Our Ghosts of War - A 400km2 World War 2 Sandbox Survival Game Developed in UE4

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Pixel Perfect Polygons, May 21, 2016.

  1. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Hi Guys,

    We're developing Our Ghosts of War, an open-world survival game in the vein of projects like Ark: Survival Evolved, Rust, and DayZ, but with a World War 2 spin on the genre. As a heads up there is no crowd funding campaign, or a storefront yet, as all we're looking to do at the moment is get the word out about our game and get your feedback on what exactly you would like for this game to be.

    Our Ghosts of War is being developed by Pixel Perfect Polygons. We're a 3D artdev company that has primarily operated out of the Unreal Engine 4 forums for the better part of the last 2 years doing freelance and contract work for a number of indie and AAA companies. Eventually we finally got it in our minds to begin work on our game and after laying down the groundwork for what we wanted to dedicate our time towards, production began on Our Ghosts of War.

    Currently there are 20 individuals involved and working on a host of development assets consisting of art and code. We'll have more about each of these individuals shortly just so you have a clear idea of who exactly is doing what on the project. We'll also be posting regular progress reports from each of these individuals so there is a transparent display of what exactly the development team is up to.

    Our plan right now is to apply to Steam Greenlight later this year. When it comes to Early Access games some are some are definitely more complete than others. Others are never completed at all. For Our Ghosts of War we have decided to focus on creating a little of everything when it comes to weapons, vehicles, and characters, and put most of our efforts on creating our the most authentic depiction of Normandy, France in the history of video games heading into release.

    What does this mean for the average player? Well it means that due to having a relatively low starting budget we are forced to make some very hard choices about the content that we intend to launch Our Ghosts of War with. Trust me when we say we're proud of how far we've managed to stretch every single last dollar but even so there are limits to what we can achieve with our current budget.

    Ultimately it's a been difficult yet awesome road working on a project that we've all been passionate about and are doing our best into making some truly special. That said with our limited budget there are things we've decided to hold off on including into the game until after we launch on Steam Early Access. The money we make from our sales will then be invested back into the game to create weapons, vehicles, and other props that we unfortunately didn't have the budget to create at the moment.

    That said this is what we do intend to launch with:

    - The most authentic depiction of Normandy, France in the history of video games. We've already incorporated Satellite DEM data to launch the game with 78km2 worth of authentic Normandy terrain. It looks good. It feels real. As we move further into development we will work to increase our map size to an eventual 400km2 replica of Normandy, France. There's never been anything done on this level of scale in videogames.


    [​IMG]


    - The most authentic placement of Normandy homes, farms, and roads in the history of video games. We've done a lot of homework already and have managed to track down aerial spy photographs that cover a large portion of the Normandy hills and roads. Using these spy pictures and cross referencing them against Google Maps we can accurately place homes and roads precisely where they were in 1944. The same goes for the roads as will make them 100% accurate to where they would have been during the war. There is no other game that seeks to achieve this level of authenticity.

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    - The most authentic depiction of the Omaha Beach D-Day invasion ever. So this was hard but we've managed to secure official documents of the Germans with the blueprints of every single one of their defensive fortifications and measurements. This means that every anti-tank wall, anti-tank ditch, trench, concertina wire, and more will be created to the official specs of the German army. Furthermore we've painstakingly tracked down the blueprints of every single last bunker that was built on Omaha Beach and are working to create and place them exactly where they would have been in 1944 as the Allied forces invaded France in the largest invasion in history. Research matters.

    [​IMG]


    - Twenty launch weapons consisting of handguns, rifles, machine guns, and shotguns. As we earn more from the release of the game we will work to create additional weapons. The currently completed weapons are:

    01. 1911
    02. Luger
    03. Thompson
    04. MP40
    05. K98
    06. M1 Garand
    07. Colt Official Police
    08. Colt Commando
    09. Springfield
    10. Mauser C96
    11. MG-08

    The current weapons being modeled are:

    12. MG42
    13. Winchester M12 Trench Gun
    14. FG42

    We should have renders for all these weapons added to this thread sometime this week but this should do as a start.

