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nidalnijm

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About nidalnijm


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  • Title: Nidal Nijm


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  1. Fursan al-Aqsa Dev Blog #12 - Performance Optimization for Consoles In this article I explain the new changes I made to my custom UDK/Unreal Engine 3 to fix textures streaming on consoles and make the game run and render as intended on both PS3 and Xbox360. Hello guys (and girls)! After one intense week of work, headaches, distress, and almost throwing everything (my PC and my consoles) out the window :), I finnaly got that last map, Camp Filon, running smoothly on consoles, the way it was intended to run, as you can see in this video below: https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/28-fursan-al-aqsa-performance-test-ps3 Until now, all the gameplay features I implemented on my game, like Knife Kills, UI, Pause Menu, Game Over Screen, HeadShots Counter, and so on, if you see, I tested them on debug maps, empty maps, merely blocks, without texture, particles, or any effect. I mean, these scenarios did not represent how the final game will run.So, whenever I compiled the last map, Camp Filon, to run on PS3 and Xbox360, I discovered another bug, which I did not observe before. All the textures on the map were terrible blurry, I mean, indeed blurry to such extent that the visuals became horrible!!! I know that consoles have much limited RAM memory than PC, and specifically PS3 and Xbox360, in rough terms, they have 256MB and 512MB of RAM, respectively.What was driving me nuts is the fact that the game run fine on PC, just on consoles the textures got extremelly blurry. After searching on legacy UDK Engine forums (https://forums.epicgames.com/udk) and on UDN Network (https://docs.unrealengine.com/udk/Three/WebHome.html), I began to learn more deep about Unreal Engine 3 on Consoles. The good of developing a game alone, is that it can be a true classroom for anyone. I myself, learned a LOT on this project. Specially, whenever I began developing this game, I did not know too much about Unreal Script Programming. Now, I learned a LOT, and I am able to do many things I could not do before. Coming back to my journey, I discovered about Texture Pool in Unreal Engine 3, which, in rough terms, is kinda fixed memory space used for loading (streaming) textures to the screen. From what I understood (I may be wrong, but what matters here is that now it is working), Unreal Engine 3 throws all the textures currently loaded (which can be seen by the player view camera) inside this texture pool, and then it loads the mipmap of these textures as it is needed. The mipmaps here are kinda different versions of the same texture in different resolutions, to be loaded according the camera view distance, like, the closer the player view camera is to a texture, it will load a higher resolution of the texture, the further, it will load a lower resolution version of the texture. This is essential for performance. So what was happening? The texture pool was filled up in consoles, so it was only loading the lowest resolution of each texture (16x16). The default Texture Pool Size in UE3 is 140MB, so I increased it to 200MB and voila! Problem solved! Not yet... Again I compiled the map and did run on PS3 and Xbox360. It run beautifully and smoothly, with the textures on it`s full resolution, and the mipmaps loading correctly. However, another problem happenned, whenever I added the enemies on the map, it simply crashed the game on consoles with the error OUT_OF_MEMORY. I was already entering into despair because this problem, however, my last try, was to compress all the TGA textures of this map in photoshop using the RLE algorithm. I created a small photoshop action script to batch compress all the 465 TGA textures (diffuse, normal and specular), and was able to reduce by almost half the total size of the textures. Before compression they were 576MB, and after they turned 278MB!!! So this compression of textures compensated the increased texture pool size, allowing the game run, without crash, and with the mipmaps working flawlessly, as you could see on the above video. Finnaly, I can use this new map as a template whenever building my other maps, as I know now that I need to optimize the maps as much as I can, and keep the maps size small, just like this, for the sake of performance, and gameplay.Cheers and until next update.
