on Newgrounds. Tell your friends and co-workers... tell your Mom('s) and or Dad('s) (Don't tell your Mom('s) and or Dad('s)!).
This week's post is gonna be a less taking about the game and how the game is going. I'm at the point in the project where I don't want to spoil too much more about the game, it's at a critical point, When the game goes from being a tech demo, to being a game. That's kinda of where I am. If I really wanted to I could probally polish it up a bit and shove it out the door, I'd be crap but I could do that. So in this post I wanted to give a bit of a break down of my progress.
As you can see below I the the main game systems are at about 85% complete. That remaining 15% is in making Project Honey in to a real fully playable game from start to end. At that point the game will offically be in alpha. That sound like there's a lot left but really I don't anticipate the Alpha Stage of Project Honey taking too long, at most a month or two I predict The best way to put it is the game will be in Beta when all those progress numbers are around 80% to 90%.
When the game is in the spit shining phase of production.
The most of my work over these past months has been in establishing key game systems. Level Loading, Character interactions, Menu and UI elements. The back end stuff that people don't really see when playing a game but feel or really feel when it's not working. The things I'm trying to figure out is what the player actually does in project honey AKA (The core game loop) That's the last bit. taking Super Mario 64/ Donkey Kong 64 for example the core game loop is collect Power Stars / Golden Bananas to unlock more levels to get more Power Stars/ Golden Bananas to unlock the final level and beat the final boss. For a game like Doom it's making your way to the end of every Level. For Grand Theft Auto it's Complete all missions.
Figuring this out is non-trivial, I could make it such that you have to make to then end of the level but the levels don't really have an end. What's the end of a level in SM64 or GTA 5. But not to worry, I'm not lost and have no Idea what to do, I think I've come up with a good Idea for Project Honey The main issue is that it requires me to rethink level structure. I've already done that once now I need to do it once more.That doesn't mean I have to throw away everything I've worked on so far it's just that I need to take the core loop in to account. I think I've come up with something that will work I just need to implement it and test it.
This was an aspect of the game that really intimated me at first. This is really my first ever game with fully 3D levels. Not that I haven't made any 3D games before, but not Levels like this.
Project Honey's Game world so far.
The game world has water and islands, cliffs and caves. It has rivers and oceans and water falls, Hills and soon enough, Mountains. Project Honey's world won't be big by games of today's standards but I want it to feel big, to feel exploreable. To feel packed with stuff for the player. For scale, in the picture above, each one of those dark spots is a large tree about, 10 meters or 30 feet tall The area in green is the game's staring area. As you play more of the map will open up, introducing new obstacles, new enemies and new things to do (PUN VERY MUCH INTENDED!)
Honestly, The design process has been going quite smooth so far, I got a lot of ideas for level Features and locations. At first I was going to break the game up in to discrete levels but I decided making one big world would be better, maybe not easier but better for the game. I think this design will suit project honey well.
As far as story is concerned I don't have one yet, I've done almost no work on writing a script for the game, Not to say I don't have and Ideas, but the story I originally came up just doesn't work with the game as it currently is anymore. In fact I'm considering changing the main protagonist... And I really like Her!
Don't you think she's cute... I think she's cute.
For example, from day one I thought about making the game a Tales of Luka game. Issue was it didn't really fit the themes, Tales of Luka is suppose to be be full of Both Sex and Violence. Project Honey is gonna be all Sex all the time, sans the Violence. Tales of Luka is Just gonna be full of Gore, while I'm know some people would love that, that's just not what Project Honey is suppose to be. So maybe the game would just not have Luka as a main protagonist but it could take place in that world. The Luka's world is Big and varied and the main story of Tales of Luka takes place in a small part of that world... Maybe it could be Luka, or maybe not, MAYBE ZANSHI! point is I have opions and the design of the game now might fit Tales of Luka better, But I have other Ideas too.
Point is I don't really know anymore what the game's story will end up being, But it's possible it might not be Ursula's story anymore.... Or maybe Ursula could be a part of Tales of Luka...? I don't know really, I still have a lot to think about. Hell all this is just me thinking out loud, I'm rambling now so I'm gonna move on.
I've said it before and I'll say it again none of my designs so far are final. But a lot of them are mostly Final. The main issue so far is I don't know what characters I will need to design since I don't have a story yet. Once I have a story settled upon I can get to work finishing up the characters. At that point I might have to redesign them all...We shall see.
Not gonna lie, I haven't made a single environmental asset that is specifically designed for Project Honey. I want to know exactly what I need before I start making anything, Things will be more efficient that way and If I need to say hire an artist to assist, I'll have a strict plan for them to follow. The last thing, I'd want to do is have some do a bunch of art for me just tell them to do something else instead.
