This week we looked at how to design and implement variations of each creature type in FoM. Instead of having a gazillion kinds of cannon-fodder, we have a few carefully designed creature types that really adds interest to the battle system. So e.g. the Crabler is one organic creature type with an aggressive and defensive behavior pattern that requires the player to use specific strategies and choose his/her abilities and pairs wisely.
As you can see below the Crabler will have different looks and weapons depending on its level and element type.
This “armor-sets” or attachment modules will all work with the base rig and mesh of the creature and lets us add a lot of variation to each monster type.
Next time I’ll go into some more detail on the production art and the whole 3D translation process.
Have swell weekend!
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.
Hey guys! I just finished up this design, and wanted to show you a bit of the process behind it.
This crossbow weapon is a design for one of our main characters, it’s going to be seen a whole lot so we wanted to nail the design. We ended up going through 16 iterations before landing on the final piece.
First up I usually do a bunch of silhouettes to get the masses down. After these were done Frits, Hans Kristian and myself gather round my screen and discuss what we like/don’t like about them.
I had this idea that the first one looked kinda front heavy to I added all these counterweights by the handle. Which looks cool, but it brings to mind a rifle or shotgun very easily. We wanted it to be a single hand weapon, so a solution would be to make the “body” of the crossbow hollow.
I took the first thumbnail and iterated on that and came up with the next few. I’ve defined the masses a bit more with these seeing as how we know we’re on the right track now.
After another discussion and lots of pointing around the screen we landed on the one with the “check mark” by it. There were a couple more tweaks that happened while rendering it out as well, but nothing major. Now I can’t wait to see it translated into 3D and see it in game!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Hey guys! Long time no post! We have something cooking that we are super excited to share, but we can’t just yet. Next week!
In the meantime, I finished up this crossbow concept that one of the characters will use as a main weapon and figured some concept art would sweeten the waiting!
I give you Brave Slinger! (cue drumroll)
Eiko will also compose the music for Project FoM – our upcoming adventure RPG. She talks about how we collaborate and what her inspiration were for our last interactive title – Hogworld: Gnart’s Adventure.
Hans Kristian spotted some fan art over on the polycount forums!
I was super stoked to see that Tim Lewis was inspired enough by my concept art for Millies Spudshop to go ahead and made this super cool 3D model of it!
First up is the concept art followed by two renders of the model that Tim has made from it!
Thanks again from the team, Tim! Made our day when we saw it!
We wanted to share some visual progress with you guys. We’re hard at work on our vertical slice, and as Mattis showcased in the last post, we’re greyboxing the levels to prototype functionality early on. Parallell to that we’re working on assets, textures and all that good stuff to replace the grey boxes as we get them done.
I have a couple of steps along the way to show you.
After game design have made their decisions we paint up an environment to inform how we want the 3D assets to be made, as well as guide lighting and textures down the line. Here’s a concept I did for the very first room the player gets to see:
This is a typical environment concept art sheet we give to the environment artist. Separate elements, whether they’re tileable, units width and height and so on so there is as little guesswork as possible down the pipeline.
Below is the scene after we’ve gotten it back from our awesome 3D environment guy, Thomas Pasieka, with textures and wireframe and a uniform light .
This is after we’ve gotten all the 3D bits and pieces back and have reassembled them in Unity. For me, this is an awesome step to see my concept art come back as building blocks and then assemble it into something dimensional where the player can move!
And finally I have a screenshot from one of our designers playing around with lights and post processing effects. This is work in progress of course. We’re hoping to have some gameplay videos up before long as well, where we’ll have gotten further on the lighting too.
I’ll end this post with the concept art for the next part of the first environment, which is almost complete as well.
Thanks for looking! Hope you guys enjoy the updates!
Boy it’s been a busy week! We finally have some animation and functionality inside the prototype level and it’s already looking quite good.
Thought I could give you a quick visual update – a couple of new monster designs and the final rough concept of one of the first scenes in the prototype.
I thought it was about time that I shared some thoughts on the design in Project FoM. I’m not going to write too much and I’ll just stick to one small feature this time. As we progress further in the development, I’ll be sharing more technical and detailed descriptions of the mechanics and design thoughts I/we have.
Today I wanted to talk a little bit about one of the main features of any good JRPG… The combat. In many regards there are certain combat mechanics that make up a traditional JRPG that have become staple features in “every” JRPG, and certainly we will have those too.
When we decided we wanted to make a homage to JRPG games, we wanted the combat for the game to give the player the same fundamental experience as the one in Final Fantasy VII, but take these tried and true mechanics, improve and add many new elements to give a new dimension to them.
One of the things we wanted to do was to have the player character party consist of 6 characters, but divided them in to teams of two and two, each team consisting of a Warrior and a Protector. This is only one of many features we did to introduce more tactics to the combat. This forces the player to think about how they want to fight their battles and use their characters, as they have to control the Warrior and Protector as one, and only perform one of their abilities each turn.
Another addition we have made is that, as the player characters level up and gain new abilities, their abilities lists will grow longer. We designed it such that the player will not be able to use all of the characters abilities in combat, but only a limited selection. Think of it like in any of the Pokémon games where you can have hundreds of Pokémon, but only use 6 at a time. Again, the player will have to think tactically and select the abilities with care and build the party up as they like. Of course the player can at anytime outside of a combat scenario change the abilities to adapt to their needs.
There are a couple of other things I want to talk about regarding the combat, but I think I’ll save the best and more unique features for a future update. If anyone has any questions or suggestions on what I should write, please leave a comment or send me a mail. I would like to hear from you.