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to our developer blog of “mold”, a modern Adventure game currently in production.
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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 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…
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”).
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 )
…..but I tried harder to scan them properly, this time ;)
my job in the last month demanded every minute I had, so unfortunately even sketched and scanned images didn’t get posted.
I’m still in the last week of production, but I’m already counting the hours until I’m able to work on Mold again… ;)
Babette continued to work on the ant, so expect a 3D preview in the not too far future.. (hopefully before christmas ;) )
Thorsten Kesse, a friend and experienced character animator/rigger was so nice to check our rig of the ant for any problems or errors (the ones you don’t want to carry through the entire project), Some minor but nevertheless very useful things got noted and will be addressed, thanks for that!
I for one, didn’t have the time to draw or work on anything, but I still got a bunch of sketches left in my book…. ;)