Brief Update

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to give you a quick update so you know that things are still moving, just rather slowly due to my busy schedule.

Earlier in the week I tweeted the following:

I had declared an early victory, which is something you should never do, I then realised that I had an even bigger problem.

You see, the fix above is relating to allowing the Save/Load system to restore any / all currently streamed levels in and out of memory when you reload the game. This was great because at the moment I had not handled this which meant you could save right at the end of the game, then reload your game and because the world had no memory about what levels you had loaded – you would load into nothing and just fall into the void.

Now that this was fixed, I quickly realised that my levels are being loaded in whatever order they please or in whatever way the engine discovers them. This meant that in some instances, an NPC or physics item was being loaded before the actual floor/collision had been read from disk – which meant that now these were being sacrificed to the almighty void!

This has now been fixed, as all levels are now streamed and organised based on priority, which allows me to load in critical levels first before loading in anything that “isn’t bolted down” – this seems to work and I hope that this will be one of the last biggest hurdles, for now.

By no means am I declaring victory over this system just yet, however I think that within the scope and context of the demo – we might just be able to get away with a few issues and missing features for the time being.

I will be continuing to work more on some of the remaining save & load systems, aiming to fix all the high priority ones first. I will be fixing something like how your weapons do not restore in your hands when you load the game. I won’t be fixing minor issues such as if you start to open a door, then save the game – you won’t hear the rest of the doors audio when you reload the game because I have not added the ability for all sounds to remember their last position and resume from it. I think we can all live with issues like this if it helps get this thing out the door sooner rather than later.

In other news, I got accepted into the MetaHuman Early Access – which lets me use the new tools to test making faces. I haven’t had a lot of time to play with it – but I’m very impressed with the results!

Look at my dirty teeth

How will this help? Well, I’m not 100% sure at the moment. I plan to do some testing with one of these characters and see if I can get a facial rig setup synced to any piece of random Underhell dialogue. I’ll then test it with some gestures and basic movement and see how this integrates within the game.

Please understand that I won’t be creating every single NPC from Underhell in this tool and will immediately start using them in the game. If anything, I may only end up using some of these characters as a base for something else in future. Don’t expect to see them anytime soon, but do expect a test video or something with one of these characters in for the near future.

That’s all for now. I best get back to the grind.

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