I have begun implementing placeholder sounds and voice samples, it's an important piece of the core Game Systems, for example I have a unique sound playing when the character walks on grass and one for rock and so on a so forth, UE4 doesn't have a built in system for things like that but it has all the tools for you to make one. The Music System is probably gonna end up being the last major game system I work on.
All the animations I have now I've had for a while now, much like Environmental art I want to know exaclty what I need before I really get started. For reasons that should be obvious by now, animation is a part I don't want to rush and is going to be vital to Project Honey.
Much like Sound and Music I've started implementing rudimentary Visual effects, things such as water splashing or dirt being kicked up as you take a step. I don't for see this taking up too much time but there will be a good number of effects I will need to create and implement. But a good number of major things are already in place such as hair shading and water effects.
There are a lot of things I need to still do, but largely I know what those things are. I've found the major reason a project get's stalled, be that a game or a movie or anything really, is that no clear direction forward is ever established, Thats where I was a month or two back but now I'm begining to see the path forward much more clearly every day. So much so that I honeslty Think I can get things finished by the end of August, No promises, and please don't hold my feet to that fire, But I think it can be done.
And that's gonna be it for this week,
See ya'll again soon!
Posted by JoSilver - May 23rd, 2021
Be sure to check in on what I'm up to, Here on Newgrounds. Every two weeks I'm making a news post on what is happening with me and my jams!
I've been making large Strides with Project Honey lately. I wasn't sure how things were going to go a while back but now things are going well, For the past two weeks I've been gray-boxing the first level of Project honey. My main course of action is make the game feature complete, all levels, work out the main game loop and what have you, Then complete a total art pass of the game, and then focus on any cuts or possible additions. The more I work the more art assets I'm gonna need to make.
With that said a big thing I've been working on these past two weeks was adding tools and capabilities I need for project honey to the engine. One thing I realized I needed while working on the first level was I needed a proper river system for the game. All I could do was large body of water, usefull for something like a lake or pool but not a flowing, bending, dipping and all sorts of wiggling river.
Working on the procedurally generated rooms tech for the other game I started prototyping last week, gave me alot of confidence in my ability to generate meshes procedually so I hopped on to the problem. UE4 has a build in spline mesh tool, but I wanted something more custom to my needs. For one it only is a mesh, I can't have it automatically act as a body of water, is just a mesh.
It took me a bit of fiddling but I eventually got a custom spline mesh working. Now I can fairly quickly lay down pathways and rivers in my levels.
Dirt path made with splines.
It's not perfect, there are a good deal of places I can improve on the tech. There is a bit of texture "Scrunching" on sharp corners, it's nothing that can't be fixed but it's not a huge issue yet. but over all it works well.
Bending water way with automatic water volume generation.
The tool I created can handle a good deal of problems that can crop up with the mesh, it can clip the mesh using a rotated bounding box, This alone solves a lot possible situations, branching water rivers, Sharp bends with thin geometry. It's working very well so far.
One of the next tools I decided to take a crack at was a "Glob" Mesh... for Globs of.... stuff... This was pretty tricky but a bulk of the problem solving was handled with the spline mesh as it's bastically a spline with volume.
It's a glob... Use your imagination.
This is largely the way I model things like semen in 3D, Problem is though it's a really pain to do it by hand. And the having to animated it is another pain. It such a pain I was largely considering not animating cum shots for Project honey. I can't say for sure right now if this is the tool that's gonna make cumshots awesome, but since it's my tech I can tweak it till it's perfect.
Now I can't take credit for this one but It's basically black magic. I was just minding my own business on YouTube the other day when this video was recommended to me.
Now if you've heard of this before, lucky you because I have never heard of using signed distance fields for transparency. Let me tell you it's kinda of black magic.
The way I'm designing clothes for the character is really quite simple, I'm not modeling alot of details in the mesh. Holes and splits are Mostly done with transparency, This is the way I've been designing all the character.in Tales of Luka, it save me a lot of time and is quite flexible.
with that said jagged edges are kind of an issue with this technique, for Tales of Luka it's largely part of the asthetic but not really so much for Project Honey.
Texturing the characters for Project Honey is quite a workload. I have to use some pretty high-res textures to make things not look jaggy and pixelated. and for transparancy I have to use a REALLY High resolution texture to get rid of jaggies. I basically was using a 1k texture for the color and a 4k texture for the transparency. it was the only way to get a crisp enough look. I had to make a compromize and just use a heavily filtered alpha mask.
But now, I'm using a 512 texture for transparency, Lower than my color texture. The result largely speaks for itself.
Left: Jaggy lines with Hi-Res Texture. Right: Smooth and striaght lines with Low-Res Texture.
Close up for clarity.
Things are going really well, Next I'm going to start gray-boxing more levels I got a number of ideas, I'll see which stick and which don't. The game is a labor of love and when it's done and out I hope it shows.
With that I'm gonna leave you with a few screen caps of the first level as it is now.
See yall again real soon.
