Tuesday, 23 February 2010

23 Feb 2010 - First run in the Maxton

It's in the game!

Well, only as an initial test so far. But, after a lot of mistakes and (very) frustrating dead-ends, it is now possible to drive the Maxton Eighty-Eight around in the UDK.

The basic car test done in January laid down most of the foundations for this vehicle and the success of that is down to people like GeoDav and xXxDancexXx on the UDK forums so thanks must once again go to them. The UDK forums are here if any budding Unreal modder is reading this and doesn't know of it. Setting up vehicles in-game is a long winded and frustrating process and i've done it about half a dozen times now. I'm hoping it'll get easier for me, as I have at least one more attempt to get a vehicle in the UDK left to do.

The Maxton Eighty-Eight in UDK with basic texture, next to the UDK's Scorpion (left) and my very basic test vehicle (right)

The suspension/axle bones don't quite work in the way i'd like them to - it seems the axles rotate with the wheels - which is pretty cool in itself - but what i've defined as the 'axle' includes the Maxton's leaf-spring suspension too which means the suspension also rotates while driving. I can see two solutions to this - either adjust the weights on the rig in Maya to 'remove' the suspension from the axle, or see if settings in the vehicle's AnimTree can be adjusted.

I thought something had gone horribly wrong with the model when I tested initially to find that none of the wheels were moving. I checked and double checked the vehicle AnimTree, the naming conventions, the unreal scripts... and found that adjusting the wheelRadius in the 'Wheel' script (vehicles in UDK have a seperate script for wheels) solved the problem. The wheel radius was too big, it seems - and must have been cutting into the floor when the game started. An odd effect and a simple solution, but i'm making a note of it here because I just know i'll forget the remedy if I run into this problem again. Especially when deadlines are looming.

In other Maxton-functionality news, the rig setup rigidly follows my previous attempts to get a car in the UDK, including the naming conventions. I think that unless this causes major problems with core gameplay I will continue to follow this method. I'm not a scripter and trying to overcomplicate things will just cause more problems and a lot of wasted time.

There are some issues with the model too - some of the faces seem inverted on the wheels and undercarriage when the car is in the UDK, looking as if you can see right into them. This might be an issue with Normals on the original model in Maya (which looks fine, incidentally).I will have a look at it and see if I can solve it quickly. It's more of an annoyance than a real stumbling block... I hope.