DEVELOPMENT INFO

Role: SFX Designer

Team Size: 53

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Genre: Racing, Couch Co-OP

RESPONSIBILITY

Development Time: 6 months

 
  • Prototyped special effects including road wave, panning arrows, lightning, digital-     construct special effects.

  • Designed and created a lightning special effect material and blueprint for the track team to use in track hazards.

  • Designed and created car trail special effect material, particle system, and implemented the blueprint with the collaboration of the physics team.

  • Polished lightning shield effect with a particle system and material special effect to deliver a better conveyance.

  • The SFX mentioned above were cut due to game design changes.

 

GAME OVERVIEW

 

Interstellar Racing League is a fast-speed, 4 player couch co-op racing game set in the distant future. After selecting one of the four different cars, the player can race against AI or his/her friends in a vast desert, or a futuristic city while enjoying the fun of speed.

 

Material, Blueprint and Unreal Cascade

Digital-Construct Prototype

MAT_DigitalConstruct.PNG
BP_DigitalConstruct.PNG

Car Trail Prototype

MAT_CarTrailPrototype.PNG
Particle_CarTrail.PNG

Lightening

MAT_Lightening.PNG

Road Wave

MAT_Roadwave.PNG

Hologram

MAT_Hologram.PNG

POSTMORTEM

 

What Went Well

  • Gained profound understanding in Unreal Engine work pipelines

  • Developed skills to design special effects for better conveyance

  • Gained profound knowledge and practice in Unreal Material Editor for all kinds of effects

  • Improved abilities to create a particle system in Unreal Cascade which helped the conveyance

  • Successful collaboration with other teams on specific special effects’ implementation while maintaining the work schedule

Challenges

  • Lack of knowledge in graphics creates obstacles when using complex functions in the material editor. I took the following methods to improve it:

    • Use google and YouTube to find answers to my questions;

    • Follow tutorials online and try to modify the product to meet my needs;

    • Seek help from the faculty/leads/peers.

  • Miscommunication within team leads to schedule backset;

  • The sheer amount of workload generated negativity and stress among peers. Fortunately, the problem was solved with the following methods

    • Several weeks after the projects started, the team has developed a better estimation of workload and hours;

    • Every day before the end of working hours, the whole team claps to motivate the sub-teams which have completed the goal of the day;

    • The producers and team leads communicated more frequently and adjusted the expectation and schedule;

What I Learned

  • Passion helps a  person to go further.  At the beginning of this project, I was daunted by the requirement of understanding in math and graphics when it comes o making SFX. However, my passion for creating fun for players helped me keep learning even when frustrated. Eventually, I was able to deliver SFX that's met the quality standard.

  • One need to love the process of creation, rather than love the creation of one’s favorite game. To be honest, I don’t think the racing game is the best arena one level designer to develop his level design skills. However, the joy of creation applies when thinking of bringing joy and fun to players.

  • Teamwork within a big team is more than complicated. It is necessary that one always think in others’ shoes and stay patient. Miscommunication within a small group of people might result in an avalanche.

  • The method to handle pressure. Now that I understand stress is a normal thing, and it makes me grow, I can deal with stress better.