June 2019 Devlog

by Glenn on Saturday, June 1, 2019

Progress Update

Hello! It’s blog time again. I’m visiting family so I’m away from my home base of Brisbane for the weekend though I thought I’d take an hour just to write this update. Lucky you!

So game development is paused for the next few days though I’ve made great strides with the planning and production side of things.

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I’ve settled on a core story and gameplay experience for the game which opens itself up to changes to the gameplay experiences over time. I’m fortunate to have a team behind me that is helping me bring this frankenstein thing of a creation to life, it’s great to have amazing people helping out and clarity too. I’ll be revealing more about the team, the game setting and gameplay bit by bit, for now lets look at what I’ve got to focus on. What is that you ask? Well creating the game of course!

Gameplay

Did you know you can talk to monsters and they can give you things? Did you also know that you can use stuff to unlock areas and other items can help with general survival and puzzles? Did you know that you can also wear hats? It’s good to have hat options.

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Content Pipeline.

Onto more technical stuff. The content pipeline I want for the game should allow me to create the character and environment art but shouldn’t be too complex. Characters should have detail but nothing too ridiculous. I’m going for something similar to a stop motion aesthetic so nothing realisitic. Texturing will be important as well as the in game rendering of materials and shaders.

Keeping it simple I’ve decided on the following:

Characters Hi res 3D modelling:

- Blender 2.8, base model, modifiers, sculpting.

Retopology of Hi-res to low-res 3D modelling:

- Blender 2.8 Poly Build, UV unwrapping.

Character textures:

- Nothing complex is needed for texturing so I'll try using ArmourPaint which goes well with Blender and Unity.

Environment, Buildings and Props Low res 3d Model

- Blender 2.8, simple meshes and texturing.

Character Animation.

- Blender 2.8 (more on this below)

So yep, alot of Blender being used. Blender 2.8 has proven up to the task, it’s still a bit buggy though that’s sure to improve over the next few months and over the course of this project.

2D UI: Photoshop and SketchBook.

There’s simply no denying the versatility of Photoshop which will be used for texturing, UI, graphical elements and anywhere it’s needed. SketchBook has some great drawing capabilities which I want to utilize for a handdrawn look for the icons and menu UI.

Video and Cameras

I have a film and video background and though starting out with Final Cut at film school I much prefer using Premiere Pro these days. I’ll be using Premiere for trailers as well as GIFs, video blog stuff and whatever else pops up.

Cinematics will be kept at a minimum as this is a smallish project though I do intend to use Unity’s Cinemachine as it’s quite verstatile.

The game camera itself needs improving as it doesn’t stop when colliding into objects or the ground. Cameras are tough to perfect so this might be an ongoing pain point. Having a fixed angle, isometric viewpoint might’ve been easier in hindsight but I am hopeful I can have a workable camera for this project. I’ve previously built some debug camera tools which help with visualisation, debugging and trailer creation. Will share some of those details later.

Sound & Music

Sound effects I’ll be creating myself with my Zoom HR6 and Adobe Audtion. I’m aiming to create an eerie vibe here but this also needs to mesh with music. Music will be created specifically for this game but some time will be needed first to organize my thoughts around this area as this is one thing that doesn’t come naturually to me. I bet my friend that has expressed interest in creating a soundtrack is keen for me to hurry up with this! Right?

Animation

Character animation will be done in Blender as there will only be so many character and monster animations to create. If the animation isn’t up to scratch or becomes too much of a burden then a motion capture solution will be looked at first and secondly a dedicated animator. As this is a low budget proejct I’m trying to keep costs to a minimum. Environment animation for the most part will be handled via scripts and procedurally generated. Character hair animation will be kept at a minimum, hair styles will be designed to reduce animation costs, some things need to get cut back so that the project can be completed in a realistic timeframe. As you can probably guess by now, yes there will be some character customization options. I have some cool ideas but don’t expect to be adjusting much more than your character’s face, body and clothing, there’ll be some options to select from! Also cloth animation won’t be used unless it’s for something resuable(ie environmental) and has an impact on the overall game. Cloth and hair animation are great but expensive in rendering time and development time so will be avoided.

More Game Content Coming

That’s it for this month, I’m hoping to have more substantial content and progress to show next month. Gonna be busy!