  2. Fursan al-Aqsa Dev Blog #11 - Maps Showcase - Camp Filon Click here to see more Screenshots: https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/images Click here to see the Video Showcase of this environment, without gameplay (to avoid spoilers :D): https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/27-fursan-al-aqsa-camp-filon-showcase Hello my friends! Sorry for the looooong delay without posting updates. Even though I did not post here on the forums, however, I am very active on twitter, and most important, I have been working VERY HARD on this game, and will show you now some important updates and informations. First of all, I want to apologize about the release date for Episode 1 of my game. I was planning to release on may 10th because I want to send my game to Brazil Independent Games Festival (BIG), and it had a deadline for sending the game until may 11th, so I was decided to release the game one day before it, on its current state. As everyone knows, because Coronavirus, all the major gaming events were cancelled, and the same with BIG Festival. Now the deadline was extended until November. So I continued to develop my game, and build the maps (the last step on my game dev workflow). I spent the last year of 2019 working on the programming and characters animations, and from since 2018 I did not build a new map for my game (I was only building small testmaps for testing the programming and animations). So I began to build this map, Camp Filon, and I have done an upgrade on my maps building workflow, and I was able to build this map under 10 days. Because this I realized that in one month I can complete, finish designing 3 maps, which means, 3 missions (for the campaign mode), and also some extra missions using these same maps with some time of day variations. Then I came to the conclusion that would be a lot unfair from my part to release this game with only 1 map when I can add more content to make this game more playable and enjoyable by the community. For all these reasons, I decided to delay the release of this game a bit more, maybe one month, or two (no more than this), for the sake of polishing this game, adding more content, and raising the overal quality, so Fursan al-Aqsa will live up to all this hype and the community expectations, maybe this can be one of the Best Indie Games of 2020 I think I am not harming anyone with this delay, because I did not make any kind of pre-order (or the like). I am very happy with the results, and this new map which shows the final game quality, is by far the best map I ever created in Unreal Engine 3, and the next maps will be even better. Also another update, I did a complete revamp of the game`s website, made it very professional, with complete informations about the game, specs, features, and so on: https://www.fursanaqsa.com/ About the release itself, after thinking a lot, searching and re-searching, analysing various factors, I decided to go on my own even on the releasing and distribution of my game. I will be skipping marketplaces like Steam, Itch.io, and other sites and will release it on my own website, a small ecommerce system I developed with PHP Cake Framework, integrated with Paypal IPN Payments (I am a web developers with +10 years of experience creating sites and e-commerces arround the web). This is the virtual store for my game (you can`t purchase yet): https://store.fursanaqsa.com/ The reason is simple: Reduce my costs! Steam is very expensive, 30% of revenue share, added to this, is the USA Government Withdrawal whenever Steam sends money from USA to my Bank Account in Brazil, that can reach more 30% (there is no Agreement between Brazil and USA regarding this fee). Last, but not least, is the Brazillian government`s fee for receiving money from outside brazil, which can reach from 5% to 10%. And adding to this problem, is the currency conversion, which today, 1 USD is almost 6 BRL!!! So as you can see, Steam is no way for me. The only difference from Itch.io, is that their revenue share can be as low as 0%. Even then, there is still the 30% of Withdrawal and the Brazillian Fee (also the currency conversion). For all these reasons, I decided to sell my own game on my own website. This site is 100% safe, as it uses SSL Encryption by Let's Encrypt and the payments are processed by Paypal. The purchase process is very simple, there is no need to even register on this website. Just click on the buy now button and you will be redirected to Paypal Checkout Page. You login to your paypal account and make the payment. After the payment is completed, you will receive on your email (registered at Paypal) a download link for the game you purchased. This link is temporary, and expires after 3 download attempts, or after 24 hours. I know you can`t avoid piracy, and whoever wants to pirate my game will do it, regardless where I release it. It`s very easy to buy a game on steam, then just change some files and configurations, make this game a non steam game and distribute it free arround the web. I mean, steam does not avoid piracy. I personally don`t worry about piracy, because I know here on this community are awesome people who are going to support me by purchasing my game (it will be VERY CHEAP :D). So, there is no reason for me paying all these fees to steam, whenever I can pay only 5% for paypal for selling my game, and nothing more. Sorry for this long post, however, I hope you all understand me and stay HYPED with my game Cheers and until next update (Jenin, the Camp of Resistance).
  3. Now I am working on a new map for my game, based on Camp Filon, an Israeli Military Base located on the Golan Heights on the Syrian Border. This is not a replication of the real place, because I am using many Marketplaces Assets (models and textures purchased from sites like Turbosquid, Unity Assets Store, Unreal Engine Marketplace, and so on) to build this map. However, I am trying my best to make these maps have at least a similarity with the real locations. This mission will be on the best Metal Gear style, you need to invade the enemy base at night, eliminate them without being spotted. I am also doing uniform (cloth) variations for the game's protagonist, Ahmad al-Ghazzawi, just to fit the mission. For this mission, the player will be wearing a black uniform to be like a shadow on the darkness, to be a trully nightmare for his enemies. It's just a comestic thing, but I think it adds that extra degree of polishment to my game (soon I will showcase).