Posted by JoSilver - May 9th, 2021
Be sure to check in on what I'm up to here on Newgrounds. Here I make a news post on what I doing every two weeks so, check in for all the latest from me.
So I took a bit of break from Project Honey, I was feeling a bit burnt out. Boy I'm glad I did. Things are going good once again. There were a lot of little design things that kept me from really accomplishing anything, I'll go over a couple of issues I've solved and how things are coming along.
One of the biggest issues plaguing the project was... But what is the point of the game, not story wise, but game play wise. What is the player trying to do? I always had a decent enough Idea of that. But I'm trying to make project honey a smaller game, atleast for now. Get something that's fun and playable and sexy, and then I'll worry about making it bigger if I so choose. As it was, the game just didn't work as say a single level, quick game. And to be honest didn't work period. It was too slow, too hard, Alot of waiting around. Not enough action.
The solution was not a simple one. For one, I wanted sex to be like a minigame, do it and you get a reward. But it took so long. in order to deal with a large group, you'd have to play the same minigame over and over, not ever changing much at all, It would take a long time. I thought, well what If i made it so that multiple characters would be apart of the minigame...? Which would be fun idea, but It would increase my work load by a LOT! I'd have to make 2 character sex scenes, 3 character sex scenes.... maybe more! This was a no go. So instead I ditched the mini game. Sex just happens. you can basically skip through the whole thing if you want, take your time if want, The pace is up to the player. I made them less like the qucik time kills in God of war and more like the glory kills in Doom 2016 if that makes sense to you guys.
Next was Health. I wanted it so that in order to have sex you gotta jump on em' to open em' to you. This was fine, but It meant that the best option was to deal with enemies that were in your way first to get to the one you wanted to actually have sex with which... wasn't alot of fun and contradictory to kind the whole point of the game.
You had deplete an enemies hp before you could have sex with them. But I didn't want them to just sit around waiting, so I had them pass out after 10 or so seconds, other wise the game would be too easy and not very sporting and way to rapey for my taste. The player functioned largely in the same way. Health gets depleted, game over.
Instead I decided to change it so that if you lose all your health you get dizzy, after a few seconds you get back up with some health restored, until you run out of stamina. which point you get knock out and it's game over, same for the enemies. I also made it that you don't have to wait for health to be deplete just when the character is stunned some how, be they dizzy or just took a bonk. This way things got by much faster, there's more skill and stratagey involved and the enemies can turn the tables and have initiate sex themselves.
Over all I'd say it's more fun and better paced.
Next were a few issues are with graphics. As of version 4.26 Unreal Engine supports anisotropic shading... to bad I'm not using 4.26. 4.26 introduced a progress halting bug that as of yet has not been fixed. Early on I fell victim to it, so I switched the project to an earlier version of the engine. The reason this is an issue is hair.
Left: Old Hair Shader, Right: New Hair Shader.
Stylized rendering in UE4 is a real challenge. Not impossible mind you, it's just the engine wasn't built with that in mind. It does do hair really quite well, that is realistic hair. The problem with the built in hair shading is that it's too realistic, it looks nice but it's not what I'm going for. Also it doesn't really work for way I'm doing hair, one big piece rather then individual strands which introduces artifacts.
Built in Hair Shading, nice but not going to work for me.
Faking hair shading is actually quite easy. Get a texture for the highlights , warp it a bit based on the view and boom, hair highlights, problem is you'll also have highlights in the dark too.
Hightlights in the light and the dark
There are a lot of solutions to this problem, create a global variable that controlls the highlights so they turn off in the dark. Make it apart of the hair texture so it's less noticeable in the dark. don't use highlights for hair. But none of that was gonna work for me, I wanted a solution that complement the tools already in UE4, I want to take advantage of lights already in the scene. the solution above assumes a single light direction and a single light color and intensity. It doesn't know anything about the lights in the scene or shadows or anything like that.
It was around this point that I was basically just gonna give up on hair, it didn't work well enough or look good enough to justify it. IF ONLY THERE WAS A WAY I COULD TELL WHERE LIGHT WAS COMING FROM IN A SCENE AND HOW MUCH!
Why not raytrace?
SO i did!
1. Trace rays to relevant lights in the scene. 2. ??? 3. PROFIT
The solution was really simple, each light would contribute a small part in the light color, intensity and direction. By finding an average of all the relevant lights I could easily get decent approximation of the scene lighting, Now if tracing a bunch or rays to every light sounds expensive, That's cause it is! But by limiting my ray counts and doing some simple temporal denoising and disabling the effect on far away characters, the hit to performance is minimal. The results speak for themselves.
Correct Direction and color of highlight in the light and no highlights in the shadows.
It's a small detail but I feel it's worth it in the end.
But to close things off I wanted to share one new design I'm working on, She's one of my favs so far. No name just yet.
See y'all again soon.
No she does not resemble a character you might already be familiar with, HOW DARE YOU!