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Team Name:

  • Common Denominator Studios

Team Size:

  • 46 Devs

Engine/Tools Used:

  • Unreal Engine 4


  • VFX Designer

  • Audio Programmer

Months of Development:

  • 4 Months


Game Description:

  • Go Go-Karts is a 3D arcade multiplayer couch racer that is set in the fantastic Fable World, a magical theme park where legends and myths are real. Adventure awaits, and legends will be built in the wonderful land of Fable World!


  • Work with Game Designer and Lead Artists to decide the Art Direction and VFX Art Style

  • Create pixel/vertex shaders with HLSL and Material Editor (UE4) for particles, post process effect and object materials

  • Work with teammates and Lead Programmer to design the framework of VFX and Audio playback system, with consideration of easy to extend and robust enough to work with existing code architecture

  • Create workflow and pipelines for different deliverables

  • Help other VFX designers to solve mathematical issues or rendering bugs

  • Implement VFX and Audio into game

  • Performance Optimization for VFXs

  • Design API and write API docs for other teams to use

  • Create Dynamic Audio System that automatically duck down sounds based on AI/Player, and 3D Spatialized Sound for Singleplayer mode

Work Examples Highlights:

----Vehicle VFX Design Breakdown----


Collision Spark On Vehicles:

  • In such a fast-paced racing game, conveyance or indications when collided to other objects are vital, so collision sparks are introduced here at any moment when a collide happens

Decal Based Self Ambient Shadowmap Under Vehicles:

  • There are a lot of places where player vehicles are in the shadow, however, the cartoony style reduced the convincing evidence of they are driving on the road. So I came up with the decal based self ambient shadowmap under each vehicle as a very performance friendly solution for conveyance

Smoke From Behind Exhaust Pipe:

  • Generally, the player needs to know the current state of their vehicles, thus smokes from exhaust pipe behind the vehicles helped add conveyance to it.

  • When AIs or other Players are at a distance, where the mesh is relatively difficult to recognize clearly, Smokes performed as markers to indicates how far away are the other players.

----Item VFX Design Breakdown----


Shader Based Item Pickup Effect

  • When the player picks up a coin/item, a clear indication should be played to convey the behavior. And there should have different kinds of indications between two different states (Unpicked up/Picked up)

  • With, I designed the shader based bobbing/rotating effect for Item box/Coins, for lower cost and more freedom to adjust animation.

----Environment VFX Design Breakdown----


Volumetric Fog On The Floor

  • When designing the Haunted Level, Lead Artist and Game Designer really want to strive for a spooky and mystery feeling. So I Designed the volumetric fog effect for Level Designers to improve the overall aesthetic of level.

Post Mortem:

What Went Well

  • My communication within team turned out quite well

  • We are able to prioritize tasks for each milestone

  • My experience of VFX and Audio helped to accelerate the development process

  • The asset list is helpful for tracking what assets are created and where they are

What Went Wrong

  • I used to crunch overtime, which unfortunately results in breaking a build near release

  • Could have been using JIRA earlier

  • The communication between teams and leads at early production stage doesn’t go well, we come up with some frameworks and architectures from brainstorm phase and then some of them just doesn’t get approved for no reason

  • The approval for concept takes too long, as a guidance of how the game feel and how the art direction looks like, the concept art for cars got approved too late, eventually cause the aesthetic in the game doesn’t consistent

  • When new tasks and changes keep coming in, the scrum board and tasks are useless because we are not doing what we planned to do at the beginning, which then leads to cut on features

What I Learned

  • DO NOT work out of the working hour, because that might break the build unexpectedly 

  • Even if I do, DO NOT push anything on P4

  • Unless everyone in the team know this push and approves me to do so, which is extremely important because I have no idea if that push will break the build or not

  • Left time for polish, and give them a higher priority, because there are still a lot of placeholder assets in the game at the time it released, which is because I planned to put them in first, while new tasks just keep popping in, and all of them have higher priorities, which left no time for polishing


Work Highlights
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