Festival of Magic is an adventure RPG with a Nordic take on an Eastern genre. Grow spuds and use your harvest as powerful ammunition or spells; craft your weapons and team up your companions for battle. Solve challenging puzzles, collect rare items and explore various dungeons scattered across the world.
We wanted to show you another little piece of our game; The Reckless!
The Reckless is Amon’s ship, his pride and joy, pieced together from scraps of salvage he finds in the desert. Like I showed you in the last post, it hangs in the dockyard while he works on it, but we want him to be able to take it out to explore more of the world during the game.
Figured I’d show the process on it. Frits did the concept art, I did a quick ortho, a color pass and the textures. The always excellent Thomas Pasieka did the 3D work on it!
First up; concept art. This is a collection of the sketches Thomas was given to work with.
Then Thomas set to work. Seeing as how we’re on different continents and timezones, we work via email, skype and dropbox and of course the Unity Asset Server. Typically I’ll come into work and find my dropbox updated with stuff like this, which brightens my day:
If just talking doesn’t cut it, we do a paintover with written descriptions. Here’s one of the feedback loops from Frits to Thomas:
Once the 3D models sits right with all of us, we jump into UV mapping and texturing. We use 3DCoat for pretty much all of our UV and texture work at this point. Here are some screengrabs, and a shot of the reckless in game once we finished up!
Have a great Easter, gang! We’ll see you again soon!
The SnowCastle Games team
Hey everyone! We haven’t been by in a while, sorry about that.
We’ve been keeping our heads down and working towards GDC and GameConnection in San Francisco, both of which we’re very excited about!
If any of you are going, it would be great to see you!
GDC Exhibit Area
GDC Expo Number 1432 (Nordic Pavillion)
We’ll be bringing some new footage and it would be great to see you guys and talk about games!
We are also nominated in the Selected Projects awards at Game Connection! We are honoured to see Festival of Magic up on the list! Click the banner below for more info on that, and keep your fingers crossed for us!
On another note, I thought I would show you some concept art for a new area we’re working on; the Dockyard. The Dockyard is located at the foot of Desert City which straddles the border between the sea and the desert.
I started as usual with a bunch of sketches and here are a few of them.
Quick note on this sketch sheet; it was done on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1″ tablet. If any of you concept artists see this, it’s a great choice for those of us who paint! It comes with a pressure sensitive screen and stylus. Coupled with the “LayerPaint” app it works great as a portable digital sketchbook!
This was done in photoshop as usual.
We discussed and found it too complex, it would be very expensive to create all the assets. The gameplay we have planned for the area didn’t really fit either. This kind of chaotic area sort of invites to go interact with everything, and we wanted to focus it on the house where the Dockyard master lives, and the Reckless (Amon’s ship, which he is constructing from stuff he finds in the desert. We’ll get back to you with more on the Reckless!).
Here is the cleaner, more to-the-point environment we ended up on.
I also did a production art sheet for our environment artist to work from
We’ll make a follow up post on the implemented area when we have it in Unity.
Oh! If any of you want to read a little more about Festival of Magic, Gamer.no wrote about us a little while back. It’s in Norwegian, but google translate does a pretty decent job of translating. Have a look over at gamer.no!
That’s it for me this time around. Take care!
This is the headline in Norway’s largest business paper today. The article notes that Festival of Magic was the big winner in the latest round of the Norwegian Film Institute’s grant program. This is the second round of funding Snow Castle has received for the Festival of Magic project from the Institute and brings the game a big step closer to release.
A great week at Snow Castle as we received word of the grant yesterday! With the new round of funding secured, we are moving firmly into production.
”We believe Snow Castle again will make a great game that both gamers and reviewers will enjoy,” says Kaja Hench Dyrlie, head of the Film Institute’s game section. Of course we couldn’t agree more. Now we are looking forward to GDC and the opportunity to show Festival of Magic there. Do drop by us at stand number 1432 so we can show you what it looks like.
We will also be at the Nordic Game Conference in May, so if you want to meet up with us there, give us a holler!
In other news, we also released a new and extended version of Hogworld as a free-to-play app this week. Initially it includes English, Spanish and German. We hope to add more languages soon. It looks gorgeous, especially on the iPad, so if you have one you need to download it right away!
Making of Plumpet Islands
We were not quite happy with the design of the previous harvesting island (see blog post). Problem with the design was that it was not scalable enough. We intended to add lots of stuff along the way, but the shape and size did not support this. Our Art Director did some new design sketches…
Although this design did make it more intuitive what the player could do, it was still not modular enough. So he made another where he split the different sections apart into separate islands.
This was a much better design for several reasons. We can now add new islands as we se fit. Also note how the harvesting island and mountain are built by combining simple rocks. We began to make pieces and assembled Plumpet Island (the island with the windmill above) and Barnacle Bay.
The house will be replaced with another, but we have simplified the production process without loosing visual quality.
In the previous harvesting island we made before christmas, we had the barnacles grow in the garden, but seriously – barnacles grow in the turf. With the new design we spilt spud production and pearl production (ammo for each Spud gun and pearl cross bow).
Both the mountain on the beach above and the island walls of Plumpet Island are constructed based on 7 different rock meshes. We have used Unity’s vertex paint shader to enable the green grass texture on the rocks.
That is it for now…
I wanted to show you guys some more desert concept art. Couple of posts back I showed some stuff from the Zenit Desert area. Back then we figured the area would end up in sort of a bowl in the desert with a temple ruin sticking out of one of the sides. We decided it’d be way cooler to approach the temple in more of a flat environment where it’ll be much more imposing sticking out of the flatter ground (also it eases our job with the camera, avoiding it clipping into sides of the desert that are higher up than the character).
The arid desert and the rocks sticking out of it is still in there though, but as the player draws closer to the temple, things take on a little more order to guide straight towards the temple.
As the player approaches the temple we’ll switch the camera angle to a more overhead view, but that’ll come in the screenshots later. I was tasked with developing the entrance area (and the puzzle you’ll find there) visually. So here’s a jumpcut to a closer view of the entrance.
That’s it for me for this update, but we’ll get back to you with more from this area soon!
Have a great weekend!