Trying my hand at game dev

Trying my hand at game dev
Photo by orva studio / Unsplash

The last few years have been been draining. The constant lockdowns along with the persistent existential threat sucked all my enthusiasm out of me. Nothing felt interesting anymore, not even gaming, one of the few joys of my life. I tried my hand at a lot of things, but nothing was interesting enough to keep me at it for long.

That is until I decided to try my hand at game development.

Now, I am a professional developer so writing code is no big thing for me. And thinking that I dove right into the murky waters. A few years back, I had tried using Unity and even made a couple of prototypes, but nothing fancy. This time, I decided that one way of keeping things interesting is to have a goal. And the goal has to be good enough to keep working towards it. So, I decided to work on a game idea that I had, slightly complicated but interesting nonetheless. And felt the Unreal Engine would be a better choice for something serious.

First, I started by researching on the tools I would need. I downloaded Unreal Engine 5 and Blender. I had some experience with Blender but that was around 9 years ago. I also downloaded Krita for designing the props. With the tools there, I started with my first Blueprint. I imported a mannequin from the UE store and realised that if I wanted to animate them, I need a gun.

So, off I went to design a carbine! And that is when I came to know about Hard Surface workflows in Blender. And it brought me such happiness! Learning about the non destructive workflows for modelling reminded me about all the CAD software I had used in the past (I have a background in Mechanical Engineering).

But that joy was short lived as I soon found all the difficulties around using only booleans. The biggest pain being bevelling. Applying a bevel to an edge that underwent a boolean operation is possible, but I can't modify the edge weight of such an edge. And it has been making me mad. I keep thinking how easy it would have been in a CAD program like an ex I can't forget about.

The edges cut with a boolean cutter can't be given weights without applying the boolean

But, I really don't want to give up and start modelling in a CAD right now. I really want to do this the "right" way and it seems like no one uses a CAD for game development. So, once I find the resolve to apply the cutter, I will do it and then bevel manually.

I don't think programming the game is going to be as challenging for me as the other tasks like modelling. This gun itself has already taken me over 2 weeks of modelling work and 2 weeks of designing in Krita. It seems like its going to take at least 2 weeks more before I am anywhere close to finish modelling it. Moreover, I am mostly working on this in my free time and weekends (I have a full time job!).

I am planning to blog about my progress in this game without giving too much away. This is the first post so expect more of them in the future.

Now back to figuring out if I can bevel that edge not destructively!