This week was a roller coaster. For the start of April, we had lots of plans on really pushing our blog and development forward.”
The holiday just before the weekend allowed us to have TONS of free time, that was really nice, Guilherme could make lots of models and maps, while I worked hard on the AI.
On the bad side, there was a bug on UE4 that really slowed me down a little: whenever I try to stop the game while debugging one of the behavior trees, the entire engine would crash, making me lose minutes to open the project again. Guilherme had problems of his own too, Mudbox decided to crash and corrupt his projects more than twice. My laptop’s charger wires got bad, they sometimes do work, sometimes they don’t, which may get me stuck for some time.
But nothing’s gonna stop us! Here are the highlights of the week:
Our blog is really kick starting now, we published plenty of posts and we’re getting a very good feedback on it! We started writing about our previous projects and past experiences, but also current progress on Arena and techniques we learn by making it.
If you missed any post from the past week, here’s a list of them all:
- Creating Next Gen Assets from Scanned Data, where Guilherme explains how to get a 3d scan and make it ready for use in a game engine;
- Making Of: The Dark Portal, a throwback to the making of the winner model of CGSociety’s Hardcore Modeling challenge;
- W.I.P: Melting Candles – Sculpting/Retopo, a quick overview of some candles Guilherme’s working on for the graveyard environment;
- And even though it’s not from the past week, we haven’t mentioned it earlier: Unleash Arena, were I speak about our experience working on the prototype phase of Arena.
From the artistic point of view of your project, Guilherme’s lovely graveyard is finally taking form. At the moment he’s building some kick ass tombstones so we can provide a home to our dead. Indeed, a fun fact is that he actually hate graveyards to the point of not going to the burial of his own kindred, and now look at him, smiling (obviously) looking at grave pictures at 5 am, searching for references, you see how tables turn?
All assets are being modeled in Blender, sculpted in Mudbox and textured in dDo/Photoshop.
He also wrote an in-depth breakdown of his obelisk model that can be seen HERE.
At moment, things are a bit slow since we really need to figure out a solid workflow in order to maintain a good overall production rhythm & quality in future, so in the coming weeks you’ll probably see lots of test renders and stuff like that, but you can be sure that all acquired knowledge will be shared with you 😉
He spent these last days searching out for a good workflow for tiled textures, unfortunately, mudbox doesn’t seem to be the best friendly app for that, there are very few tools aimed at tilling workflow there, different from Zbrush for example, it has a great 2.5D canvas that makes tilling a breeze.
So here’s the first tests on a base brickwall for some future new models (not tiled):
He also started to make some candles to populate the graveyard, you can take a look in the W.I.P here.
We also have some fresh images on the graveyard fences that just came out, we’re pursuing a more elaborated kind of fence to integrate into the scene, the base mesh was entirely done by subdivision modeling in blender and with a lattice doing broader deformations on the whole mesh:
Then the high poly was taken to Mudbox, to bump in some finer details on the normal map. A tricky situation here, even a low poly model like this would still be quite high poly due to the amount of cylindrical curves in the whole mesh, so what do we do here?
Just for fun, he decided to project the geometry to a plane, without high expectations, curiously, the results were very satisfactory, maybe with an height map we can even fake that to look good enough for closer looks.
The best advantage in this method (besides a 99% reduction on the poly count) is that we can create a texture atlas with hundreds of variations, and place them like decals, we can even deform the plane to make fancy looks like it was smashed, cool, yea.
On the programming side, the controls are almost all set, you can pan the camera as on a RTS, you can select units, move, chase and attack.
Not much to say actually, just watch the video and you’ll get it:
It’s going fast. We may probably have a playable prototype very soon! Speaking about the future, here are our plans for the next week(s):
Here are Guilherme’s plans:
- Finish the fence model, make new variations and chunk them as blocks, so we can reuse them everywhere;
- Make the brick wall tiled;
- Make a library of candles and other small props, so we can scatter them over the scene;
- Well maybe he’ll do more, (or less) we’re going to see!
Here are mine:
- Work on the mob spawns and enemies agro;
- Setup a small animation for attacks;
- And maybe, maaaaybe exchange static meshes for terrain meshes, but I fear I won’t have time for that.
And this is it for this week, we plan on doing these weeklies in a (guess what!) weekly base, so don’t forget to get by every monday 😉 Also subscribe to our newsletter or get the RSS Feed on the side bar to follow us!