A Sprint to a Finish Line

Hiya! Another two weeks means another dev log for the game known as The Machine. But is that its real name? Time will tell!

Gumlin Games are working around the clock to get a vertical slice ready before Nordsken 2022, the hottest games and media conference this side of the arctic circle.

Devlog 6

Lukas “Gås” Rabhi Hallner

Dangle Meister

My focus this sprint has been on lighting and setdressing. By using Fredrik’s system for realistic simulated light sources I’ve been able to place lights which will work well with the puzzles and the electricity system.

I’ve also worked on a tool for creating wires to visually connect different machine components. I’ve created some machine components as well: a fuel tank and an engine!

A pleasantly lit alley is overgrown by numerous wires and ivy.
Lights on in every window.
A fuel tank is connected to a petrol engine. These are two new models for the game.
A tank and its engine.

Fredrik “Smörgås” Lind

Excited About Grids

The last few weeks have been fairly eventful. As we’re closing in on our deadline before Nordsken, with just a single (non feature-locked) sprint remaining, it’s all about polish, bugfixes, and detailing.

Which is what I’ve been up to, mostly! I’ve been doing lots of level design, extending and re-working parts of the map to make the game more exciting to explore, as well as pleasing to the eye.

In addition, I’ve worked on the puzzles of the game in an attempt to make them more intuitive and solvable (and less prone to lock up due to strange bugs).

Lighting has seen improvements — a struggle in itself, because we want to have lots of dynamic light in the game. Lots of textures and materials have been revised to improve performance by lowering resolutions and decreasing shader complexity.

Wall Arrays

This week I’ve made some major improvements to a system that has previously seen heavy use in development, namely the humble wall array. As we use modular wall and floor pieces to construct rooms it is appropriate to use instanced static meshes. This allows you to render large walls with a single draw call, increasing performance significantly.

What’s new is the ability to curve these instanced walls in lots of interesting shapes, as well as automatically break them up into sections to improve the quality of the shadows maps.

The versatility of the tool has become apparent, as it is now used to create everything from cabins, to rooves, to pipes. Good for performance, good for development speed, good times!

A warm light is emitted from a little greenhouse.
A settlement of red cabins and houses on the side of the massive, walking city.
Living on the edge.

Pontus “Sparkles” Andersson

He is Friends with the Birds

This sprint I have revisited some older sounds and tweaked them to better reflect the environment. This is something that might happen to more sounds in the future (depending on how our intro level looks in the end).

The majority of my work however, has been on our intro cinematic which we plan to have ready for Nordsken. The work goes steady and I’m beginning to get something of a workflow going (even though Unreal doesn’t always want to cooperate).

Simon “Vito” Gustavsson

Robot Whisperer

These weeks I have been focusing on some camera features such as camera shake and camera panning, as well as some improvements regarding the NPC and quest system.

This last day I have been working on improving the full body inverse kinematics of the giant city legs, but the struggle has been real; as there was very little documentation for the version of Unreal we are currently on (4.27).

Maybe a change to Unreal Engine 5 would fix these issues, but we will see! Have a great valpurgis!

Carl “Floof” Appelkvist

I Think PM Stands for Prime Minister?

These weeks I’ve sat with — and pulled my hair out over — build automation and automatic Steam uploads of game builds.

Many fails and trying different alternatives and this mornng i got it confirmed it worked. I also got our Steam page up for review by Valve, so keep your eyes out for that in the close future!

All in all, a really productive week. Have a happy Walpurgis and International Workers’ Day!

The shower is the perfect place to eat messy food such as oranges and peaches.

Or so I’m told. What is a peach?

~ The Gumlin

Leave a Comment