At the point in time of writing this devlog it already has been a while since a majority of the modelling done for this chunk was done so I can’t talk too much about problems I had while working on them.
In the picture above is nearly all models I have made at this time. Pictured in the front is the main character both made up and broken down into separate pieces. I was asked to model the character recently so that the person in charge of animating could began animating but before that we had our semester’s sprint week where we had to create a video introducing the game and group members as well as daily activities working on it.While I was using the concept artists piece to add additional models to the game I ran into the problem of splitting the building into appropriate pieces both inside and out, as well as keeping in mind the space being taken up by it.
The character had some changes that were made to it from the original model to make it appropriate for animation where parts had to bend. Since it was a robot I created openings in the models where they needed to bend and placed a hinge for them . Another change that had to be made was the placement of the cylindrical pieces on the elbows placement since before they were placed on the large front face of the elbow but didn’t look right when animated.
For our alpha our group is focusing on preparing a small diorama of the game to show the mechanics and practice teaching the player how to play the game. However, as part of the diorama I was asked to create small examples of greyboxed environments for the game which for now is the wasteland as well as areas like the shopping district and industrial district of the city for the players to walk around in. I have plans with the person who is doing the puzzle design to integrate the puzzles into these environments soon.
Pictured above is the wasteland related concepts which shows an example of what the ground rocks and rocks in the environment should look like while the example on the right shows the player at the new start of the game where they awake next to a crashed spaceship in the wasteland.
The picture above shows what the current greybox version of the wasteland level looks like. When making the wasteland I started by making several small scale variations of the area to test out which is best for feel and fun since walking can get boring after a while. Shown below is the several different variations next to the current version
When first creating the larger version I wanted to combine two of my previous versions, one that was a much larger space that included a landmark, and one that was a rather small space with several ground rock pieces sticking up in what appears to be a random pattern to be both visual and physical obstacles for the player while making sure the path isn’t too obvious to the player.
The large spaced variation was interesting to look at and provided a place to go that would draw the player to advance through the level but the large open space makes walking around feel like it takes even longer which becomes boring, so by adding in the second variation which obstructs the player’s path and sight making it both more interesting and the path less obvious.
As I was making the larger variation in order to avoid making the edges of the map obvious I created extra rock pieces for the ground that would tile much further out than the person could play and instead of gradually making it go higher up I would make some pieces taller occasionally while a majority of them stayed around the same height as the walk able path’s which worked very well in making it difficult to figure out where the player could and couldn’t reach while keeping the landmark that I had added in (the archway of rock) in sight and neither I or others who tested it had trouble finding their way back. Eventually I tried putting in the “greybox models” which where the models that will be used in the end but before I have sculpted in the details and baked them. The result of replacing them with these caused a much taller terrain since the models were replacing cubes that were already scaled and were stretched more than the cubes were.
When this happened the entire environment looked more interesting because it brought more attention to the height of the environment but it also made the areas the player could and couldn’t walk to stick out a bit. Overall my group liked the taller version better and the level was still easy enough to understand while being fun so I kept it that stretched. In order to make the areas where the player could and couldn’t go so obvious I would choose random areas and choose a rock from there to scale up then repeat until I had an uneven outer area with no pattern.
For the city I was told to make an industrial looking area and a market area for the diorama. I started by picking up where I left off on a previous scene for the city and turned it into a spaced out center hub of the area where the player could find their way back to easily. I then turned the open areas into what leads to the other areas. For the industrial area I used an increased amount of pipes while for the market area I am still trying to get the right shape for the area but have focused on verticality and use the area inbetween the two as a way to transition. While working on the city I have been keeping in mind spacing while and try to avoid having an area that is completely straight for too long to avoid the player from getting bored of moving resulting in the area having turns. For both areas I used a landmark and make the paths easy enough to make out where the player is so that they don’t get lost while moving through the area’s. Also, since this is for the diorama to give an idea of what the environment will be like rather than this being for an exact level of the game it isn’t as focused on getting the player to a destination.