You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
to our developer blog of “mold”, an anti-retro 2D Point and Click Adventure currently in production.
for First-Timers and all those brave men battling against the boredom of friday afternoons..
or sort this big “mess” by category:
convenient image galleries can be accessed via the top menu, and please don’t overlook the red “Older Entries“ link on the bottom right.
we hope you follow and enjoy this still very long and tedious ride (we certainly do ! ) ….. well most of the time ;)
We went right into production after the first designs got finalised and locked. (which wasnt easy… even.. or.. especially because I’m the one sketching and approving them. ;) )
Florian Stucki started working on our so-called “BottleRocks” element of the first set using ZBrush,
I imported all highres OBJs into 3dcoat (to add the last touches by myself). Which also happened to be my first “real” session with 3dCoat… and, after some struggle, user errors, and several interface “facepalms”, it ended up feeling quite nice (especially for rocks and hard-surface stuff).
3dCoats retopo process was fast an easy, but the baking process took forever. I’ve invested around a workday for additional sculpting, but the bake (rebake, and rerebake) process took probably even longer. 3dCoat always produced some (and sometimes a lot) artefacts, and outputted really weird EXRs. (the difference scaling was totally off, so I had to manually match it (Pi*Thumb)).
But after all the work and love we put into this element it would have been a shame to live with sub-par displacements, so I tried to bake it with Mudbox. This time I ended up with way better results, but it took literally hours to bake one rock (some have 20-30mio polygons). And because there is at least some trial&error involved, it would have probably taken days to finish it.
I did end up baking the maps in Softimage, which took around 5mins/rock, and brought decent results (after several tries I must admit ).
Eventually, those six different rocks became the base (instance sources) for most of the “stonework” in the following image. The chicken bone was sculpted and retopo/baked by Florian Stucki (simply beautiul….for what it is ;) )
has it already been a month? damn!
We decided to move into production, starting in january’14. The goal was (and still is :) ) to create a playable (non-public) demo of the first 3 or 4 sets of the game. a proof of concept if you will.
But this also meant I finally had to finish and lock some of the set-designs. In december, I started sketching bashkit-like elements on paper, arranged/warped them digitally, and over-painted a lot until I was happy with the final layout..
one drawback of external help is clearly the amount of work needed to prepare all designs and references, to sketch and communicate changes, generally speaking to “produce”.
I broke up the set, added descriptions and references
The mushroom got moved to another set, that’s why its missing in the final layout.
Every element got its own card in Trello (which is a great, free (online) tool to organize and track everything.) with every info available, and additional references/links.
Thats all for now!
I will cover the actual process of creating some assets next time…
just a little fun doodle… :)
quite a lot has happened. I did a few concepts in december, continued the story and most importantly, I managed to hire a great artist for the first ever ..
Florian Stucki aka “2838″ is going to model/sculpt the first environments, while I’ll work on texturing, shading and lighting. (and I’ll try to build the prototype in Unity in my “free time”).
…oh yes, you can quote me on that ;) especially when it comes to story, drawings, renderings, game resolution or even genitalia. But let’s start with one of the easier, PG-rated points. :)
the base resolution is maybe one of the earliest decisions a game developer has to make (well sometimes the platform makes this choice for you ;) ),…. almost everything depends on it, and many influencing factors have to be considered.
the expression to calculate the memory consumption of an image is:
X * Y * (bitdepth / 8)
in case of Visionaire the bitdepth in memory is always 32 even if you save a 24bit PNG (due to memory fragmentation issues with different bit depths, when i understood the developers correctly)
so for one background image of a game in 1280*720
(referred as 720p, or “small”HD) we get:
1280*720*(32/8)) = 3.686.400 (3.6mb)
and for one background in 1920*1080
(HD, or 1080p) we get:
1920*1080*(32/8) = 8.294.400 (8.1mb)
(1080p has a higher pixel-density by a ratio of 2.25)
(with no texture compression (it was announced for the next release of Visionaire though) if you want to know more, I can recommend Unitys online manual (“Texture2D” scroll down 3/4).
to put these numbers into perspective,
lets say your entire background consists of a beach scene with an animated ocean. Two thirds are static, but one-third needs some moving water. soo the scene including a 2 seconds animation (lets say at (stuttering) 15 frames per second) gets us:
now, these numbers are very alerting when you think that some PCs (especially of “aged” adventure gamers :) no offense) are running with 256mb or even less video memory (I can imagine how “128mb-ers” feel to read this :) ), because we are still missing the player character, NPCs, and interface with inventory (and items).
Loading times are another factor to consider. Older harddrives peak at 30mb/s, so our example scene already takes at least 3 seconds to load, let’s keep that in mind.
lets add the rest:
resulting in about 93 mb just for the basic actions of the main character, double that when we add all pickups, and dozens of special actions (with or without set elements) So for a HD background with just one character you need 256+mb VRAM already, which was quite shocking, to tell you the truth…
at some point, you’ve probably wondered why most adventure backgrounds feel so static, so lifeless? well, granted, it’s primarily because animation is expensive ;) , but memory certainly plays a major role in it aswell…
I really need to get some designs to a “ready for production” state before christmas – the layout/modeling phase of the first sets is scheduled for january. (yay!!)
and I’ve written a short blog-article about size/memory for the past 50 years (at least it feels like it ;) )…. I’ll post it on thursday (articles about technology usually don’t age well ;) so better get it off my back )