    [​IMG]

    That's all for now. We should have daily updates for you guys starting tomorrow. We're ecstatic about the work we're doing and feel that's among the best of our lives. If you have any questions or feedback please don't hesitate to post and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for reading!
     
    #1 Pixel Perfect Polygons, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  2. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Started stitching together aerial spy shot references for the roads and buildings inside Unreal Engine 4. This is 3km. This is also going to take some time to finish. :(

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Pluskat Bunker WN60 - #2 Finished

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  4. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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  5. Volluskrassos

    Volluskrassos New Member

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    If you really got a company then link to its credentials. Right now you seem like a bunch (maybe 5?) of hobby kids who dont make any progress for over a year as this project exists on the unreal forum for a very long time, looking for new team members desperately all the time. So it would be best not to spoil this forum here also if youre project is bound to die anyway.
     
  6. 3ph0r

    Moderator

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    Dude. Chill! No need to be so toxic.
     
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  7. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    MG42 Work in Progress :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Character in Progress

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  9. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Hi guys. So every week our coders turn in the work they've done for that week when they invoice me. Because of our limited budget we get about 30 hours of coding in every week split between two coders. Keep in mind that just because you see us working on something here doesn't mean it's actually going to implemented for Early Access.

    For example, we mention menu flows for deathmatch below but that isn't an announcement of any kind. In that specific case we are setting up a UI flow in case we ever get around to adding a deathmatch style mode. We could then come back to it later if we develop anything worth revisiting. Honestly it would less complicated to not mention things like that that but for the sake of transparency I'm happy letting you guys get insight into our development.

    Change Log - Alpha 0.5.12.1502

    - Added initial classes for structural changes to UI framework.
    - Deprecated old Framework 1.0 code.
    - Worked on adding in functionality for going through Survival->Host/Join functionality.
    - Cleaned up use overuse of delegates.
    - Created menu flows for survival, exploration, deathmatch, and settings options
    - Base transitions to but not from implemented.
    - Deprecated more old UI Framework 1 code. Removal of Framework 1 code will begin soon.
    - Minor UI bug fixes and stability improvements.
    - Updating codebase to run UE4.12 with VXGI support.
    - Removed old Normandy map content and VSMap_01 content in order to clean up the content directory.
    - Fixed up loading editor errors from old removed referenced content.
    - Added hooks for Health, temperature, stamina, and leveling components to the BP Function Library.
    - Removed old wallpaper for welcome screen.
    - Added ambient audio to welcome screen/main menu.
    - Added title and press any key text to welcome screen.
    - Setup new map with 2 crosses as the new main menu map.
    - Setup spawn camera position to match Alireza's adjusted camera location Known Bugs/Issues
    - Iteration on our basic AI enemy. More ways to pathfind / use the navmesh have been hooked up. First pass at "Pawn Sensing", which is a pre-existing tech from UE4.7 that helps do the baseline tech for AI sensing enemies (other AI, players, whatever) via sight OR hearing (sounds at a location, i.e. footsteps, explosions, whatever).
    - Day/Night Cycle is implemented. It's off by default, but once you're running the sample map we test things on, hit "End" on your keyboard to start it. 24 seconds = 24 hours.
    - Placeholder UI art assets for Health, Stamina, and Experience appear on the right side of the screen, currently. These are beginning to be hooked up with the back-end data from the game's systems.
     
  10. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Hello. I've finished stitching together aerial spy references for what we intend to launch our game with. I've also started whiteboxing the game to get a get a general sense for scale.



    The plan is to start on the roads tomorrow. There's a road plug-in I purchased from the Unreal Engine 4 forums that does a great job of clicking roads into existence. The terrain gets disturbed a little bit but we have little choice because UE4 is pretty awful when it comes to roads. Alireza was begging to have the source code rewritten so we could have a better road tool created but it's simply not a priority if we want to have the game playable any time soon. We'll do our best to not make the terrain appear as undisturbed as possible but it's more or less a limit of UE4. Sometimes you just got to roll with the punches.



