Alright, I missed updating last week but am still hammering away over here. Last week was interrupted by a foul virus that took down 100% of the staff (me). Back up and running, I’m starting off week 14 positive and hoping to crank out some progress during this Thanksgiving week.
To help make environment building faster, I started utilizing larger modular assets. Quarter rooms, hallways, etc. I still have pieces that I’d like to make for multi level design but they are not required right now.
As for the trailer, I’m fleshing out the shown scenes and adding some details. More animation is being added in for a bit more liveliness (and the first draft was kind of stiff).
The trailer voice over is being revamped and I’m bring in some outside talent as my voice was not working and I don’t have the proper equipment anyway.
This week I’m going to buckle down on the details for the rest of the trailer. I need to get these details out of the way so that I can get some of the programming done for the alpha game play footage.
So this week I have been working on getting a rough version of the trailer together. Production is coming right along but an early teaser trailer will be coming out in December. Level blocking has started for Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. There isn’t much detailing thus far but getting the level design set up will help me test some of the game flow.
A good chunk of the animations for the trailer are blocked if not done with some slight tweaking. The first version of the Ruina logo has been finished so I’m going to sit on it for a bit to make sure it feels right. The next steps are to get some texturing finished, detail the environment, and then start getting some basic programming set up. There is a base set of code I have as a character controller but it needs fixed and enhanced.
So this was a big week. Project: Rings officially has a name! I am still working on the logo design but the name of the game officially is:
(Pronounced: roo-ee-nuh). It is derived from the Latin for ruin, destruction, devastation, and overthrow. It seemed appropriate for the twisted and devastated world of Eve and for the fact Evermore is journeying to overthrow Tiamat. Hopefully the logo will be all finished up here in the next couple of weeks and we’ll have some more to look at. According to our timeline, we aim to have a game trailer ready sometime in December….tentatively…hopefully…
On to other matters! The Scroll of Bode is pretty well textured. It may have some touch ups but I’m pretty well happy with it. I still haven’t decided if I want specular textures for the game or not. The style is fine without them but maybe having them might take more advantage of my normal maps…..
Last weekend and throughout this week I have been building more environment assets, mostly for the ruin/temple areas. I started blocking in some areas of the environment for where we first meet Evermore, when he discovers he’s not in Kansas anymore (figuratively. He’s not from Kansas. Ok? Ok.)
There is a TON still to do and fix (lots of little bugs programming wise.) I am working on figuring out UI/UX elements right now and how all that will function but it should be pretty simple as there are not a lot of menus and no inventory system. I did meet with a couple of people the other day to get some fresh eyes on the story and visuals and came away with a couple of great ideas to further enhance the story and add a bit more depth to the world. Also the level maps are being developed and critiqued for play flow. So much to do, so little time!
Have a great weekend!
Since last week, I have made some good strides forward with modeling, texturing, and color balancing. I’m a bit behind in my overall timeline so I’ll be doing some crunching this weekend to get back on track.
So Evermore is now textured and I have him rigged and skinned! It’s good to have him at this stage so I can start getting some animations around and do some character control tests.
Some advances were made moving forward with environment assets. There are a couple pieces of foliage finished and 2 sets of mushrooms. I have a handful of other plant assets, grasses, etc that need textured still but it’s moving along.
As for the environment, I have been working with some color palettes so make everything a bit more succinct. The skybox is animated and finished also. The grass texture on the ground is a stand in for the time being. It will be changed to something more barren and then in temple (areas of high energy) there will be vegetation around those areas.
Currently I have a rough particle system of fire being emitted from Ezra. He and Tiamat are both rigged and ready to be animated.
Next on the agenda is getting some assets created for the temple type areas. I have a couple of brick sets, mostly busted ones so I need to get together a new general tiling brick to use. Probably create a larger brick and then a smaller one… Much to do but it’s getting there.
I’ve posted our second webcast and I’m talking about character and story development!
We’re looking at Ezra’s low poly model, discussing Evermore and Ezra’s relationship and background relative to the world of Eve and the world Evermore is from. We’re also looking at some technical stuff showing how some of the local gravity mechanic works, animated skybox and what it means to the environment, and thinking about the actual name of the game when it’s complete.
Over the past week I have been working on finishing up Evermore. The low poly is done and I have projected some normal and AO maps. I need to go back and clean up a couple of areas like the arm pits where there is a little pinching going on.
I’ve started on Ezra and been hammering away at getting him designed. I’m pretty happy with how he is coming along although there is some hard pinching in some areas that will have to be smoothed out. He needs to be finished quickly in order for me to keep to my schedule. Since Ezra is just kind of a ball with some holes, he shouldn’t be too hard to retopologize. His emotions are pretty simple as they are only communicated through the eyebrows and the intensity of the blue fire that he emits from inside himself.
Lastly, I’m moving forward on the skybox. It’s taking some time figuring it out so that I can animate it properly. I’m thinking about how the world of Eve works and since there is no real core to the planet, it has brought up questions like how night and day work. I’m thinking of trying a night and day cycle via Eve being a moon to a larger planet so there is a daily eclipse which causes “night.”
Onward and upward!
So some decent progress has been made this past week finishing up the sculpt for Evermore. On to retopping! There are little details that I may go back and add in later before baking out the textures but I really need to be moving forward so I can get to rigging, animating, and programming.
I have been doing some more thinking and researching over the past week, specifically the idea of the style, using the ink lines and how that relates with imperfection and how our flaws can also make us unique. Although, the black ink is also kind of a blight on us, our mistakes and failures define us just as much as our successes. So I’m thinking that Tiamat should be dripping with ink to show him for the blight he is on the world of Eve. As Tiamat moves from place to place, he drops blots of ink which spawn minions of some kind.
Some interesting suggestions were given to me about my story ideas thus far. I’m going to do some research into companion characters and their relationship with the protagonist. It was conveyed that the sidekick, Ezra, may be too similar to something like Ghost from Destiny. I definitely love Ghost so I can see that. I want Ezra to be useful like Ghost but definitely a bit more feeling and loose/comical(?).
Another suggestion was making the Scroll of Bode a bit more of a character, or have a bit more use. I don’t really like the idea of the scroll being animated or talking like a character, it’s just not the vision I have for it. HOWEVER, it was suggested that since the scroll knows something about Evermore’s future, it may be useful to lead him about the world. So the scroll might be interesting to use as a kind of compass, directing the player around.
In a completely different part of the game, I started working on the skybox for the world. I normally use skyboxes from sites like textures.com but since this game is a bit more painterly, I’m looking to make my own. So I started making some custom brushes for clouds in Photoshop. I am also looking to build a custom shader to animate the skybox so this is a bit of a new venture for myself but I think I’ll be able to work it out.