As the YouTube algorithm really likes my videos of this project I thought it’d make sense to do a small FAQ page, since there have been a lot of similar questions in the comments lately, so I hope that this answers most of those.
What is this, a mod or something?
No it is not a mod, as it doesn’t share any code with the original games. The assets that I’m using from the original games also all have varying degrees of changes. Some character models went through major reworks (the Arkham Asylum and City suits are the most drastic examples), animations needed manual conversions and touch-ups to get both root motion and cape animations to work properly along many other changes that were required for me to even be able to use the assets properly. There are obviously also some assets (especially character skins that weren’t in any of the original games) that I’ve made entirely from scratch like all the Keaton suits aside from the 1989 one or the Batman Begins suit.
For those of you who don’t know the difference between assets and gameplay code (yes, there have been people who thought a game is just visual assets lumped together, so I want to emphasise this): Imagine it like a cake where the assets such as 3D models, sounds and animations are the frosting that you see from the outside while the gameplay code is everything inside that cake, so everything that makes it actually be a cake when you interact with it (eg. eat it). The most you can do with just assets is cinematics, not something that is actually playable like my project (and on that matter, my videos are 95% raw uncut gameplay, not hand-built cinematics, I wouldn’t have the patience to make the latter look like gameplay anyways lol).
What’s your goal with this?
I don’t really have any specific goals and am just making things up as I go along, as it is just fun for me to work on it. I’m pretty much just doing whatever I like whenever I like with it.
Who is working on this?
I’m pretty much the only person working on this project, with the exception of some other people doing some minor occasional additions (such as IceMage doing the occasional player skin or environment).
Can I download this?
As of this moment no, as the assets from the original games would most likely lead to copyright issues and in addition to that this project has always been a personal passion project of mine, and the extra pressure to deliver and much higher stakes from making it a public project would inevitably ruin that.
Can you remake an entire game?
No, as that involves a lot more work due to recreating large levels and handling/updating an immense amount of artwork, not to mention cinematics, scripted events and so on. This kind of task is simply beyond me due to the time and effort needed to do it properly.
Uploading the project files is thus obviously also out of the question, especially since it’s pretty disorganised and the total size is also far beyond what’s reasonable to upload (we’re talking about >80GB, plus the required custom engine build that adds at least another 50GB).
Weren’t all Arkham games already using Unreal Engine?
Yes they did, but it was a custom version of Unreal Engine 3 (which was basically on steroids in Arkham Knight) whereas this is Unreal Engine 4, which is a wholly different beast. This also isn’t about the recent “Look it’s made in Unreal Engine” trend either, as this project predates that and the video titles merely come from how I name my projects “internally” and I didn’t bother coming up with something else when I started posting some videos of it.
Why not Unreal Engine 5?
Unreal Engine 5 doesn’t offer anything that would warrant the extra effort of upgrading to it, as I don’t have large scale dynamic environments that would benefit from things like Lumen nor high-detail sculpted models to leverage Nanite. As it stands there would even be a minor regression with UE5, since I am relying on tessellation to render the capes, a feature that has been removed in UE5 in favour of Nanite (which doesn’t even cover this use case, no matter how much Epic tries to claim Nanite is a sufficient replacement, it’s like saying an apple can be replaced by a coconut lol).
Can you add a “The Batman 2022” skin?
I have it on my to-do list, but as the design simply doesn’t give me as much motivation to work on (sorry, but everyone has their preferences, I’m not overly into on this one) and is also rather finnicky to figure out due to all the individual elements I can’t say if and when I’ll work on it. That being said, if one of you makes a good 3D model and has no qualms with letting me use it (including proper credits and everything) I wouldn’t mind it :P
C++ or Blueprints?
Both, as I have started with Blueprints but began shifting to C++ quite a while ago since it’s just much nicer when you are directly interfacing with Engine components or just straight up overriding parts of the character pawn class. Then there is also the occasional engine source code edit or bugfix that I’ve done, which includes anything from fixing APEX destructibles to replacing entire parts of the post processing chain (because stock UE4/5 post-processing is just garbage tbh).
Can you do tutorials for this?
I don’t feel like a regular tutorial-series would be a good way to do in-depth explanations of this kind of thing due to multiple reasons:
- Length: if I were to cover everything in a way that I’d consider exhaustive enough to understand it, we’d most likely be looking at like 100 hours of footage which needs an awful lot of time to produce, which I don’t have.
- Ease of access: Personally I was never really a fan of video-tutorials, as it makes it more difficult to find a specific bit you’re looking for or to go through it at your own pace, and that kind of format often tends to be rather simplified and superficial when kept down to reasonable runtimes. In addition to that things are often done out-of-order and it’s more difficult to keep track of the specific steps to make one specific thing.
- Engagement with the audience and learning effect: At least from my experience, just watching a tutorial where someone does something tends to become a bit dull after a while and it often encourages you to just do the exact same thing step-by-step, rather than doing it in your own way, which is often also more understandable to yourself.
Due to these issues I have with regular tutorials I’ve rarely ever watched any of those, so I also can’t really give you recommendations, especially when it comes to the basics.
This is why I’ve decided to do individual blog-posts instead, though the main issue there is also the time needed to prepare and write them and in addition to that I want to go through most of my gameplay code before covering it, as there are a lot of things that could be done better now. Obviously I’d like to have my coverage of various features to be a bit more refined and streamlined so that it focuses on the most important things rather than a cluttered and over-engineered approach.
Can you just give me code for <insert gameplay feature>?
As a rule of thumb I’m never just giving out finished solutions for a problem, as it leads to someone just copy-pasting it without understanding it and in turn coming back with more questions when it doesn’t work or when they don’t know how to change aspects of it. I’m focusing on explaining the concept and the approach behind something, so that you can understand and implement it yourself, as this is usually a lot more effective in helping you become more adept with the toolset you’re using.
In addition to that I have a tendency to do things in slightly unorthodox ways, which often means that logic that I’ve written might not be as understandable to others in the first place. At some point this kind of thing even gave me the reputation of not needing to obfuscate code because it’s already so confusing to others in the first place in the Minecraft shaderpack community lol.
Regarding questions about gameplay code and Unreal Engine in general
As I’ve said before in some places, if any of you have difficulties with the more basic fundamentals of Unreal Engine I’m not the right person to ask for help, as I can only direct you to the Unreal Engine documentation, since I have never watched any tutorials and am also not that good at breaking things down to that level for you to understand. I simply don’t have the time and patience to teach this kind of thing to newbies either, and this kind of project also isn’t exactly what one should take on without some experience.
I hope that this page was useful to you and, while there isn’t anything related to this project on there, feel free to support me on Patreon if you like what I’m doing as it helps me with being able to spend time on this kind of thing. In case you’re interested in Shaderpacks for Minecraft also check out the other projects on this website as well :)