Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cable firing 2 - Battery Activation






I continued my development process this week by working on a mechanic where the cables can share power from one object to another, this is done through various switches in the cable actor itself that trigger on when it attaches to an object, transferring states between the connected objects.

Below I have attached screengrabs of some of the blueprint functionality I have been working on:

Cable Blueprint


This is a close up of the functionality that allows the cable to check and update the states of anything it is connected to.


This is part of the blueprint for the battery actor, which enables a state IsPowered? on a cable actor if it overlaps. 



When the cable is powered it then will power any connecting objects, in the screengrab from the Powerable Object BP above the object looks for anything that overlaps that has IsPowered? = True, if so it enables it's powered on state and fires a trigger event which activate any object I like in the scene by binding with an event dispatcher in in the level blueprint.

I made it activate a moving platform that only starts moving when I have powered on the object. This moving platform can be manipulated using construction script so I can define the beginning and end point.





Technical Reflection

This project I feel was incredibly beneficial to my progress by allowing me to experiment with some weird gameplay and have a bit more fun with the creation process. It allowed to me to try some new things in UE4 like physics constraints and I learnt a bit more about the correct way to get different blueprints to interact using interfaces, a subject I am quickly learning.

I am also trying to follow a good project framework and I used this project to get used to separating each part of the functionality into different graphs, functions as well as keeping the blueprint classes organised into their correct uses (For example, putting inputs and HUD controls in the player controller as opposed to the player character.)

Design Reflection and development as a game idea

This concept I believe can evolve in to a much more interesting game idea, with the cables acting as a great catalyst for concepting mechanics. The cables can serve a multitude of purposes, with the powerable objects mechanic allowing for a great deal of flexibility. The battery could power a huge number of different objects.

Concerning the cable actor itself, I feel like more work would have to be done with the cable component itself (the part which attaches the balls which get thrown) as it responds to physics in the scene in very horrible ways. The cable for example doesn't catch permanently on surfaces, bounces too much and the mass of the cable makes it fly around the map uncontrollably. The only way I think this could be fixed is through some really intense C++ coding with the physics engine, an area I'm nowhere near knowledgeable in. So if this prototype was made into a full game more intensive work would have to be done in this area, a programmer might have to be brought on board to assist with the physics work of the cable actor and the cables requirements in different situations.

-James

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