Monthly Update – April

April 2nd, 2015

April is here, no foolin!

What a busy month March has been. First off I caught up with what I didn’t get finished in February, so I now have one level that’s playable in Unity with all the puzzles and whatnot. It’s all built with Unity primitives at the moment, no proper art but it is playable and I’ve had someone other than me test it for the first time (thanks Jeff!).

Next I spent some time researching and putting together some guidelines for the art style. There are so many different directions I could go with this from photo real to cell-shaded/hand painted. I wanted to get that defined and have an image in my mind for what the game will look like, the tone and setting, what the level of technology within the world itself would be etc. so that I could better decide when I’m designing levels if something fits within the overall style of the game or not.

Then I took up my Wacom pen and made a start on a logo/illustration to give an identity to the game. This might seem a bit premature, but I’m an artist at heart and I need to have some kind of image that helps to tie everything else together. 50+ iterations later I’ve got a text-only version done and a couple of illustrated versions that are close to being finished. All the letters of the title are hand drawn, and of course it’s a really long title so that took quite a while. I’m definitely going to choose a very short name for my next game!

Next up I picked one small section from an early level in the game and modeled that up in 3D. Defining the level of geometry detail vs texture detail is quite important so that everything remains consistent and also that I don’t end up making too much or too little detail in the environment and props. The scene is modeled and unwrapped and I’ve started on the first bit of texturing so that’s progressing well. I would have been a lot further along with the 3D work if not for the nightmare scenario of my PC dieing mid-month! To cut a very long story short, it turns out my graphics card has (probably) always been faulty but it didn’t show up until I upgraded the motherboard this month. So I had a full week of not having a graphics card in my machine at all and relying on the GFX chip on the motherboard! So several days lost there, but the good news is I have an awesome new graphics card now and everything is running very smoothly 🙂

So what’s next? First of all I need to finish up texturing my 3D scene and get that looking nice in Unity. Then I think it’s back to working on my character controller and interaction with objects and the environment. Having built a complete level I can see where I need to make some improvements with that. I’d also like to add some additional options for environmental interactions with the world and using physics, such as being able to push the character with wind, climbing/swinging on a rope, swimming, that kind of thing. These will all give me more options for creating puzzles in the world and make the levels more interesting and interactive. So another busy month ahead!

And since you made it all the way to the end of this long post, here is a mini preview of the logo I’ve been working on…

logo preview

See you next month 🙂

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