The primary reason for my lack of posts over the past few months has been an attempt to establish a proper style for in-game assets. This involved a lot of experimentation and expletives. The result of this is a style that you will hopefully agree is attractive and on my end a quickening of turn-around time. Now then- the first image shows the change in the diffuse texture of the tenement.
I attempted to ratchet up the complexity of the texture while giving realism a wide berth. The texture also became more saturated and slightly darker to accommodate lighting effects.
Speaking of which- some screen caps of the test scene I use as a constant reference while texturing. All of the assets in this scene have a specular map in addition to the diffuse. Also- Unity Pro effects!
We have lots of work left to do (possibly my most emphatic understatement ever), but progress is being made bit by bit.
We took a bit of time off from updating our blog and social media outlets to try and hammer some things out for our combat prototype. We felt like we were stretching to come up with things to write about each week instead of focusing on the things that needed to get done. That being said – I don’t know that we’ll go back to updating every week, but we’re going to try to update more than once every 5 weeks.
Here’s the latest Dev Video that I made. It shows our snapping terrain system and a brand new Navigation Mesh module. Enjoy!
Now that the first of April has passed and all the foolery is done with we resume our normally scheduled show…or text. There are times during this process that I become fixated on an idea. For the last week or week and a half I have been thinking almost non-stop about this new Ritualist unit.
The scale of these lumbering automatons would be roughly equal to two stories of an average building. I still have many more sketches to go before I reach the final version, but this gives you an idea of my general direction.
There is one additional piece to this unit besides the golem itself- the controller.
Only those who have proven their devotion to the cause are given the honor of controlling such a refined expression of ancient technology. There is however a price. The process involved in controlling the Golem robs the conroller of their ability to operate their own body or feel it in any way. They merge consciousness with the Golem in essence. This leads to the necessity that their body be firmly attached to the Golem. The sketch above shows just one possibility. As with the rest of this unit I have many sketches yet to go.
The last two images I have for this week are of props. The first shows Laperian automotive technology at its finest. These vehicles are relatively rare within Laperian society, generally only owned by the wealthy upper class (and driven by their servants).
The second image shows a few more ideas for benches. Why I have spent so much time on bench design is impossible for me to say…
We’re approaching a year’s worth of formal development on Fractured State. I say “formal” because there were some months before the team was formed where I was working alone on different prototypes and proofs of concept for modding tools. I even made a video about some of the things I wrote that didn’t make it into the current code base. I had initially set out to make a game heavily inspired by Command and Conquer: Generals but as we moved along we developed what we thought were some cool design ideas that centered more around higher level decision making and the use of strategy. We felt like this slowed the game down to the pace we were looking for and put the focus on strategy over actions per minute. However, the stress of trying to work on this game with no budget and sandwiching it in between our personal lives has caused us to rethink our approach a bit.
With that – I give you our redesigned vision for Fractured State:
Given the massive rise in popularity of the MOBA genre and fast-paced RTS titles we’ve decided to “jump on the bandwagon” so to speak. We’re taking the actions per minute design to its logical conclusion. The buffs and powers your units receive in Fractured State: Super Combat Arena Deluxe! are now directly tied to how many times you click in a game minute. We’re still hammering out some of the details but, for example, an Industrialist Conscript will now move faster the more times you click on a destination in the world. We feel like this really ties the player into the lore because the more you click the more you can see that the Conscript knows you really want him to move to that location.
We’re also looking into microtransactions as another revenue stream to support Fractured State: Super Combat Arena Deluxe! post-launch. The goal is to make these transactions tie into the lore but not be pay-to-win. Some possible items we’re investigating are: uniform skins that provide your units with bonuses, special hero units, and extra ammunition for your soldiers.
We hope you like our new design direction. Stay tuned for our Kickstarter campaign where we’ll outline some other features we’ll include if we get funded. Some of these might include: multiplayer, being able to issue orders to more than one unit at a time, chat, and a campaign for both factions. If we do get funded, our first stretch goal will be Mac and Linux versions of the game. While Unity can target these platforms out of the box we unfortunately need to rent computer time at the local cafe which charges by the minute. The compile times alone would bankrupt us without your support!
Thanks for reading! We hope your as excited about this new direction as we are. Stay tuned!
Generally speaking the large majority of Laperian citizens do not live in very luxurious conditions. One could say squalor, although the upper echelons of Laperian society might attempt to dismiss such notions. When an entire floor shares a toilet though…it might be safe to say it could be better.
