Preview of Origin Story’s Environment (Pre-Alpha)

We released this a month ago but decided that we should recategorize this into the videos section as well. We’ve been working diligently on the natural environment. You’ll find that we’ve added oceans, lakes rivers, caves, trees, grass, bushes, mushrooms, and more!

We’ve also listed the names of each zone that can be found on the continent of Adagio.



We plan on improving the lighting, adding environment audio, adding more animation to the water materials and cleaning up “floating” objects from the foliage editor. Sometimes stuff doesn’t full align when using the foliage tools and it leaves you with mystical trees that float in thin air…which is not the most desired effect. Are we the only ones that have this issue? What other environments would you like to see in Origin Story?

How To Make a Simple Crystal Material In Unreal 4

By Zac Jackson


While working on the materials for some of the crystal formations in Origin Story, I was having a difficult time narrowing down simple crystal material. I found plenty of complex and complicated material tutorials that would work great for crystals, but we wanted something more simplistic. So I figured, why not write a tutorial on it? This one will be quick and easy!


  • Unreal 4
  • Some knowledge of Unreal’s blueprint system


Step 1: Open up your project and create a new material by right-clicking in the content browser and selecting “Material”. In the example below, I named it “M_crystal”. Double click on the material, this will open up the material blueprint window.




Step 2: Once we are in the material blueprint window, we will first need to choose the color of our crystal. To do this, we will need to make a constant. Right click anywhere on the blueprint and type “constant” without quotes, into the search field. After you’ve found it, click on Constant3Vector.



Step 3: Now that we have our Constant3Vector we need to assign the color of our crystal to it. In the details pane of the material, there is a section called the “Material Expression Constant 3Vector” If you click on the solid black line it will open up a color selection window. I chose a light blue for this tutorial, but really you can choose whatever you’d like.



Next, we need to connect the Constant3Vector to the base color. click and hold the small white dot in the top right of the Constant and drag it to the base color.



Step 4: Right-click anywhere on the blueprint and add another constant. This time though, we only need a single Constant and not a Constant3Vector. Connect the Constant to Metallic and also to Roughness.



Step 5: We need to add light refraction. To do this, create another Constant and connecting it to Refraction. Change the value of the Constant to 2.42 as that is the actual index of refraction for real crystals.

NOTE: Refraction won’t work unless you make your material translucent. I didn’t plan on making my material translucent, but if you want to achieve a slightly different effect, do so and read “Another Option: Make it Translucent” below.



Step 6: Hit the “Apply” button in the top left of the screen and then close the M_Crystal material blueprint window.

Step 7: Time to test it out! Drag a cube on to the level from the Modes menu, under basic. Then drag your material from the content browser on top of the cube to apply it.



A cube doesn’t look much like a crystal, so I recommend using a model of one to really see what this material looks like.



There are some additional options here that we can do to our material if we’d like more variety.

Another Option: Make Glowing Crystals!

Say we want our crystals to be in a cave, and because of that, we want them to glow to add to the atmosphere of the game.

Step 1: Add another Constant3Vector to your material blueprint. Also, add a regular Constant and a “Multiply” node.



Step 2: Once you have them in, we need to connect the Constant3Vector to the “A” of the Multiply node. Then connect the Constant to the “B” of the Multiply node. After, connect the Multiply node to the “Emissive Color”.



Step 3: Now you can mess with the Constant3Vector to change the color of the glow, and the Regular constant is the intensity of the glow. So that we do not confuse this later, you can highlight the constant by clicking on it, and then clicking the “c” button on your keyboard to leave a comment. For this example, I’m going to set the glow to a deep purple, and the intensity to 10.



As you can see in the preview window, my material now how a purple glow it to it.

Step 4: Hit the apply window and you are done!



This is how mine turned out. I had to cover the opening up on the template level to block out the sun and set the intensity of the light source to be much lower to really get the full effect of a cave here, but that’s because of the way I was rendering the lighting. I would recommend rendering the lighting after you’ve done this to see the full effect. You can also add a light object to the crystal to really make it glow!


Another Option: Make it Translucent!

You can achieve a different look by changing the material to be translucent and adding a little bit of opacity.

NOTE: You can either leave the emissive glow that we previously made or disconnect it for a completely different look. For the sake of this tutorial, I removed it from my material.

Step 1: Add another constant to your material, and set the Material expressions constant in the details window to 0.7. After that, connect it to the “Opacity” node.


crystal tut 2


Step 2: Deselect the Constant, and go to the Details tab of the material. Under Material, Change the blend mode to Translucent.


crystal tut 3


You’ll notice now that The Refraction node now lights up, as well as the Opacity node. Your Material should now look something like this when applied to a mesh:


crystal tut 1

Additional Resources For Making Crystal Material

If you are looking for a more complex material I recommend this crystal material tutorial from Blueprint Games.

