THE HUM NEEDS YOU

THE HUM NEEDS YOU

Hey everybody!

I’ve released the Kickstarter campaign for The Hum!

I will be updating it with trailers, screenshots, video blogs and more! In less than two weeks, I will be at Gamescom 2014 too!

The Hum is being developed with loooot of effort and passion, so this campaign was made for help us to work 100% full time (500% actually!) on the game and to improve the most as possible the art and the gameplay adding work from very experimented people from big projects.

I’m so excited with all this and with all the support that The Hum is receiving since months ago. I just cannot thank you enought.

Let’s make this happens!

Ariel

The Hum Demo

In the last weeks we were aiming to bring a VR demo of The Hum to Gamescom 2014 at cologne, in next August. The project is very on rails, growing everyday and more live than ever  but, many factors made me to decide that the best decision is not to show a public VR demo of The Hum at Gamescom.

In first place, our Oculus DK2 has not even shipped. The good new is that Oculus confirmed to me that our shipping has been already processed and will be effective soon  but, sadly, we will not receive the  kit before our travel to Cologne for Gamescom. I was meditating a lot about to show or not to show the game with our DK1 and now I’m sure that it would be a mistake.

The Hum is being very focused to be a strong and impressive VR experience and, even if Oculus DK1 is a great first step, I’m pretty sure that it will not be the expected experience for audience and even for us. Since we switched to Unreal Engine 4, The Hum has been improved a lot in visual qualitiy and I think that you should enjoy what we have in hands in the better way as possible.

Another good reason for this delay is that we have been adding many great stuff to the game in this last months. We bought great tools like Quixel Suite or Substance Painter that helped us A LOT to improve the graphic quality of the game.

We are just a few people making The Hum. It is usual to find myself making 3D, painting textures or animating stuff even if I’m the only programmer on the project. But even with all this effort and lack of budget, I want to bring to you the best alien game that you ever played. And if this means to delay a demo some weeks, it’s not that terrible!

We will travel to Gamescom anyway and we’ll be in our stand at bussiness area showing stuff and samples and giving interviews to press. I promise that I’ll be sharing a demo and showing The Hum in another big international event as soon as we have everything setted up for it, and I’m very sure that it will be this same year. I’m very hyped with what Oculus DK2 can offers to game developers and gamers, and I really want to join to the new era of gaming and VR in the best way.

I really appreciate all the kindly words and support from people that The Hum has been receiving this last weeks and be sure that we are working very hard on this project!

Ariel

 

 

 

 

The Hum’s Inspirations III: Terminator 2

terminator2bacapcropped1

 

Hasta la vista, baby

How to forget that line!  I was only 9 when I saw Terminator 2 for the first time. At that time, I didn’t even watched T1 yet, but I still got shocked by the movie. It had everything: cold mind robots,  absolutelly hopeless future, a fantastic OST, the end of the world and, of course, a gorgeous Sarah Connor.

 

SarahConnors001

Guess how I will call my daughter ..

For years, I wanted to play a game that could honor Terminator 2, but it never happened. Then, some time ago, I discovered a fan made game of  Terminator made with UDK  and just fell in love with it. Sadly, as I remember, it was cancelled.

Terminator 2 is a powerful inspiration for me in the making of The Hum. All the apocalypse ambience, all the hopelessness and even some tint/color reference are so much stuck in my mind since the 90′s and I hope that, in my own way, The Hum could be a tribute to T2.

 

terminator-2-nuke-attack

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Incredible scene. I still get goosebumps

Developing The Hum: part 1- Unreal Engine 4 –

Hi everybody! I’ve been very busy the last few weeks, so this update is very late. Many people are asking me about how the development of The Hum is going, and many people are interested on knowing more details about Unreal Engine 4, about development techniques I use for AI, for procedural generation of levels, materials, etc.

That’s why I wanted to start writing some articles/posts about that, and I will do it as long I have the time to do so =P.

I will start talking a little about Unreal Engine 4 and the typical things of it’s process.

Unreal Engine 4 as Engine, my experiences in these months

I will not talk in depth about UE4, but just tell you a little about my experience in developing of The Hum with it.

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Visuals?

Basically, UE4 is great for visuals. The light rendering is great, at least for indoors. For outdoors, you will need to tweak some things, and find a way to display good godlights (because you still need to use meshes for that).

There are a lot of options and features you will need to learn about before achieving something great, but by default the effects are very good. UE4 contains a lot of options for lightning, a lot of work behind materials, a lot of work with reflections, post-processing, etc. With “a lot”, I don’t want to mean that this a messy pipeline , quite the contrary, I found that UE4 has a very good workflow with art assets. What I’m trying to say, it’s that it’s not magic, you need to know how everything works.

And, of course the engine is not everything. You always will need a great team of artists working on the visuals. But the engine allows your team to achieve really, really great stuff.

There is, still, many things that I miss from Unity3D, like camera render depth or more file format support. But everything is doable with some workarounds or custom plugins / work.

Programming

UE4 uses C++ on the programming end. It can be great for some people and a torture for most of the mortals who come in with some higher level languages. The good side is that C++ is , of course, a great language, very powerful. The bad side is that it’s a very ugly one, at least for me. It’s very understandable, of course, and things like pain with pointers are not a problem if you have a good background, but still, things like declaring headers, long and very ugly sentences/syntax, long compile times and many other “details” play against what indies want: a fast workflow and fast solutions for your project.

We are using C++ for some things like plugins for rendering, editor extensions, Blueprint extensions, or complex data types / processing logic that are not very reacheable from blueprints.

Blueprints

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Blueprints are many things. You can think them as “prefabs” from Unity in some aspects, as containers of elements, as independent modules of logic and, of course, as a visual programming solution. A very good one. To be honest, I was never before faced with a visual solution that I liked, but I learned to love UE4 blueprints.

