Now that we have finished with introductions it’s time for the fun stuff! This will mark the beginning of a series of entries about our Ninja Gaiden Stage Remake project!
The first thing I want toy say is that despite all the time you spend planning your project, things can always go in a different way. What i’m about to tell you now wasn’t even a part of the original project but ended up being our first dev update! crazy…
We didn’t think of remaking the boss battle, that wasn’t planned, no, no. We just wanted to make the main stage… period, but a couple days ago (or maybe a week ago by now) we thought of including the fight because the stage alone felt incomplete. In the end it was for the best! we are very happy we did consider it because we really like the final result. We still have to model the boss, rig it, animate it…. etc, etc, etc… but that’s a challenge (accepted) we will discuss in a future entry.
The original scene is pretty simple, just one room with some tables, so we wanted to give it a little extra spark by including new elements.
The first question we had to ask ourselves was if we would create the room on the same level in UE4 or create a new one. Why? you might ask. Well… because of the lightning. It seems easy, but lightning is one of the most complex things we have faced on this learning journey. Yes, you can just throw in a couple of lights, but to make everything look good… shadows pointing the right way… get the right intensity… the right color… arghhhh… Let’s just say it’s a little harder than it seems. Besides, the main stage is an exterior environment, and this room is an interior one, so lightning is completely different for each one. At the end we decided to make it on the same level so we could test how UE4 can handle both of them at the same time (well, of course UE4 can do it, the thing was to test our abilities to do it right!)
Once we made that difficult choice we used an image from the original game as a reference to start placing the basic elements. As I said before, this scene is just one room so we didn’t spend much time on this particular task. Here you can see a short timelapse of it:
Then we started to add details, we changed the bar for a bigger one, we moved the bottles and we also changed the bar stools and the floor.
Everything was moving along very nicely! The room was almost done, but something happened… for some strange reason, all that progress didn’t got saved!! The next day everything was gone… damn! We did what we could to recover the progress, but after a while we just loose hope and started again.
They say good things can always come after a tragedy… in this case doing the room again gave us the opportunity to make it even better than the first time.
We added a board over the bar, a restroom door and some postes (always thinking in the 80’s). Some of these elements are simple textures and other are transparencies. In some cases we used decals… decals!! We didn’t know about decals until we google up a way to add detail to the environment in UE4 and the first thing to pop up was a decal tutorial. I must say that it gave us a little headache for a while. it looked so easy, but we couldn’t get them to work properly. Then we found another tutorial that explained how to use these elements the right way (if it’s useful to you, here is the link to that tutorial, thanks to Ryan Laley for that!). After that tutorial our life changed… now we can add so much details to the room and the main stage!
Finally we wanted to give a dirty atmosphere to the room by adding a steam particle (taken from the paragon assets) that resembles the smoke from a cigarette (also added on top of the bar with some astray).
At this point we can say the last part of the stage (or first story in this blog) is officially finished! Now we have to upgrade some stuff from the main stage so we can share the first version of the remake!
We hope you liked the story and we’ll see you in the next entry!