26 May, 2014

UE4 Tutorial: Using timeline effects in the HUD blueprint

In this tutorial we will make a HUD capable of displaying messages with some nice effect like changing color and fading out.

The best way to do animations from blueprints is to use timelines. But, as we know, Timeline is a so-called latent node and it has some limitations. For example, it can't be used inside functions and it breaks Event Receive Draw HUD.

In this tutorial I deal with this problem. The basic idea is to have a separate event that hosts the timeline for our visual effect and talks to the Draw HUD event via local variables.

Let's get started.

14 January, 2013


For the last few weeks I've been studying Unreal Development Kit (UDK). The engine is great, and the editor is relatively simple. However, it has certain drawbacks as well, small things really. But it is funny how small things can get you raging.

Just one of these, for example, is that when you want to make an interactive liquid, it's surface can only be a rectangle (FluidSurfaceActor). This issue is quite popular and been discussed on the support forum. It's not a big deal when you know about it: you just find a way around or design your game considering this limitation. But for the first time it really makes you ask: "Why? It's such a small thing, it shouldn't be like that!".

And there are many other small bits like sluggish material editor with no option to create a material somewhere else, Kismet for everything (I am a programmer, I prefer to type commands not to "draw" them), Ctrl+S to subtract geometry...

If the engine hadn't been awesome in the first place, these small issues woudn't bother much. I think it is in a human nature (or in my own nature?): if something is really cool, I want it to be perfect. And it upsets when it's not like that.

I was so moved, so I made a comic!

22 June, 2012

(Firefox) How to "fix" that ugly Roboto font in developer.android.com documentation pages?

Today I opened online Android SDK as usual and was shocked. They have replaced their body font with some kind of a blurry crap. At first I tried reading it hoping I'll get used to it, but after a whlie I became dizzy and my eyes were hurt...

So, I had to fix that in order to continue reading the documentation.

In the page source I identified the line:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=
        Roboto:regular,medium,thin,italic,mediumitalic,bold" title="roboto">

It's basically this Roboto font that makes me sick.

The easiest solution was to block fonts.googleapis.com at the system level, i.e. add fonts.googleapis.com to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file. That did work, the browser replaced missing Roboto with the default Arial (which is perfect). But I didn't want to totally disable Google Fonts API (in case if some webside uses it for actually cool looking font).

Since I am using Firefox, I checked if there are addons that can filter HTTP requests using resular expressions or wildcards. Redirector addon didn't work: it seems to redirect only URLs you enter in the address bar.

And finally BlockSite addon was just what I needed. I added the following URL to the black list:

... and enjoyed reading Arial.

Still, it is very annoying when Google adds new "looks" and "features" without giving users an opportunity to say they hate it!

PS: I switched back from Chrome to Firefox for a similar reason...

12 August, 2011

Forgotten Lands: does it make (ad)Sense?

3K visitors on my Forgotten Lands page and not a single donation so far.
I hate ads, but looks like it is the only reasonable way to get support for my project.

Registered for Google adSense, awaiting validation...

31 July, 2011

Forgotten Lands texture pack for Minecraft has been released!

Forgotten Lands is a 16x16 texture pack for Minecraft.

- It does not require any mods to run.
- Low resolution means it runs fast.
- This is the most photo-realistic texture pack available for this resolution.M
- Brightly coloured and smooth.
- Enhanced biomes: you can find autumn forests and even grow a frozen park in tundra.
- Distinctively looking ore and clay.
- Everything redesigned: terrain, mobs, items, interface.

Check out the gallery!

04 June, 2011

Discanoid update

What's new:
- Breaking blocks now requires velocity (this greatly affects Maze II mission stage and Maze II Pro achievement)
- Other minor bug fixes

30 May, 2011

Fixing ProGuard config for Android projects

This is a brief tutorial on code obfuscation for Android apps using ProGuard tool supplied with Android SDK. I had a bug related with this and solved it, so I would like to tell people about it.

Update - bug fix

It appeared that the start message hasn't been showing at all, not just after Restart button. Should be fixed by now
Also please comment to the bug report thread if you find something or if you would like make a suggestion. Any feedback is highly appreciated.

29 May, 2011

RELEASE! 1.0.5

Update 1.0.5 changes:

- Start message not displayed when level is restarted/replayed
- More Games button in Options menu linked to the Android market
- Code obfuscation fixed
- Bug fix: wall collision sound when disc has no velocity
- Bug fix: disc control after been teleported
- Other level-scripting related bugfixes

22 May, 2011

Discanoid update obfuscating obfuscation :(

1.0.3 update didn't work because of ProGuard code obfuscation.
I totally do not understand why it worked on my device and nowhere else.

Sorry about that :(

In I removed the obfuscation, so it should work fine now.