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!
I’ve been working on Ivory for the past few weeks. She’s the female protagonist and is a contrast to Amon both in looks and background. She’s a ranger class and uses a crossbow with magic abilities. She’s arrogant, stubborn and independent. Here’s some of the progress making the In-Game 3D model:
As you can see she’s a very beautiful character. Now to make this look good in 3D we need 3 things: A well sculpted high poly model. A low poly model with nice topology flow. And great Texture maps. This is especially true when it comes to her face.
With characters like this I usually start with the head. It’s just a personal preference, but I think it’s easier to adjust the body to the head later when I have that done. So with the head I really need to get some likeness from the concept as fast as possible. This becomes a tweaking job very fast, because small adjustments can alter the look of a face drastically.
The texture and hair will help this alot.
I usually block in the underlying body after the head is complete. I use zspheres in Zbrush and try to focus on silhouette and shape. Just trying to get it as near to the concept as possible. After that I go into Maya and block in the basemeshes for the equipment and clothes. Then back into Zbrush for repositioning small tweaks and detailing.
When the sculpture is done, it’s time to do the low poly. I do this in Topogun. It esentially lets you paint polys on top of a high polygon model reference. This takes about a day on a character like this. And it’s important to think about animation when it comes to poly flow. The mesh needs to have enough polys where there is deformation. Like the face, knees, elbows etc.
The final model was rendered in Marmoset Toolbag for presentation. This is not the ingame engine.
I hope you guys like it!
Spent most of last week working with both the content and visual design of the monsters for our desert outdoor environment! We had an original design for an armor plated lion-like beast, but decided to save that design for a boss battle and start fresh.
The Desert Armor Monster has two modes in combat – defensive and offensive. Its element is Earth and it is the only desert creature vulnerable to fire.
I ended up with the design below – the Giant Rock Crabler. It fits the desert environment, easy to read, not too hard to animate and looks both intimidating and cute at the same time.
These spider varieties were inspired by the adorable Jumping Spiders. I really liked the look of the four big eyes, but the whole quad legged design felt overly sci-fi and did not fit the desert. The Spider just ended up goofy-looking which is not what I wanted. The creature had to look brutish – big, lumbering idiot of a monster!
The Horus giant design. This is where I got the idea to place the armor on the front arms/legs. A gorilla like giant with an eagles head and giant fists of stone was overly far-fetched and would be hard to animate. I think it’s important that the concept of a fantasy creature is easy to read – both visually and conceptually – soooo this one was a no-go!
The first designs I did. We quite liked the Pokémon-ish scaled dog, though it did not fit the requirements for this particular creature.
Well I better get back to drawing monsters. If you have any brilliant monster ideas feel free to share them in the comment section.
The character was designed with a design follows function mind set. He works in the Crystal Excavation Site where his only function is to mine crystals and unearth the statue hidden in the huge stalactite discovered during the work.
We figured he’d have to have a bulky upper body, tree trunk arms and small legs, seeing as how he doesn’t use them a whole lot.
This guy is also the first NPC designed and made in 3D for Project FoM! We’re pretty happy with him!
When doing characters like this, I always start in Zbrush. (High poly 3D sculpting package) I take a good look at the concept art, and try to visualize the model in my head. I go forth and block out the big shapes, concentrating on the silhouette first and foremost. After I got the basic shapes down, I start going into detail. I get to do all the little wrinkles and folds in the cloth, and the cool bulky anatomy. This isn’t a hyper detailed character though, so I tend to spend a lot of my time just scaling, repositioning and tweaking proportions. Cause it’s the silhouette and the proportions that make out the character.
High Poly Sculpt
After the sculpture is done, it’s time to make this bad boy into game res. I use Topogun for the retopology. Basically what retopology means is that I use the High poly as reference, and “draw” on top of it to create the new, lower res geometry. When the low res is finnished, I go into Maya to lay out the UVs. The UVs are esentially a 2D plane of the 3D geometry that is used for texture painting. When the low res model has uvs – It’s time to bake. Not cakes, but high res geometry and light! That’s right. I use a program called xnormal. What it basically does is it projects the high res detail onto the low res model. Using the Uvs as a canvas. That’s how the normal map and the ambient occlusion map is created. I use these maps when painting color onto the charater. So the character has light baked into the texture map, and a normal map that simulates lightning and detail information as another map. Making the model looking more detailed than it really is.
You’ll be seeing more of this guy when he gets his tools and is ready to move!
Been super busy in pre-production for our next big project codenamed FoM. It’s quite a challenge creating a whole fantastic world with such a lean team, so we’re starting with what gamedevs like to call a Vertical Slice, a small section of what we imagine the final game to be that demonstrates its core gameplay and art-direction. Our vertical slice is split into 3 main phases linked to 3 specific milestones, and the Chapel, illustrated in the wonderful image below is part of phase 1. We’re planning to have a barely playable but beautiful phase 1 ready towards the end of August with basic combat, some placeholder animation and even some dialog. Can’t wait!!
Here’s a character concept I designed for ProjectFoM. He’s the first (I think) NPC that’s been designed for the game. I’ll get back to you later on with where he fits in the world. We think it’s pretty cool! Can’t wait to show you guys! Anyways, here’s the mine worker NPC for now.
[UPDATE] I did the back view and refined his face. Here is the new version!
Thanks for taking a look!
Hey guys! Long time no post. Been busy making concept art and butting in on game design meetings, but I wanted to get back in the swing of things and post some art!
I was tasked with doing concept art for this little guy, who is a low level enemy you encounter in Project FoM. He’ll jump ya and use those little claws to attack, and there’s a chance he might poison you with that stinger on his tail. He’s a Crimson Cherby. Enjoy!
(Click the picture for larger view)
And the ortho. Hans Kristian usually looks at the 3/4 view above for the sculpting, seeing as how that one describes the shapes, so the ortho is done just to show larger masses and separated with flat colors or minimal rendering.
Some sturdy armor for the brutal arena fights!
Since this is a development blog we will try to share as much as we can without spoiling too much of the story and setting. So I think it’s fitting to start off with some early sketches from the FoM’s very infancy.
We are currently getting our hands dirty with what we decided to call an art prototype; basically putting together specific scenes and characters and experimenting with effects, lighting, animations etc. in Unity 3D. This is a great way for us to find the perfect pipeline, workflow and tools, while the design team is hard at work figuring out the technical stuff.
Hopefully we have something goosebumpingly cool to showcase this summer. Stay tuned!