Video Games Tutorials and News - How I Remade The Simpsons Hit And Run In A Week
Yes, the Simpsons hit and ran. This game means a lot to me, and if you grew up in the early 2000s, it probably means a lot to you as well. You know, growing up, my childhood was really not the best, and most of my best memories were not spent on the playground with the cool kids. They were spent in my room playing this game. While you were collecting signatures in your yearbook, I was collecting those buzz cola collectible cards.
Collector card! parchment
Yeah, I never got all those cards. Seriously, look at this one. Yeah, six-year-old me really has the hand-eye coordination to get to that. Anyway, what better way to do justice to this game than to remake it?.
Remaking the map
The first thing I need is access to the map. I could technically remake the entire map from scratch, but you would need a team of like a hundred people. I only have three friends, and I'm including my mom as one of those friends, so that's just not enough people. I tried a program called Ninja Ripper, which attaches to games and then dumps all of their art to your PC, so I tried it, and no, the ripped files were okay, but loads of stuff was missing.
I just couldn't get this to work, so I had to find a better way, and then I stumbled upon Lucas Cardellini. In the evening, feeling like caffeine, grab a red bull, I'm on my chair. I'm going to play Vice City before I do my hair while talking to Jack, but if I get out, I'm going to use Skype. I ain't coming back. I'm talking Apart from being an excellent singer, it turns out this guy created a tool for opening the map files and you can even export them as obj, which Unreal Engine can use, so I exported all 14 pieces of the map into Unreal Engine and now we finally have the original map and we can start to remaster it, After 20 hours of grueling work.
Remastering the map
I managed to enable RTX. Just kidding, I just clicked this checkbox here and now the map looks a lot better because of how nice the lighting and shadows are, but one thing that still looks atrocious is the textures. Have a look at this, or this, or even this. This is not something you can fix easily, contrary to what CSI Cyber may show you.
You can not just enhance it. Can you enhance it? Can we enhance it? Can you enhance it? Hold on a second, now with the team of artists I could remake the textures, but again. I'm just one guy, there's hundreds of textures. I just need a smarter way of doing it, but suddenly I got an idea from one of my favorite youtubers.
Two clicks Philip has been posting lots of articles about upscaling and photos using AI. Well, what if I could do that for the textures in the game? So I bought a copy of the tool Topaz Gigapixel ai. I fed all the textures in. I re-imported them and, well, I will just let this donut king sign speak for itself.
But the ai didn't really do so well on other textures; the road crosswalks and pavements still looked really pixelated and crap, so I basically created these ones from scratch in Photoshop. Now I'm not an artist; I probably didn't do the best job on this, but it's definitely a step up from this. Finally, I purchased a bunch of stylized trees and I placed them throughout the level, making it much nicer looking.
So now, after a lot of work, we have a map and it looks a lot better. That's the scary bit done, and now I'm in my element, we're on to the coding. Well, let's try to get a character into the game.
For animation, we're going to use the advanced locomotion pack because you get tons of really awesome animation features and it just looks sick, but how do I transform this character from a blob of blue play-doh into Homer? Well, I have to find a home remodel online.
well, that was actually pretty easy, except we have one problem. The Homer model isn't compatible with the advanced locomotion pack. I would now ask a fellow New Zealander to help me out, but since New Zealanders haven't discovered computers or fire yet, I had to hire a Swiss artist named Ellen. Ellen sent Homer back, and now I'm able to use him with the pack.
18 years later, and Homer is once again running around, but this time with advanced animation and ray-trace graphics. If I could meet six-year-old Reuben and sit down and show him this, I think his head would explode. To make the UI. I needed to figure out how to rip the UI out of the game, and what I figured out is that because the UI in the original game is actually 3D.
I could rip it using the same tool that I used for the map. I also upscaled the UI with topaz gigapixels, and I mocked up the basic UI, but I had a problem. I needed to animate the UI and Unreal Engine 5 is missing the keyframe button. But I found a solution. Make the animations in Unreal Engine 4, and then you could just copy and paste them into Unreal Engine 5.
And when I found that workaround. I felt like I had 5000 IQ, so apparently, it does not take much to stroke my ego, but anyway, the mini-map is just a camera floating above the player and it feeds into the UI, and that's pretty much the UI. I kept it super simple and didn't do too much fancy stuff with the UI.
Before I do vehicles and missions, I wanted to just do some easier stuff, and I decided to do the Buzz Cola collectible cards. The cards just have an invisible sphere and a customizable name and icon, and when the card is taken, we play a UI animation and there we go.
Now I just place the cards throughout the level. One last problem, though, is that when Homer takes the card, he needs to say stuff and he needs to lip sync. To do this, I use git amplitude, and then I basically feed that into Homer's mouth, and now I can play audio and the characters will do a super basic sort of lip sync to the audio.
That was too easy. I can sell this on the internet. That was too easy. The coins use almost the same system as the cards but with some edited code to make them chase the character like in the original game. To make Homer attack, we play a kick animation that I found on the Miximo website, and then when the kick extends fully, we deal damage to whatever you hit.
This means I can now add crates and vending machines, and when these are dealt damage, they will spawn a bunch of coins and eventually be destroyed. Later on, I'll also add smashable props like trees, and later on, we'll be able to smash these with the car as well. The ac vents use a trigger box area that adds an impulse to the player.
You can customize the direction that the air vent launches you, and now we can access our poo's secret rooftop garden.