Don’t have a crystal to test your new material on and want to make your own? You can use Blender and follow this simple crystal modelling tutorial from Michael Novelo.

Benefits of Using Unity for 3D Game Development

By Sunny Chawla

As a game developer, you have a ton of options in regards to picking a game engine. The determination runs the range from straightforward 2D engines to completely highlighted 3D powerhouses. With such huge numbers of choices, it can be hard to pick the engine that is appropriate for your venture. Mike Geig clarifies why he thinks the Unity game engine is the best decision.

The video game industry is a behemoth chugging along at full throttle and shows no signs backing off. I will disclose to you something that you most likely know already: Making video games takes a ton of work, aptitude, and commitment. It isn’t all fun circumstances and gatherings like in the films (I’m looking at you, Grandma’s Boy). As a game developer, you have a considerable measure of choices with regards to picking a game engine. Game engines’ expenses can quickly add up to a great many dollars. With many alternatives, it can be hard to pick the engine that is ideal for your undertaking. Here is why I think you should utilize the Unity game engine.

What is the Unity Game Engine?

It was made by Unity Technologies in 2004 as an improvement tool for their game, GooBall. It was later propelled in 2005 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Today, the Unity game engine flies under the flag of “democratizing game advancement and empowering everybody to make rich intelligent 3D content,” as indicated on Unity’s  website. It is evaluated that there are more than 1.3 million enrolled Unity developers (do names like Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, LEGO, or NASA ring a bell?) and that there is more than 300,000 dynamic developers month to month. A 2012 review led by video game magazine Game Developer expresses that 53.1% of portable developers detailed utilizing Unity to make games. Whether you’re an indie developer or looking for a development job, development Unity is a valuable skill to learn.


Unity’s Ease of Use

The principal thing you will see when you make an undertaking in Unity is how visual everything is. This is an engine that concentrates a great deal on improving the game advancement work process, and no place is that more clear than with the Unity Editor.


Screenshot of the Unity interface. Courtesy of Unity.


If you’ve never worked with a game engine with a visual editorial manager, you’ll be astounded at how quickly it enables you to fabricate and alter your tasks. Need to move a thing a little to one side? You can click in the scene and drag your question. Done! Need to perceive how this question acts with new properties? Simply look to the investigator window. Shazam! The Unity editorial manager even goes so far as to run the game itself in the game window for quick testing.

Believe me when I say that the capacity to run your game while seeing the properties and areas of all articles in the scene is an intense and efficient element. You may ponder internally: “No canned arrangement can be utilized for my work process. It is exceptional and one of a kind simply like me!” Well, Negative Nancy, let me disclose to you that the Unity supervisor can be effectively stretched out to incorporate exclusively specific tools and modules. These tools and modules can be incorporated into the Unity interface.


The Power of Scripting

There are a considerable number game engines that have a visual manager. However, many of these engines do not have the power required to manufacture huge or complex games because of their canned way to deal with practices. With Unity, question practices aren’t constrained to work in modules that come bundled with the engine. Rather, Unity takes into consideration effective practices written in any of three powerful dialects: JavaScript, C#, and Boo. Each of the three languages can be utilized inside of an undertaking to permit individuals of various innovation foundations to add to a venture. The way that the languages are utilized as contents takes into account quick assembly times, snappy cycles, and adaptability of the plan.



One Source to Rule Them All!

Perhaps the greatest component of the Unity engine is the capacity to construct your ventures throughout various stages on multiple systems with minimal difficulty. With simple and straightforward determination of a drop-down menu, Unity can work for Windows PC, Linux (new with form 4), iOS (with module), Mac, Android (with module), Web Browser, Flash (with module), PS3, Xbox, and Wii U. This allows developers to invest more energy into enhancing the nature of their tasks and take less time on porting it to various gadgets.


Unity 5 works on 21 different platforms. Courtesy of Hexus.

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

No matter how easy an interface is to use, inevitably, developers will get stuck somewhere. Fortunately, Unity has a dynamic and bolstered community. Unity’s forums are an incredible place to make inquiries, get direction, examine best practices, help other people, and even hotshot a bit. Searching for a more organized way to deal with taking an interest in the community? Unity Answers is an administration that honors “karma” and identifications for good inquiries asked and replied. It is a more social approach than your common Q&A site.

There is also the Unity resource store, which is completely coordinated into the proofreader and gives a way to individuals to share or even offer their uniquely designed substance. This enables you to procure visual assets without having to make them yourself.



