Gardens of Eden

Gardens of Eden Update 3


Hello everyone! Welcome to the third update on Gardens of Eden. It’s good to be back off of hiatus and now for an update!

First off, and perhaps most importantly, the lighting bug has been fixed. If you’ll remember, I was having issues fixing a bug that involved the lighting building in UE4. In short, it just wouldn’t build. Instead, it would get stuck at 0% and never progress past it. The quick version of how to fix it is: in your Unreal Projects Folder, change the map name while making sure the editor and the launcher are closed. I also changed the project name here just for good measure.

On to the update!

Here is a more detailed walkthrough of the updates I implemented recently:

What’s going on in the octagon?


Well, I removed the spinning blocks. They just weren’t quite working. The quick spinning version looked… uncomfortable. And the slow spinning one didn’t actually contribute much of a challenge or reinforce the learned mechanics. So instead we now have a little bit wider jump. As you can see in the video, I have to get a bit of a running start before I can make it across. The area on the other side is also raised, so if a player falls in the river they will have no hope of escaping and will have to go with the tide.


As for the tower, I completed the stairs! What I mean by that is the jumps. The jumps get progressively more and more difficult without being too frustrating. For the first few times the player falls through the stairs, if they miss, they will land on the floor directly below them. This way they won’t get too discouraged and annoyed by being punished, and can try again quickly. The final jump though is larger and the player can fall down two floors if they mess it up, but it’s unlikely. For more info on how this works please enjoy my video. Additionally, the player can jump into the crack in the wall and use that as a middle ground to go to the next set of steps.

The temporary lighting in it just makes me think about the future, like how I’m going to create torches to light the player’s way. I’ve got to finish up some of the terrain, the rivers need to flow somewhere, add collision to the walls, and add in the tree and river. Soon we’ll start beautifying the area.

Next week we’ll talk about something more mobile game centric. I’ll see you then!


The Spinning Box Dilemma!

Hey guys,

Sorry about last week, I wasn’t able to access the site due to technical difficulties. Then again, being out of town definitely wasn’t helping much.  I know the plan was to do a piece on Dory’s parents this week, but I don’t think it is quite ready yet. I think it needs a little more love before I put it up. So I hope to get it up next week. Instead, this week I want to talk about spinning blocks.

Technically, this is an update on Gardens of Eden. Since it is going to be so small though, I didn’t want to call it a formal update.

As you can see from the two-minute video, I’m messing around with the concept of the rotating blocks on the side of the wall. I’m trying to decide what would be a better experience: a longer block that constantly spins at a slow speed or a shorter block that will alternate between rapidly spinning and staying still.

Side note: In the video, I don’t mention the slower moving block being longer but I think that would work to increase the difficulty while keeping the smooth look.

I’m looking for feedback and second opinions as I work on other parts of GoE. Thoughts?

Thank you,


Gardens of Eden Update #2

Well, I got caught up on a bug, which is a little embarrassing, but let’s focus on the positive for now!

This week, I spent a little bit of time just setting up the project. Using the First person shooter Template, I created a small field, and started blocking out some of the area. My first goal was to set up the tower. Initially, I set up a giant cylinder. I wanted to check the size and how far I could see into the distance. Because a big part of my game is based on this first view of the world, I wanted to make sure the player could see far enough to be enticed to explore.

Just a lonely hollowed out tower. If you’ll notice I have the player view in the window on the bottom right.

The next step was building the walls around the tower. I wanted to make sure the distance between the tower and the wall didn’t feel claustrophobic, so I modeled that around the size of the tower. I ran a few times through the area just to make sure the distance didn’t feel too far away or too close. After much tweaking, I think I found a happy medium.

I hid the tower so you can get a good look at the steps. I adjusted the player's jumping ability to make sure they can make it over the blocks and later for the steps as well. A lot of testing is going into the feel of movement because, being the most used mechanic, it needs to feel amazing. 

Next, I wanted to model some stairs for the tower. Since I am just blocking things out at the moment, I decided to use the spiral staircase within UE4 for now. I’ve played a little bit with it to get a good feel for it, and started adding in the different jumps the player will have to experience throughout the stairway climb.

Here’s a shot of all three pieces separated.

This is where it began to get a little tricky because I ran into an interesting bug. The lighting won’t build. For whatever reason the lighting won’t show up on the things that should be lit. This isn’t a new issue. It just isn’t something I’ve had to deal with for a long time. So, I made a mistake and spent too much time focusing on trying to fix it because I found it incredibly difficult to test the stairs without lighting.

Here’s a shot of the pieces combined. Unfortunately, it looks weird because of the lighting isn’t building. Also the ones here are static meshes I created instead of BSP brushes like in the previous images.

So that’s pretty much it for this week. Next time I post an update for Garden of Eden, I hope to have the forest filled out a little bit, as well as get the water around the tower put in. I also hope to have the stairs put into the tower and have the spinning blocks included as well.

Next week, we’re going to be spending some time looking into the character design for a certain forgetful fish’s parents. The week after that will be the next Gardens of Eden update, and the week after I’ll be taking a look at Gameloft’s Disney Magic Kingdoms.

See you next week,