The tenement I had previously shown the sketch for now has a completed diffuse texture (all other effects are still to be applied once we figure out how we want to utilize our options). The only thing operating on the model right now is a ramp shader.
This second image shows the “gradient” effect I use in the texture sheet to give a better sense of depth for the in game camera angle.
When I am painting the textures for these buildings (and for everything else once we get to it) I always try to focus on the viewing angle we are utilizing, so some things may seem exaggerated or missing/nonsensical from this side on view.
This last image shows a view similar to what the in game angle will be.
The color scheme for civilian buildings will generally be more neutral, a direct reference to their neutrality in the conflict. I also wanted them to have variety and character so I tend to try to stay away from monotone features that repeat such as brick or roof tiles.
Technically it is a monument. I guess. If you wanna be technical.
Most of my job is straight forward. I take Todd’s brain – and make the things in it into models. He does far more actual design than I do, which makes my job pretty darn easy in comparison. So starting this week I will be posting my model renders with Todd’s concept. This way you can better see how I ripped it from his head and put it on your screen!
This week I have various environmental props in varying levels of doneness.
First is one of the monuments to the power source that pretty much runs the industrialized country – laperite.
The next few models are all signs of some kind I know they really don’t look like much, but once they are in engine and textured – it’ll be great.
And everyone loves the giant propaganda ornaments lying around town to make sure you really know who owns you.
The process for coming up with setting/world appropriate details usually involves taking ideas which have a root in technology of the real world and twisting it. In the case of the first image that base would be neon lights and exterior sign boards. The translation is fittingly straight forward, hazardous, massively wasteful, and a bit overzealous. The signboards use flame in place of a gas with a current run through it. The silhouettes are possible shapes/configurations for signs.
Next up are some monuments dedicated to the mineral which is extracted into the fuel that Laperia runs on and which allowed for the massive expansion and wealth of the Empire, a propaganda board, and another street lamp. The thought right now is that the cities will be full of propaganda of various sorts, possibly from both factions depending on who controls what.
I also sketched up some early ideas for benches. The first would be an extension of the massive propaganda saturation with an overlooking board. The second utilizes the gear shape, but I think I want to use that less. I did get some ideas for other benches while sketching it though, so that is a quasi-success. There is also just a basic stack of crates with a pulled back tarp- another possibility for around cargo hubs/factories.
And last I have a redesign of the engines I had previously shown.
Hopefully this type of design can translate to vehicles and other props.
Here’s my latest development video. In this video I showed some iterative development on unit steering behaviors. These basically determine how a unit can move from one spot to another in the world. We can also use them to avoid obstacles and to keep space between friendly units and squad-mates. Check it out and subscribe to our page to keep up to date!
In order to get a better handle on the general look of the game world I sometimes jump into tangential sketches. In this week’s case that would be the interior of a factory and associated props. By fleshing out the world and sketching machines that may or may not be used it makes designing props and units for the game world easier.
In the case of this sketch there are some elements that can be directly carried over. The crates can be utilized around factories and perhaps around cargo hubs. The style of engine will eventually be used on vehicles and some external props attached to buildings.
Before starting this image I sketched up a bullet casing/shell press. I figure machines in this world will be for the most part straight forward, but lacking in safety features. After all, cheap labor abounds inside the Empire so injuries or maiming are not a design concern. Each machine is powered by its own engine piped directly into a main source. In order to not immediately asphyxiate all the workers inside the building the exhaust is carried via another pipe out to the roof.
On a separate day dedicated to sketching I threw together an overly thought out idea for a crate. The handles on the sides slide in and out so that the crates can be carried more easily (higher efficiency of work, this isn’t for the workers benefit except tangentially) and still stored compactly. Other than that…it speaks for itself.
Today, I would like to show and tell what I have been working on lately: the Ritualist faction’s lowest tier unit. The ‘knight’ is a fanatical melding of man and his favorite toy. I would like to preface this by saying that the model is just a first draft, as I change shapes and polyflow of the model to optimize it, it may change. And then its gonna look badass when Todd textures it.
Which makes for an interesting challenge to make him move as both a man and a solid piece of armor. Modeling from a certain concept, I get a certain allowance of leeway for ‘artistic licence’. Finding a way to stay true to the concept and make it work, and work well is what I do. Or atleast try. So this model’s specific challenge is making the model and animation of it seem like his weapon is a part of him.
The devil is in the details. Cause once i have the model made, I have to optimize and make it work for our project. Our camera and its angle do a lot to change the way I have to model things. Cause you get to see the really low poly working game model up close and dirty. Every other time you get to see this: (not actual camera angle or zoom)