Hot days here at Hotgates as summer and development are both in full swing. Welcome friends, I’m Sutorcen and I will be your host as we take a look at what transpired during the month of June at Hotgates. Epic Games released Unreal Engine 4.12 and we take you on a tour around some of our scenes.


Unreal Engine 4.12


During our last report we talked about how we were updating our game to the Unreal Engine 4.11. Well Epic released Unreal Engine 4.12 just a few days later and the whole process started all over again. I will not bore you with technical stuff this time. But, one thing must be said, the latest update boosted the performance of Unreal Engine 4 significantly. Good news for both developers and gamers alike. We can’t wait to see all those amazing projects that are being developed right now from developers all over the world with Unreal Engine 4. Great times are ahead.


Trying to keep up with progress is not our main time consumer. This past month we continued to explore our options with the foliage system. Procedural foliage was introduced (although experimental) with 4.11 and was further tweaked in 4.12. We are still trying to make lush environments perform well on low end machines and mobile devices. Things are looking promising thanks to Unreal Engine 4.12. Grass and foliage scalability, is but one of the new features added with 4.12. Metal and an early preview of mobile rendering using the Vulkan graphics API has become available in this release too. All these plus some other features, are pushing graphics to new heights, especially for mobile devices. I am really trying hard not to talk about all the goodies Unreal Engine 4.12 introduced, but you can read all about it here if you want.


Work in progress


In Project “Mojo” our hero’s journey will take him through many different worlds. Real life locations will also play their part. This month we began work on two locations. The first, is one of the real life locations that plays a major role in the story. A mansion up in the mountains, in a remote location where our hero has his first encounters with his new life. Is he going crazy or is there something else going on? Weird things are happening while he’s asleep and our hero is not sure if they are just dreams or real. Answers and more questions will be found in that mansion.


Recreating a mansion and making it believable is a difficult task. A lot of attention must be given to details and a lot of props must be created. This means having to deal with things like furniture, tin cans, doors, windows and other exciting (I mean it) props. Exciting because of the way they must be scripted, in order for the player to interact with them. With an Interior With the help of a an interior designer we design our models to provide an immersive experience. I’m happy to share some of our early designs, to give you an idea of what we are aiming for. Keep in mind that the images shown are not indicative of the final product. It is a work in progress and most assets will probably change.


Just for fun


The second location we worked on here at Hotgates is still a prototype since we won’t be touching it any time soon. Βut, it was flowing so nicely that we decided to dress it up with some temporary meshes and lighting. It is a place where castles tower over floating islands. Were these castles built to keep some things hidden or to keep them safe? It is a dark place between worlds and it obviously has nothing to do with real life we were discussing earlier. This area will play an important role in our hero’s journey. I will not spoil it for you by telling you what goes on there. Βut, I will share with you images from it and I will let your imagination do the rest. Things will surely change when we begin work on this level but for now enjoy the view.


I will leave you with some exciting news. The Hotgates’ Tutorials section is just a few steps away from becoming a reality. Keep your eyes on this section for more info.


The thermometer here is flirting with 40°C but we got video games and summer on our mind, so we’re cool. If you are reading this from the U.S.A. I hope your Day of Freedom was filled with family, friends and fireworks! Happy Independence day. We wanted to close by saying thank you for your support, it really means a lot to us. Till next time, take care everyone.