  4. Fursan al-Aqsa Dev Blog #10 - Updated UI - Scaleform Showcase Hello there! New update here. https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/26-fursan-al-aqsa-updated-ui On this video I show off the finished UI (User Interface) of Fursan al-Aqsa, including a basic options menu, pause menu, and a very beautifull "Game Over" screen. The UI Design was created in 3dsmax + Photoshop + Scaleform (Flash CS4). The programming was done in Action Script 2.0 + Unreal Script. I always try to make things as simple as possible. I always like to begin over a working framework instead of doing from scratch. In the case of my game's UI, I opted to use the default UDK Engine Scaleform (Flash) UI, which came and works outside the box, however, I did customize it a lot, to give my own artistic touch. The Scaleform framework is a very advanced UI solution by Autodesk, and it was used on many blockbuster games like Grand Theft Auto V and Borderlands 3 GTA V Options menu (done with Scaleform) Bordelands 3 Complete HUD (done with Scaleform) About the Options Menu, because my game runs smoothly even on the most modest of PC's (ignore the video lag, it's because bandicam capture software uses a lot of my PC's CPU and Memory), I decided to don't add options to reduce the game's graphical quality (model detail and texture size). I made it on the highest quality my PC can handle (also PS3/XBOX360). So the game run using the full quality of the assets (models and textures). About Video Resolution, as I wanted a standard framework between PC and Consoles, I decided to add only 2 Resolutions Options, which are 720p (1280x720) and 1080p (1920x1080), as both resolutions are supported on PS3 and Xbox360. Anyway, is very easy to manually change the resolution to any value by just editing the ini files (I will include a README), however, the minimum resolution for the game is 720p and all my UI Assets are in 1080p, so that means, if you run the game in 4K, in example, the UI may look blury, and on a resolution lower than 720p, the UI will be stretched. Sorry for this, but UDK/UE3 don't support responsive UI Layout. I think UE4 supports because you can create UI in HTML5. About Audio Options, I was not able to add a volume slider control (it was going to be VERY HARD and troublesome), however, I have done something more simple, which works and has a purpose. Many people who don't understand Arabic, want to have an option to turn off the game's nasheeds (arabic musics), letting only the sound effects (many claimed that this way the game would look more realistic). So I added this option, a simple button to turn off and on the game's music, letting only the SFX playing. I have done a lot of testing, and even with music on, you will be able to hear all Sound Effects arround you, as I setup the music volume on a very low level, enough for those who want enjoy listening the music, without making it overcome the Sound Effects volume. About Control Configuration, as my game's campaign mode will have many scripted sequences with specific keys assigned, I decided to don't allow changing the control's scheme (anyway, you can also manually change it only on PC by editting the ini files). Whenever you pause the game, you will see the control's scheme. Also, something very cool, is that my game is 100% compatible with Xbox360 Controller (I think even XboxOne because it uses the XInput protocol). Just plug and play. Also, you can use ANY Gamepad (I am using Nykko Airflo) through a Xbox360 Controller Emulator (I will include it with my game). And the pause menu detects what input you are using to show you the controller configuration scheme. If you are playing on PC with a Keyboard and Mouse, you will see PC Keyboard Controller Scheme. If you are playing on PC with a Xbox360 Controller, it will show you the Xbox360 Controller Scheme. And if you are playing on Consoles (PS3 or Xbox360), it will show the console's controller scheme (Playstation 3 Controller and Xbox360 Controller). I hope you all enjoy it (as I am very happy with the results). Cheers and until next update!
