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Creating the Loot Boxes in Crash Force.

Our very own CG Generalist, Claudia worked on the concept and creation of our shiny new Loot boxes, that were introduced in Patch v.1.5.3105.

The first task was to create a concept of the Loot box. We took inspiration from loot boxes in Overwatch, CS:GO and various mobile game loot boxes. 

Each loot box's appearance and complexity were based on the rarity of each loot box. We have prepare a few rendered screenshots for each loot box below:

 

 

Common :     Material: Iron , Emissives: Lightblue

 

Uncommon  :  Material: Bronze , Emissives: Darkblue

 

Rare  :      Material: Silver , Emissives: Orange

 

Legendary  : Material: Gold , Emissives: Purple

 

Each Lootbox has its unique material that complements its value, and uniquely emissive colored accessories.

 

Additionally, we thought it would compliment each loot box to have its own unique way of opening and revealing their capsule holder that lies

within, as shown in the next videos:

Common Loot box:

 

Uncommon Loot box opening animation:

 

Rare Loot Box opening animation:

 

Legendary Loot Box opening animation:

 

All Loot boxes opened at once for comparison reasons:

 

 

The rigging process was fairly simple. However to be imported into Unreal Engine 4, the joints

in the rig had to be directly parented, otherwise the import would split the object into multiple

rigged objects.

 

Overall, the entire process of modeling, rigging and texturing process, required a day or two for each loot box to be completed.

 

  

Entire process of rigging (1hour) for the rare lootbox can be seen in this link:

 

Entire process of texturing for the rare lootbox can be seen in this link:

 

Graphical Changes of Crash Force

 

Since our latest patch (v.1.4.2883) we have introduced a new shader to Crash Force. This shader is applied by implementing in UE4, a post effect to both the Camera and as a Post Process Volume. The Sobel Effect of the Edge Detection and the RGB decolouration are implemented on the Volumes throughout the maps. The Grain FX and the rest of the lens artefacts have been implemented directly on the players' cameras. We chose to allocate the lens effect on the camera so we could keep things tidy.

This graphical change was implemented first in our map Aquila Plains, as you can see from the editor screenshots below:

 Aquila Plains graphic changes of Crash Force

Aquila Plains map graphical changes of Crash Force

Aquila Plains map graphical changes of Crash Force

Aquila Plains map graphic changes of Crash Force

Then Cicuma Forest (our second map) was adjusted accordingly as you can see below:

Cicuma Forest graphical changes of Crash Force 

Cicuma Forest graphical changes of Crash Force

Cicuma Forest graphical changes of Crash Force

Clava Tombs, our last map was then adjusted to match the rest of the changes of the other two maps:

 Clava Tombs graphical changes of Crash Force

Clava Tombs graphical changes of Crash Force

Clava Tombs graphical changes of Crash Force

Lastly, our Main Menu "room" was then adjusted to meet the map changes:

 Aquila Plains in game screenshot of Crash Force

Cicuma Forest in game screenshot of Crash Force

Clava Tombs in game screenshot of Crash Force

Overall, we think that this art direction really benefits Crash Force and gives it a futuristic sci-fi approach, and at the same time solves the issue of low brightness in specific areas of our maps and pops out the detail of both the hovercrafts and map.

 

We posted a small gaming clip to on Facebook to show the graphical changes in Aquila Plains :

 

Creating Crash Force - Character Part 2

 

Hello, everyone! Last time we saw how we created our hovercraft system and incorporated it in the Shooter game example provided by Unreal Engine 4. Today, we will see how the shooting system was implemented and why. First things first, the very first shot ever fired by a hovercraft in Crash Force was a "cheat". What I mean by that is we made the hovercraft "hold" a weapon on its turret and shoot it. Then, we went and created bone sockets for our weapons to fire from and assigned to each hovercraft a weapon that would be the one it would fire. We created projectiles for those weapons and handled the properties of those projectiles (i.e. damage, range, ammo, fire rate). Now, each hovercraft had a weapon it could fire. 

 

 

Playing with weapons a new suggestion came to the table. What if each hovercraft had two weapons? We fancied the idea of being able to wield two weapons instead of one, so we started walking down that avenue. We created two different weapons per hovercraft and assigned them these weapons. Then we created a slot where the equipped weapon would be held in memory, where the other one would be considered holstered or not equipped. We created the logic behind toggling weapons and firing the equipped weapon only and voilà.