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  11. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Hello everyone,

    I've begun laying down roads across Normandy. The road plugin we're using is pretty sweet. It more or less makes placing roads as simple as pointing and clicking ((the roads follow the white dots you see in the image)). The creator of the plug-in was busy with school so he wasn't able to update it to Unreal Engine 4.12 until yesterday. The scale of the road meshes that came with the plug-in was also way too big and so we've had to shrink them down. I'll try getting that working tomorrow.

    My workflow involves comparing shots of old aerial spy shots and current Google satellite imagery. Neither are perfect. The spy shots are authentic but warped. The Google Maps are more accurate in regards to scale but plenty has changed in the last 75 years. I have to balance both and decide whether which I want to follow in any given area. Either way I'm happy with the results and will continue tomorrow. I'll keep you guys updated.

    [​IMG]
     
    #11 Pixel Perfect Polygons, Jun 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
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  12. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Aleksa finally wrapped up his M12 Trench Gun for Our Ghosts of War. How's it look? It's been in development for the past three weeks and I'm personally very happy with the results. The MG42 and a Panzer IV tank turret were also finished up this week and I'll have renders of those soon.

    I've been doing a lot of planning for the future of our firearms and I think in our final build (when we come out of Early Access) I want to have something like 128 firearms made (doesn't include things like grenades, mines, etc.). Typically it takes a good artist 40-60 hours to finish one firearm. The M12 Trench Gun was worked on part-time which is why it took as long as it did. If Aleksa was working full time it'd been finished sooner.

    My plan is that after Early Access we'd hire one weapons artist full-time (full 160 hours per month) and a second weapons artist part-time (80 hours per month). Together they'd deliver 3-4 weapons per month. These weapons would be rigged and animated as soon as possible and added to our Early Access build on the 10th of every month (along with all other updates).

    I intend to support Our Ghosts of War for a period of three years after we release on Early Access. The logic behind this is that it takes more or less any developer that long to turn out something great with enough content to justify a game's existence. After those three years have passed we would come out of Early Access with our final game.

    In that time span we can realistically create a minimum of three firearms per month. 3 firearms per month x 12 months = 36 firearms per year. 36 firearms per year x 3 years = 108 firearms over three years. 108 firearms + the 20 firearms we intend to launch with = 128 firearms total. I'll discuss how we intend to go about weapon balancing in our next update.
     
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  13. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    [​IMG]

    Some Q&A asked about our game.

    There's some debate in the team about this. Ultimately I will have final say however. The coding team wants to make Our Ghosts of War a straight up survival game with no end goal. Just perpetually online like Rust or Ark. The reasoning behind their argument is that because we're making a survival game, and survival games don't have an end goal, we should follow suit. Otherwise we're not making a survival game.

    I'm not convinced that's the right path. I think appeal of traditional survival games is waning and we'll have to do something new and fresh if we're going to maintain an audience for the next three years. I've been studying games like Xenoblade Chronicles X and Grand Theft Auto Online, among others, and thinking about how we can create something unique. I'm still sorting out the final details but generally I have a pretty fleshed out outline of what I want Our Ghosts of War to be. I'll announce more as soon I'm ready to.



    Yes. Your character is persistent so a single game could take weeks. Your character is saved on the server you make them on and you would have to reconnect to the server to access that character. It's the nearly the same system as Ark. There will be character save data associated with your character on the server and there will be player data associated with your player account. Even if you die you will never lose the player data associated with your player account.

    It won't be truly Rust-like. Generally most, but not all, current survival games are more or less The Purge simulators. This is intended to be a new take on the survival genre. I'm way more interested in doing something that focuses more on community, your friends, and your companions. You can go hungry. You can craft. Those aspects will be similar. And by all means be a troll. But if you kill a member of your army there will be ramifications for those actions. The game will react.

