Pourquoi nous avons choisi Unreal Engine
1 day ago 0 0

Article Why we chose Unreal Engine

At first, without and engine

Back in the days of VirtualSociety Online, we made the choice not to use a game engine. VirtualSociety online being a web game, we had a few possible choices of engines, like Babylon.js1 or PlayCanvas2, but we made the choice to use only a rendering engine, ThreeJS3.

What is a game engine?

Unlike a rendering engine (like ThreeJS3), a game engine takes care of the different components of a video game, such as physics, sound mixing, inputs and outputs (keyboard, mouse, controller), etc.

Not using an engine had several advantages. First of all, it gave us the opportunity to build our own engine, perfectly adapted to our needs. At the time when VirtualSociety online was in 2D, the engine was made in a way that allowed players to create their objects directly inside the game. When we made the transition from 2D to 3D, some of the code could be kept, by integrating ThreeJS for rendering, which would not have been possible if we had used a 2D game engine.

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Revue de la semaine #8
6 days ago 2 0

Weekly review Weekly review #8

Hi folks! This week we have been working mainly on our world editor, and adding new props. As we announced last week, we will post a sneak peek every Saturday.

Object Modeling

We continued to model items for bedrooms, including a lot of toys, plushes and decorations for children's rooms on different themes. Our editor is now advanced enough that each object has indications of the different predefined styles, editable settings, how it can be magnetized to other objects, etc. We also take a lot of time to define many styles for different objects, to give them multiple appearances and allow maximum customization!

We have also dealt with various specific situations, such as ticking clocks (for the alarm clock for example), or lava lamps.

 Registration for the Game Developers Conference 2023 (GDC)

Next week, the GDC 2023 will take place in San Francisco. It's kind of the "event of the year" in the game development world. At this point, we don't have the budget to attend (tickets are expensive for a small studio, and just the trip to San Francisco for a week would drain our travel budget), but we were able to purchase tickets to attend online, so we'll be able to attend the conference next week!

We are also continuing the trainings and exchanges with the Incubateur Lorrain, which, in addition to giving us a great welcome every time (besides being nice, they always have great tea and cakes!), gives us really useful trainings!


 World Editor

Finally, we continued our progress on the world editor. This week we've been working on snapping objects, especially in specific cases of objects that need to fit together in a particular way, but we won't tell you more about that right now, you'll find out over the weeks in our videos!

Thanks for your support and see you next week!

Revue de la semaine #7
13 days ago 1 1

Weekly review Weekly review #7

Hi folks! This week, Clélie tells you about our progression in the design of the main world, we joined the Incubateur Lorrain and the Peel, and we are working on the editor!

Design of the main world

This week we had a meeting to discuss the general layout of the adventure mode map. During this meeting, we sketched out the city by dividing up the major points of interest and defining its major areas and their architectural identity. Clelie considered several key criteria in designing the map, including the city's traffic patterns for different types of locomotion that will allow players to easily access the major game areas, but also leave room for smaller, off-the-beaten-path areas to reward explorers. She also drew inspiration from the local towns in the area, as well as from Prague and Luxembourg City, to incorporate verticality into the city, creating some lovely vistas and plenty of opportunities for exploration.

We join the Incubateur Lorrain and the Peel

Last week, we made an appointment with the Incubateur Lorrain to introduce ourselves and learn a little more about what they can provide in terms of guidance and support. After a very nice meeting, they advised us to go to the selection committee the following week (this Tuesday), which meant that we had to do the application in a very short time, and have less than a week to prepare our 20 minutes pitch in front of the 30 (or so) Incubator judges.

Shortly after our presentation to the selection committee, we got a positive answer, and we are now mentored by the Incubateur Lorrain, in addition to Peel and the Inria Startup Studio. These three mentorships are complementary and allow us to have access to different formations and networks of contacts. In fact, we had our first course from the Incubateur Lorrain this Thursday, on business models.

We are very happy to benefit from these two additional accompaniments which will help us, we hope, to make a wonderful game studio! 

Progress of the world editor

Beyond the many meetings, committees and brief preparation, we were still able to make some progress on the VirtualSociety location editor. Over the next few weeks, we will show you a particular feature each week with a short video, we can't wait to show you all that!

Thanks for your support, and see you next week!

Revue de la semaine #6
20 days ago 1 0

Weekly review Weekly review #6

Hi folks! This week we spent some time doing paperwork and attending different meetings, but we also got to work on the building editor and its objects and textures. We'll tell you all about it!

Files and applications

As we had already mentioned, if we know well the creation of video games, the creation of a company is less part of our skills. Since we want to create our own video game studio (which involves creating a company, as well as producing and distributing our games on different platforms), we need help and advice on these areas. In November 2022, we joined the Inria Startup Studio, which is a first significant help for all these elements.

However, we are still looking for other complementary help (incubators, grants), which can help us on other aspects of business creation, help with the hosting of the future company (once we leave Inria), as well as allow us to get the necessary funds to continue the development of the game (in addition to the crowd-funding you can join on Patreon).

So we spent a lot of time this week on these points, we won't tell you more for the moment (until we have answers), but having access to different incubators and programs could be an inestimable help for the future!

Modeling and editor

We've resumed work on the building editor (which is one of the most complex parts of the game), and we've added several useful features, such as filtering objects by tags, a better placement system, as well as new objects for rooms, and children's toys. Nous avons également continué l'intégration des objets sur les murs courbes.

We'll show you a first sneak peek of all these new features very soon!

Textures and materials

At the time of VirtualSociety Online, we used very few textures because of the constraints of a browser-based game (in order to limit the weight of the game to the slowest internet connections). Now we can afford to use many textures to define the way materials react to light (details, reflections, etc.). We will probably do a more in-depth article on this subject.

We've been designing and preparing a lot of materials this week, which you'll be able to see very soon in the upcoming previews of new features in our building editor. Our goal is to have a consistent and complete collection of materials and patterns that can be reused in the object predefined styles.

We can't wait to show you more! Thanks for your support, and see you next week.

Revue de la semaine #5
27 days ago 1 0

Weekly review Weekly review #5

Hi folks! This week, we worked mainly on interaction animations, especially to place the player's hands correctly during certain interactions, such as opening a blind, picking up an object, etc. 

Animations and inverse kinematics

After a busy week with the 'Féru des sciences', we worked on procedural animations, used for example to make our characters grab objects correctly, turn handles, or align itself correctly on the ground. In general, the player plays different animations mixed together depending on the context: when he walks for example, several animations are mixed together depending on the direction he is going, other animations are played simultaneously for other details (such as breathing, or to change his gait depending on his mood, level of fatigue, etc.). Finally, the player's bones are moved in code to respect certain constraints, for example to adjust the height and angle of his feet according to the ground.


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