Email | Résumé

Introduction | Unreal Setup | Problems | Modeling | Breaking and Tuning | Extras and Final Product | Conclusion
With two more weeks left in the project, about all that was left was to tie up loose ends and add any extras that I could think of. Up until this point, the Durango felt like a Durango, as long as the volume was muted. She was still using the default Scorpion sounds. Thanks to a previous animation project using the original Durango model, I had a small library of engine sounds already avalible. These were edited in Adobe Soundbooth, imported into Unreal, and plugged into the code. Now when players entered the car, they were greated by the sound of an actual Durango ignition. The engine revved based on the speed of the car, and if the car "died" there was a handy sound of the transmission dying (automatic Durango's have a history with their transmissions). There was even a custom chassis squeak sound.
The original code for shooting and boosting was still left over from the Scorpion, but none of that made sense for a Durango. Boosting was removed and any onscreen cues referring to it were taken out. The primary fire was also removed, so the car wouldn't be able to shoot random projectiles out of an invisible cannon. For fun however, I restructured the secondary fire, and called it the "You just broke" function. Right clicking would now destroy the Durango and send all of it's pieces flying. This was done in hommage to how many times our family Durango broke. Yet just like in real life, she almost always finds a way to respawn.

At this point the Durango stands far apart from the Scorpion, even though she started off with the same code. She's come a long way, and it was time to give her an official title in the game. Whenever a player enters a vehicle in Unreal Tournament, they see a message stating the name of that vehicle. The Durango was still reading as "Scorpion", and at the time I had little idea on how to change that as it didn't seem apparently obvious in the code itself. It took some research, but I found that the game engine reads the weapon attached to the vehicle, and not the vehicle itself, as a pickup. Because of that, two lines of code have to be written in for a custom vehicle to have it's own name. Even though I removed the primary fire from the Durango, there was still a file being used for the secondary fire that broke the car, and adding the two lines to that file allowed "Durango" to be flashed onscreen when a player entered the car.
The last piece of custom tweaking that makes the Durango a fully functional piece of custom content was to get the head- and tail-lights working. This is where material instance constaints, or MIC's, come in handy. These are special materials that Unreal can swap in and out based on certain criteria, such as team color, or in this case, states of driving or being parked. By having an MIC with an emissive map attached to it, setting a few checkboxes, and double checking code references, this allowed Unreal to use the emissive map to make the lights glow, but only when the car was either braking or reversing. It can even vary the look between braking, which causes the entire tail-light to glow red, or reversing, which causes the smaller white bar in the tail-lights to glow by itself.
The final product was a fully functional, fully customized 2001 Durango for Unreal Tournament 3. After all of the up's and down's, it was incredibly rewarding to see the car move and behave in a way that was completely different from what I started with when using Scorpion code. It's even more rewarding because this was our Durango, and it had just been traded in a few months prior after being in our family for six years.

Desborough Designs and all included material are property of Janelle Desborough, 2011.