© 2013 Khoa Nguyen

Last updated: 2013-07-30


Roles and Responsibilities

Issues and Resolutions

With only a small team of only five individuals, we naturally had to be generalists in some sense.  My role on this project extended to nearly every part of the pipeline and assisting in whichever pipeline is part of the critical path; more specifically, I was mainly responsible for Lighting and SFX.


Lighting Artist

- Work with the leads to develop lighting schemes that would not only create a harmonious ambiance with the narrative and gameplay, but also guide the player along


SFX Artist

- Develop and maintain particle systems that would enhance the gameplay experience

- Work with a crowd system to populate the space


Technical Artist

- Model, UV, texture, and place assets as needed

- Work with the level designer to script enemy movements through kismet


Different Computers, Different Gamma

One of the biggest and most persistent issue we encountered was working on different computer monitors, none of which were calibrated.  Whenever we had a playtesting session, I would have to manually tweak the lights if I was there.  If not, we had to take each session with a grain of salt and understand that the complications may have come from under-lit areas.


Tweaking the numbers every time had multiple drawbacks aside from eating up time when setting up.  At one point, the art lead called me over and asked if the narrative setting had been changed from night to day.  The issue was ameliorated when I showed him the game on the computer I had been using.  By making sure that I was working from the same computer every time, we had some kind of consistent measure of the changes we made.


I used a global illumination variable to quickly tweak all the lights at once so that it would be quicker to set up the game.  Unfortunately, this only works when playing from the editor.  A feature that we ultimately decided was not part of the critical path and was left out due to time constraints, but would have enhanced the experience would have been to place an image on a start up screen and allow the player to tweak the settings themselves.


Crowd System and Documentation

At the time when we were developing Yomi, UDK had just released their newest build. We wanted to implement a crowd system to show more diversity and have an atmosphere fitting of a city.  Unfortunately, the documentation at the time only shows how to set up a crowd system for an older build and the newest build moved and renamed much of the editor regarding the crowds, at least for us since we had never made crowds before. 


After a week and a half of digging and testing, we were ready to cut the feature when I finally made some headway.  It was a small crowd using one of the shadow models I had been given wandering around aimlessly.  We kept the crowd system in the end, though we ended up not having enough time to add more types of characters in the crowd.  Aside from the large shadows, we wanted to add others such as children and folklore characters but they were cut as our modelers had more pertinent tasks.  Still the system was in place and we would just have to add other models in if we ever wanted to make the crowds more diverse.