Evaluating and Licenses

Numerous engines today accompany extraordinary sticker prices or muddled installment designs. Numerous engines don’t have any costs recorded and long quote exchanges must occur to decide real figures. Unity doesn’t do any of that and rather just comes in two fundamental flavors: Unity Free and Unity Pro. Unity Free is obviously free (my favorite number) and isn’t some diluted, gimped form of the engine. It accompanies the greater part of the highlights you would need to make games that can sell commercially.

In the event that you might want a portion of the more expert highlights like LOD Support, Path-finding, or IK Rigs. You can buy the Unity Pro permit for $1,500. This may appear like a great deal to an individual simply getting into the field, but the upfront cost pays off in the long run by avoiding paying a percentage of profits like with the Unreal Engine.


Let’s Talk Games

At this point, you may ponder who is utilizing Unity and what precisely they are utilizing it for. As specified above, Unity has a fairly extensive enrolled client base. Numerous expansive organizations and non-mainstream players alike have found the power and flexibility of the Unity engine. What you may not know is that there are non-gaming organizations that utilize the engine too. Unity is being utilized for research, recreation, and exhibition by organizations everywhere throughout the world. In the event that you go to Unity’s game exhibition, you can see a portion of the astonishing games effectively made with the Unity game engine. 

About the Author

Sunny Chawla is a Marketing Manager at Alliance International IT – a Web design and Development Company. Helping global businesses with unique and engaging tools for their business. He would love to share thoughts on Unity 3d Game Development, Digital Marketing Services, Web Designing, and mobile app development.


*Editor’s Note: The opinions of guest posters are their own and not the official opinion of Game Borough. In fact, we don’t have an official opinion, we’re more interested in yours!

Origin Story Dev Blog 001: The Beginning!

We here at Game Borough are more than just a site for tutorials and the latest news in indie games. We actually develop our own games as well! Our first title release (currently in very early development) is Origin Story. Origin Story will be an MMO, but not your typical WoW clone.

Origin Story? Tell Us More!

To start, this game will be brutal. Have you played Dark Souls? That’s how hard we want enemy encounters to be. Why? Because we want our player base to hate us! Just kidding, it’s actually because we want there to be more sense of accomplishment within MMO’s.

Most MMO’s that are out on the market currently focus on one important concept, the level grind. Day in, day out, slaying of mobs in order to level up to max, so that you can get into the “end game” content. We want to do away with that, and create a world where adventuring out into the unknown, is just as important as honing your skills. We want to implement a different kind of leveling, one in which is not a grind and isn’t a prerequisite to end game content.

Another thing that a lot of MMO’s do is simple targeting. You can click on a mob, hit your frost bolt spell, and no matter what, the frost bolt will hit its target. THIS IS LAZY. We feel that if you are truly skilled, then you should have to aim that spell. This is where the skill cap is getting raised.

Most MMO’s are currently moving towards a structure where you grind out the same piece of gear, over and over, just to get better stats on it. This is also extremely lazy on the development end and makes owning a specific set of armor seem meaningless. I understand that creating hundreds, if not thousands of armors and weapons is tedious and takes a lot of resources, but it’s an integral part of developing a diverse world. For that, we want the armor you are wearing to mean something. Do you remember vanilla World of Warcraft? You’d waltz into Stormwind, or any other major city and see that one guy, who had all the Naxx (level 60 Naxx was VERY hard) gear and just be in awe of how awesome they were. Gear meant something, not just the stats, but in social status. We want that again.

How Did Development Start?

The game itself started in humble beginnings, much like we are now with Game Borough. Development started in the Construct 2 engine. It was HTML based so that we could release it through browser, allowing us to widen the demographic that would be able to play the game.

2D development is tedious, every animation has to be done frame by frame, pixel by pixel. I put together an entire zone that took about 10 minutes to run through and featured castle ruins, 2 towns, random spawning birds and bugs, a day/night system and more, all on the HTML platform. Things were looking great. We were very satisfied with how the game was turning out, but we started to hit a wall.

This wall was the limitations of the engine we were using. For starters, It was extremely difficult to set up server-side systems. Implementing “instances” for multiple people to play on at once was definitely doable, but hard to achieve correctly. Somehow, we were also running into a game speed issue. The code in the game was getting so complex that the game itself started running SUPER slow. This was due to the fact that “on every tick” the system had to account for the position of every 2D object. When you have 2k+ objects in one level, this starts to get increasingly difficult for the engine to keep up with. Sure, there are ways that you can low the memory usage by making it so that things only spawn when you are close to them, but that limits the multiplayer capability quite a bit.

Now don’t get me wrong, Construct is a great engine if you are looking to create 2D mobile games or simple HTML browser games. It’s very powerful for projects that are more simple in design. However, because of the wall we were hitting, we decided to drop 2D development, and move to 3D. That’s when we started working in the Unreal 4 Engine.