  5. Here is the game running on PS3 HEN (3.0.1): https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/25-fursan-al-aqsa-knife-kills-ps3-demo
  6. Before going to the last step of my dev workflow (finishing the campaign maps), I just wanted to assure that everything which I have done until now, especially the latest game updates, work flawlessly on consoles (Xbox360 and PS3). Here you can see the Weapons Showcase Testmap running flawlessly and smoothly on my RGH Xbox360. * Sorry for the video quality, as I am using an Easy Crap lol! https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/24-fursan-al-aqsa-weapons-showcase-xbox3601
  7. Finaly accomplished another task of the roadmap towards the release of #FursanAlaqsaGame. I did remake the game's menu, and I am very proud of the results. This was done in Scaleform (Adobe Flash CS4) and 3dsmax, the code behind it is ActionScript (Flash) and Unreal Script (UE3). I hope you like it. https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/23-fursan-al-aqsa-updated-menu
  8. Hello guys, Some new updates here, I hope you all enjoy. Fursan al-Aqsa Episode 1 Coming in May 10th 2020! Fursan al-Aqsa - Blades of Revenge Trailer You, Brave Hero! Get your knife and seek your revenge... The blood of the oppressed is calling you... Join the Resistance! Watch the trailer: https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/21-fursan-al-aqsa-blades-of-revenge-trailer
  9. #FursanAlaqsaGame - Updated Knife Kills System - WIP (Work in Progress) Now it's more Bloddy, Gory, Cruel. It's more @MortalKombat #Fatality #NoMercy #FinishHim https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/knife-kills-system-update-work-in-progress
  10. Hello guys. I know there are almost two weeks without any updates, but be sure I am working, and VERY HARD to finish and release the first episode untill the end of this month. However, because I have published about my game on almost 100 sites, which I need to keep updated, I only publish whenever I have some significant updates. But here on twitter (https://twitter.com/UdkUltimate) and also on IndieDB (https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque) I always post at least a new screenshot of some feature I am developing/improving. From since my last update about the Weapons, I have done basically two things. I created a new custom AI Class especially for knife kills game mode. Now you can approach the enemy from behind without being spotted, however, if you touch the enemy, or stay a long time behind him, he will realize it and shoot at you. This was done mixing Kismet (the Blueprints of UE3) with UnrealScript. I even created a custom field of view to the enemy using a trigger volume. Also, I am remaking the Knife Kills System, with updated character animations and a brand new camera animation, on the best Mortal Kombat X style. It even has the X-Ray effect! Cheers and until next update!
  11. Fursan al-Aqsa Dev Blog #9 - Making-Off Weapons and Projectile Physics In this article I discuss the technical details of how I created the weapons of my game, and how I did the physics simulations for the projectiles using Unreal Script. https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/features/fursan-al-aqsa-dev-blog-9-making-off-weapons-and-projectile-physics
  12. Fursan al-Aqsa Episode 0 Weapons Sharpen your Knife, lock and load your Gun, prepare yourself for the Battle. Holy War begins in March 2020. Select your path towards Victory or Martyrdom, because the Houris (Maidens of Paradise) are waiting you. Video: http://tiny.cc/mrnbkz
  13. In this small video I show some cool and custom pickup items I created for the #Multiplayer mode, in the best style of #RetroFPS and Classic #FPSGames like @Quake and @DOOM. Also you can see the finished HUD for Multiplayer. https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/19-multiplayer-pickups
  14. Valew meu chapa, mais um BR na área. É nóis TMJ!!! Hello guys! Just want to show off here something cool I created. A cool HeadShots Counter for the Special Ops Mode. The basic tech behind it is very simple. On the UnrealScript Class that control the enemy behaviour, I created a boolean variable called HeadShot. Then on the TakeDamage Event of the enemy UnrealScript Class I created a small function to detect which bone of the skeleton was hit by the weapon projectile (in case Head and Neck Bones). So whenever the weapon projectile hits the Head or Neck Bones, the boolean variable HeadShot is set to true (it begins the code as false). And then on Kismet there is a node which can read object properties (variables). So I simply added this node to read the variable HeadShot value, and if its true, I made increment in 1 another variable (kismet variable) which is the HeadShot Counter. So that means, each time the player shoots the head of the enemy. the HeadShot Counter will increment in one, so the player performs 3 headhsots on the enemy, the HeadShotCounter will be 3. Next step is add another counter to count total number of enemies on map. It begins by counting all enemies an add them to an array, and then add an event (Enemy Death), and each time this even occurs, one enemy will be removed fromt the array (ObjectList). So whenever this array becomes empty, that means we killed all enemyes. And after killing all the enemies, then we go there and check for the value of HeadShotsCounter variable. If I want the player to perform at least 10 HeadShots, I need to check if this variable is >= (bigger or equal) than 10. If yes, then the mission is accomplished. If it is < (less) than 10, then mission failed. It's that simple! Cheers!
  15. #FursanAlaqsaGame meets @MortalKombat! Can you guess what I am planning next to my game? Cheers! #Blood #KnifeKills #FinishHim #FlawlessVictory #Fatality
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