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ND2: Update 4 “Destructible Mesh”

By October 18, 2017 No Comments
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Just a quick one today – I thought I’d try out Unreal’s Destructible Mesh functionality.As I mentioned in the last update, I wanted to add more dynamic elements to the game. With UE4’s Destructible Mesh tech being so easy to implement, I thought it wouldn’t harm to try it out.

As a side note, you may notice some strange looking particles in the video; I don’t have any plans to investigate particle systems right now, but I wanted a little more feedback from gunfire (as bullet holes weren’t rendering once the mesh was “damaged”). I did get to do something dumb though…

Unfortunately I wasn’t happy with the results. Firstly, my implementation needed a lot more work. The values I used were clearly closer to representing crumbling rock than splintered wood. Secondly, this modern procedural tech badly clashes against the retro look that I have planned for the game. And finally, it was a little buggy – sometimes hits wouldn’t register, sometimes a physics calculation would cause undesirable results, and the collision of the fragments weren’t always conducive to good navigation.

So after these experiments, it’s likely that I will investigate a more traditional method of breakable object. I’m currently thinking that state swaps will serve me well (I loved them in Half-Life 2 – that’ll be my benchmark).

Here’s a tweet to the video, and as ever, I’d appreciate any feedback, retweets or likes!

Changelist

  • Created crate mesh and set texel density of 4cm per pixel
  • Hollow crate asset (to test pipeline, texel density and destructible mesh)
  • Added test destructible mesh
  • Placeholder particle effect (mostly used to confirm a hit on a moveable mesh)

Additionally, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to work out a style for 3D assets in the game and determine the planned texel density. I started out working to 8cm per pixel, which resulted in some chunky pixels. As much as I liked how this looked in 3D and the time it would save in the long run, it wouldn’t allow for enough detail. I switched to 4cm per pixel, which highlighted a need for additional detail to better achieve a “pixel art” look; the results of which you can see below.

ND2 Destructible Crate Light ND2 Destructible Crate Dark

It’s worth noting that although the above comparison shows a before and after, I do think that both assets can be used in the game. The less detailed texture will just be used as an alternate material override. Waste nothing!

Until next time!