 

 

 

Now all that we thought was left weapon wise, was to create different weapons for each hovercraft and assign them those weapons. This is how we created the base of our weapon system. 

Creating Crash Force – Characters Part 1

 

Hello, everyone! Characters are one of the most important parts of the game. Although Unreal Engine has a variety of different configurations you can choose from (Humanoids, Vehicles etc.) nothing really fitted exactly as we wanted it to. What we decided to do is create our own using different templates as a base.

 

Playing with different configurations it suddenly struck us. Why use cars? Why not something more spectacular? Why not hovercraft? We all liked the idea of hovercraft as vehicles for our game, so we shifted our effort to that direction. We took the basic vehicle template that Unreal provides and we started playing around to make it hover instead of rolling.

 

At first, we created some basic line tracers from the center of the hovercraft that ray cast into the terrain applying an upward force to the vehicle to keep it floating. Then we reconfigured the input controls to apply directional forces instead of rotation torque. The vehicle was floating! Our small victory was short-lived since, with the slightest directional force input, the vehicle would lose balance and tip over.

 

The problem was that the line tracers began from the center of mass of the vehicle (it’s not a hovercraft yet :p) making it extremely difficult to balance, like a monocycle with a really long seat position. We repositioned the initial line tracer and added three more to cover all the edges of the vehicle and we tried again.

 

Here is the result: 

 

 

That was way better. It still needed a lot more tweaking in order to gain the desired effect but we were on the right track. At the same time, we concluded that our hovercraft should have a weapon turret on it with its base rotating left and right. The turret should hold a number of barrels that could rotate up and down. With this structure in mind we created the skeleton of our hovercraft in a way that we could use the same bone structure for any other hovercraft there was to follow. The next step was to bind the rotation of these bones to the player input (mouse and controller) in order to make the turret/barrels rotate with mouse input. We were also creating a prototype hovercraft mesh to test these controls. Well, it didn't go as expected. 

 

Here is how it looked: 

 

The camera was completely disoriented because it was handled by two different occasions. We easily fixed this issue by attaching the camera to the back of the turret barrels. Wherever the turrets were pointing at, the camera would be pointing at. We had a good base for a hovercraft. What we needed now was to make it shoot its weapon as well. We took the Shooter game that Unreal gives as a base and we put our character in it. After tweaking for a while with different configurations we ended up with this:

 

 

 

We now had a hovercraft that could move, point its weapon, shoot and take damage. This was a solid base for us to move on. On the next part, we will see how this solid base evolved even further.

 

 

Creating Crash Force - Introduction

 

I want to tell you a story, our story, more specifically the story of our game Crash Force and how it became to be. Crash Force today is an online multiplayer arena shooting game with a lot of RPG elements where players are different hovercraft types. The thing is though that, like most things, it did not start like that. It took a lot of implementation cycles and changes along the way to becoming what it is. What I hope to do is create a roadmap of the way getting there.

 

First things first. Crash Force began its journey with a different name. Back in 2013, when our project idea first started, Crash Force was named Car Wars and it was an internship project created in European University of Cyprus. At the time, Car Wars (as the name suggests) was an idea of a game where cars will shoot each other. The first draft of the idea started forming in Unreal Development Kit (Unreal Engine 4 was not available at the time). By the end of the internship, we had created a prototype LAN-based game where cars (and a motorcycle) could move and shoot each other down with different weapons. It was a very simple concept for a month-long internship.

 

 

Upon the internship ended, we went on with our lives since we had other obligations (whether it was finishing a Bachelor’s degree or looking for work or working). The seed of Car Wars though was planted. We all had it in the back of our heads. We all wanted to resume it at some point in our lives. In February 2015, we decided to proceed with the development of Cars Wars in our own time. We were working at the time, making development harder. We scratched the original prototype and decided to try creating our game with Unity. The idea of Car Wars evolved along the way, adding gas points for a refill, different speed limits for our cars and new weapons.

 

 

Nine months later we decided that creating games was what we loved doing, and we should proceed to do that on a more professional level. After creating our company Ascanio Entertainment, we decided to start everything from the start with the correct structure and utilizing the knowledge that we had gained through our two prototypes. This journey begins with the day we started developing Crash Force in Unreal Engine 4 as a company and will continue all the way until today. Enjoy! 

 

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