    They won't be naked but they won't spawn with weapons or equipment either. Limited bullets as well. They'll have to score all that stuff themselves from crafting, air drops, etc.

    Like in most survival games if a player quits out of a server their character will remain in the game world. If an enemy player comes across them they're liable to be killed and have their items stolen from them. I've designed things so this is less likely to happen at the start of the game meaning players will be able to get their bearings better than in other survival games. This also means that having your character killed later on will probably be more painful as you're likely to lose more progress and better items.
     
  14. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    [​IMG]

    Working on our mud material. Should have more to show this week.
     
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  15. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    Hello everyone. I've negotiated the involvement of an artist that contributed to Halo 5 and some other AAA games and upon hearing the internal details for what we're planning for this game, they've decided to jump aboard Our Ghosts of War. Today was their first day on the job and they've been assigned to create Point Du Hoc. This is their progress for the day. I'll keep you updated.

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    #15 Pixel Perfect Polygons, Jul 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
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  16. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    [​IMG]

    Reworked the scale a bit to make the cliffs bigger and more authentic to real life.
     
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  17. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    [​IMG]

    Important update. I've reached out to 3 artists involved in AAA development. Great all around talents whose help the project could definitely use. Although they're interested in contributing to Our Ghosts of War they're hesitant to join until we show some gameplay. So Alireza is banging out a 1024 x 1024 level that we're going to apply all our finished gameplay to. It's a simple level divided by a river in the middle.

    This level should be done in 2-3 days and then forwarded to our coders who will begin to apply all the gameplay systems they've created so far to the level. We'd then run some multiplayer tests and based on crits from inside the team we would continue to refine our gameplay.

    After reviewing performance issues, Alireza would make a new 2k map and we'd repeat the process. This is important because as we increase the scale of the game the odds of players running into each other shrinks dramatically and that's something we need to consider as it directly affects the feel of the game. Once we expand that to 400km2 the experience will become far different than something like Rust or Ark which usually have far, far smaller map sizes.
     
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  18. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So animations...

    Our plan has been to scour the net first to get the basic animations we need like walking, running, crouching, going prone, etc. Both the Unreal Marketplace and the Unity Asset Store are great resources. Retargeting purchased animations requires a skilled hand and our rigger Dragan has done a wonderful job of rising to the occasion. I couldn't be more proud to have him on the team.

    Once we incorporate all the relevant animations from the Marketplace and Asset Store we'll do an inventory of the animations that still need to be completed. With that list in hand we'll begin our hiring process to get someone on the team that could take care of that for us. We'll see how it goes although I have a few really good looking reels and portfolios bookmarked.
     
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  19. Pixel Perfect Polygons

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    [​IMG]

    Bao is working on the shaders for one of our base characters. He is still sorting out the German uniform at the moment.
     
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  20. L.C.Nohansen

    L.C.Nohansen New Member

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    Hi ! I wondered if you could tell us a little bit more about the psychological/moral implications of your game. Plenty of war games (including, and even ESPECIALLY those WW2-related) tend to put little focus on just how tough, complex, brutal, traumatizing even war actually is. The "fun" aspect, the thrill of the hunt, so to speak, or the adrenaline rush of survival, have a tendency to replace the fear, despair, sadness, boredom (war games rarely show that a soldier spends most of their time just...waiting and walking) that are inherent to war.
    Now, of course, I'm not asking you to make the game so violent and disturbing that it'll just become a joke amongst hardcore youtubers ! However, I was very curious on how you intended to implement those important (in my opinion) aspects into your game, especially since it seems to (rightfully) pride on its realism and historical accuracy.

    Another question would be how you intend to have a permanent, non-stop survival experience considering the events that took place in Normandy were set in a definite amount of time. As in, what's the game mechanic/logic behind it ?

    Anyway, the game looks like it has a really, really huge potential to be an intense, lifelike experience and I sure wish for it to live up to its ambition.
     

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