Hello contractors!

Welcome to another installation of our developer log, my name is Garrett and I’m a new addition to the development team. I’m here to show you some really cool stuff I’ve been working on in Project Black Binder! My work has been focused around our inventory, crafting system and the UI that accompanies it.

The first work I did when joining the team was take an incredible inventory concept and implement it in the engine with functionality so we can actually interact with the UI. In the picture below you can see what was whipped up for the “Inventory” page. *Some assets in this picture are placeholders*

The more recent UI work involves interaction with things in your inventory. In the next picture you can see an in-progress item card. Below is a “tier 3” custom quality item. There is a maximum of 3 tiers for each quality as of now; each one with more shine and color than the one before! Some values are just for testing and others are final values that are completely realistic. Case in point: +110% movement speed.

In addition to implementing the UI I’ve been building out our inventory codebase to handle items, weapons, armor, components, and more. As we have it planned, Project Black Binder has components with one or more modifiers. Modifiers are a value, a stat, and an operation that work together to give you a concept like “plus 15 damage” or “multiply range by 2”. These components can be attached to items, which then inherit the modifiers or all attached components. If you’re thinking this adds complexity to how we handle all of this data on the backend then you get a gold star!

It was a momentous task but we designed a database that could not only store all of this information but organize it in a way that is efficient for referencing that information later, as is the goal of most databases. I utilized a delicious mix of cross-reference tables, references to assets in the Unreal project, and a couple of developer tools to make data editing easier. The backend of the inventory system is now fully integrated with the rest of the game. Instead of hopping into the game with ‘Test Thingy X’ I can launch our build, log in, and select my character Tyster the Elementalist who has 3 weapons in his inventory!

Having items is cool and all, but there’s one big exciting feature that is still in the works: crafting! Contractors will be able to attach components to various items such as weapons, armor, consumables, backpacks, etc. Additionally, if you find a weapon on a mission that has a component you want, like a badass scope, you will be able to scrap it for a chance at getting that shiny scope to put on another weapon of your choice. This leaves room for pretty interesting decisions when trying to fill up your stash with the best gear you can.

That’s all for now, I hope this dev log brings you as much excitement as I got from writing it! Until next time, contractors.

-Garrett S.