The Unreal 4 Engine

Now you may be asking yourself “but why? You were so far in the 2D development process, why give up on it now?”. To clarify, we only gave up on the 2D engine itself. The game, the items, and concepts behind it, are some of the easier parts to code in. We knew that if we were ever going to make the jump to a 3D platform, it should be now. You see, none of us have ever developed a game in 3D, or Unreal for that matter. So this is a big step. We chose the Unreal Engine because of its capability for a beginner learning the engine.

The first couple of weeks were tedious and downright frustrating. The difference between developing 2D and 3D are night and day different (obviously visually, but I mean in the process). Once I got through those first weeks, I got to a point where I was able to sculpt out an island in the middle of an ocean with crappy premade textures that came with the engine. The poly count was so high that it looked semi-realistic, but hey, I had an atmosphere, I had a basic concept of lighting, and I understood how to add foliage, trees, as well as other objects. This is when I made the leap to start pushing towards the development of what I envisioned Origin Story to be. I felt comfortable.

Even though I do not have the technical know how to really push as hard as I want on this game, I have one trick up my sleeve that will allow me to complete it. My overall will to learn and create. I’ve been learning and developing games since I was around 14 years old, and lack of knowledge or understanding is not something that will stop me.

I’m nearly 60 Hours into the 3D environment development and have so much more to go. But, progress is progress and I plan to share all of that with you guys as I go along. I’ve managed to develop a day/night cycle, and sculpt out an entire continent, most of which is textured.

Whats Next?

After I complete the overall texturing of the continent, I am getting all of the water elements in place (lakes, waterfalls, rivers and more). After that, I will be moving on to grass, trees, bushes, buildings, fences, and whatever else you can find in Adagio (The name of the continent).

What’s in Store for the Future of Origin Story?

Moving forward these dev blogs probably won’t be this long or as thought out, but I still plan on writing one, once a week. This is both to inform you guys of where we are at with development, as well as keep me in check. If I have a goal to show you where I am at weekly, then I will be driven to deliver.

Here are some of the things we will be focusing on:

  • Unique Character Development – We are bringing a new concept to MMOs in the character development side that we really haven’t seen. We will dive more into it later, but Origin Story will not have your typical class creation system for your character (I.E. Choice between warrior, druid, mage, etc). On top of that, there will be 3 races to choose from, these are the 3 races that inhabit the continent of Adagio.
  • Unique Questing System – We feel that questing systems in modern day MMO’s hold your hands too much. Where is the sense of exploration? Where is the communication? We want people to really have a sense of their surroundings in order to complete tasks, no more watching the minimap to know where EXACTLY to go.
  • 5-man Dungeons – At launch, we want 6-8 unique dungeons for your team to explore and conquer.
  • 10-man Raids – We feel that 10 people is “the sweet spot” from our experiences raiding in the past, in several different games. Communication will be vital for your success in the raids we implement, there will be 2 to start.
  • World Bosses – We want world bosses to always be on the move. They will not be in one location and have a chance to spawn in any zone (excluding the starting zone). On top of that, you’ll need much more than a 10 man group to take them down. Because of this, you won’t need to be in a raid to benefit from killing the world bosses. Everyone will be able to participate, regardless.
  • Player Vs. Player – We will be launching with 3 unique battlegrounds for you to cue up and play against each other. You’ll be able to earn armor that is better for PvP than raiding (on the flip side, raid gear won’t be worthless in PvP but you’ll be much better off developing your PvP set. Raid gear will still be vital for progression in the PvE environments).
  • Plus much more to come!

It may seem like we are alienating our player base by making the game too difficult for all to play, but that’s not the case at all. It won’t be impossible, we just want real skill to come into play, and not just how much free time someone has.

One thing you’ll also never have to worry about: Pay to win. We promise this game will never be pay to win. Every time we come across a game that was clearly made for profit, we cringe and then die a little inside. We may end up putting up an item store for things that do not affect gameplay (mounts, pets etc) but never for armor, weapons or extra spells that make your character overpowered.

Moving Forward

We want you all along for the ride. The ups, downs and everything in between. Because of this, we will be posting about Origin Story weekly, ever new implementation, where we are at, and what to expect from it. We don’t want to delve into the storyline too much or the class system, though you’ll get a sneak

We want you all along for the ride. The ups, downs and everything in between. Because of this, we will be posting about Origin Story weekly, every new implementation, where we are at, and what to expect from it. We don’t want to delve into the storyline too much or the class system, though you’ll get a sneak peek from time to time (gotta keep some things secret!).

If you took the time to read this, thank you. I hope you are looking forward to Origin Story as much as we are! More to come next week.

Want to read more about Origin Story?