Time for something new

I've never been a hard core gamer, only the occasional binge. That's probably why I've never looked into game development. Even back in high school when time was abundant, I never managed to completelu finish any games. Things like Diablo II were binged to death, but I dont recall getting much past level 40-50. I played many hours of StarCraft, WarCraft (not WoW) and AOE2 but never once played a campaign or story line.

A while back I got an XBox One from a collegue and set about to get some games, quickly found the monthly subscription had what I needed so that was that. Over Christmas break my daughter and I nearly finished Lego: Undercover (she managed to save over the game at ~85% ;(), clocked in over 200 hours on rocket league and a heafty amount of time on Fallout 4. The XBox was turned off around the end of January and did not see the light of day untill about August the same year.

One thing I've always liked is strategy and/or sim games, and a guilty pleasure is dusting off the old DOS games and wasting a few hours living in the late 80's and early 90's. Police Quest, DigDug, The Incredible machine et al. One I've been playing a bit is F19 which is exactly what bought about this post. Between playing that and a change in career (tech to management), I suddenly had the urge to become and indy game dev (not quite). Initially I thought about doing something in JS. I've seen many web game engines comming about in recent times, but being a noob I started with a bit of google. Next thing I know I'm downloading Unreal Engine and doing it proper.

So my initial thought is to remake F19, maybe a bit more fancy given the power available but with a retro feel. Graphics along the lines of Minecraft perhaps. Perhaps super realistic caracteristics like speed, handling, acceleration etc. 

After searching around a bit for a plane tutorial, I found that there was a plane demo as standard and off I went. The first thing I realised is that there was no code, how hard could it be (What I now know is blueprints). It got frustrating fast. But a couple evenings on Youtube and I had a farily good idea of how they all fit together. I've been able to take the flight demo and adjust the characteristics as needed. Figured out functions, variables, timers etc. There is still much to be discovered but so far it has been pretty enjoyable. 

Current "features" implemented:

  • Removed the UFO mess as it will be first person
  • Implemented a widget for the start of the "flight computer" (yaw, pitch, roll, altitude, speed etc).
  • Aircraft characteristics are configurable, so essentially able to add different planes in the future.
  • Tracking various stats such as speed, weight, direction, altitude, distance traveled etc.
  • HUD showing all the data (mostly for debugging)

There is a lot to be done to even come close to something like F19, but for now I will focus on getting the plane to fly like a real plane. Figuring out all the details in the physics engine to bring in things like drag, wind speed, stall speed, take off and landing etc.