Blueprints are very simple to understand, even for non-programmers. In fact, they are very utilized by artists and level designers. But even as a programmer, they are just great! You can prototype and make high level logic for elements very, very fast. You can make editor tools too, using “Construction Script” blueprints.

In The Hum, we are using Blueprints for A LOT of things. Almost every element, item or interactive object works with a blueprint behind. Most of the player logic is made with blueprints. The ambientation elements like sky, weather, event distpatchers, visual effects handlers and many other things are blueprints working as a huge system. Many parts of AI are blueprints (the most complex is still C++), the animations are handled by animation blueprints, and so on.

We use blueprints for procedural generations and level generation too. For example, the buildings, the walls, the roads, the debrises and some props, are being made with construction scripts’s blueprints inside the editor and tuned up until they seem cool for us.

And, if the base blueprints aren’t good enough for something we want to do, then we just extend them with C++. It’s magic!

UIs

For interfaces, at the moment, we are making tests with Corehent UI, which looks pretty good, But I will make updates about this in the future.

Consoles and VR

At the moment, we still didn’t test on consoles. We are aiming to PS4 in the next weeks after Gamescom, but there is still too much work to do before trying a build there.

For VR, we were using a log of Oculus Rift Dev Kit 1, and we are very, very hyped about DK2, which is being shipped in the next months. Using Oculus in UE4 is not hard at all. You don’t have a custom package like you do in Unity3D, and that should be improved, but the device still works very well. There are some ugly and annoying bugs with it, but… I cannot complain about it, we are talking about a DevKit VR and a young engine as UE4.

 

Do you want videos?

I liked a lot of videos sharing the development process using UE4 of projects like Solus, with their Solus on UE4 videos. I was thinking on doing something similar to that every so often, so you can not only see the details of development but know more about The Hum too. What do you think?

The Hum’s Inspirations: Volumen 2 – Alien Autopsy

Following the line of the last post, where I started to talk about some of the huge list of inspirations I have for The Hum, this time I will talk about this very well known video.

When I was a child (maybe 6?), there was a video that took a lot of exposure in medias, which means only TV on that time, since there was no internet for the common people 24 years ago. The video shown a supposed real footage of a Roswell’s alien being quartered by doctors in an autopsy.

Despite if the video is or not real (a lot of people talked about it and still is a topic of discussion), it was so shocking for many people, including me. I remember friends of my school talking about the video they saw in an “investigation” TV show from my country, and how they couldn’t sleep anymore. Even today and the last years that I have been working as therapist, many people bring back that video to present as a never overcome trauma.

It is very interesting how the “autopsy to the alien” video generates such a strong feeling of fear and abandonment in people, even if the alien is shown dead and as a prisoner. Maybe, what more impact cause is the realism of the tape, what makes you wonder about the reality of the alien existence and the consecuences for us, as human beings, and the huge fear of unknown generated by that.

The feeling that this video caused to many people, including me, is a very inspirational factor for The Hum, where I try to face the player against the more instintive fears, what can results in a total paralysis or a new expansion of the mind.

Above, a version of the video from Youtube!

 

 

Influences, volume 1 : The War of The Worlds (1953)

Influences, volume 1 : The War of The Worlds (1953)

The War of The Worlds (TWOW) is originally a novel from H.G. Wells, the same novel whose adaptation to radio caused to a lot of people to commit suicide because of their belief that the story was actually a real news transmission.

thehum_inspiration01Even if both the radio transmission and the novel are inspirational elements for The Hum, I need to talk about the most important adaptation for me: of course I’m talking about the 50′s movie. Please… I don’t mean Tom Cruise’s version (I will talk about it in another post =] ).

I saw TWOW for the first (and almost only) time when I was a child, at the tender age of 2. I was laying in bed, pretending to be asleep while my parents watched the movie, an old black & white terror film about aliens. The impact from that movie was so great that I still remember every detail from it, even if  I didn’t watch the move again by almost 30 years! In order to prove myself that this was true, I watched the movie again recently and I can say that, except for some bizarre scenes, I remembered everything – as I expected – from scenes, to elements and camera panning positions too!

The most shocking thing from the movie was, and will ever be, the eyes of the UFOs. Those kind of periscopes that act as laser beams as well, incinerating whatever they encounter in just milliseconds. The sounds the UFOs made (maybe too ridiculous for this era), were for my child mind very powerful. They actthehum_inspiration02ed like omnipresent reminders that the aliens are already in control and there is no escape. Just an incredible resource, which was put to good use again in the remake with Tom Cruise, where you can hear those very creepy tripod’s horns.

If we take all this into account, it’s very possible that this movie is my very first real inspiration for The Hum and it’s my desire to bring to every player the same feelings and impressions that I had when I was a child, that long time ago at night, watching creepy eyes fly over a destroyed city.

 

 

Road to Gamescom!

Road to Gamescom!

After some days of paperwork and bureaucracy, I’m so glad to announce that we will on the Gamescom 2014, which is being happening at Cologne on august.

It’s a long trip from Argentina to Germany, but we cannot just miss the famous german beer. Oh and of course, we will be bringing there a special build of The Hum with Oculus Rift, exactly the same that we are planning to release in the next months =)

 

 

Featuring The Hum in Meet the Game (with Oculus Rift!)

Meet the Game is an event that last weekend was held in Buenos Aires, designed for various game developers to showcase their work. Call it a mini PAX in Argentina. We had the pleasure of being present with The Hum surrounded by several indies jewelry and allow people to try a little scene from our game with Oculus Rift.The answer could not be better and here I share some photos!