July 27th, 2013
This last week I’ve been engaged in the solemn work of texture mapping! It’s the step which comes directly after the model is complete. We’ve got to translate every 3D surface onto a 2D sheet, so we can later paint in all the pretty textures.
For anyone who missed last week’s post, here’s a render of the final 3D model with a flat grey material applied:
So most 3D programs will spit out a 2D projection of your model with minimal work by the artist. But the results are always off by a pixel or two. Generally this is acceptable. But when you’re working in an intentionally pixelated style, you need per-pixel accuracy. So I end up re-painting the 2D wire frames by hand. I actually enjoy this quite a bit. In the end it gives me a pixel-perfect template to paint on. So I know all the tech details will line up perfectly on the model.
Here’s what the final template looks like (1/4 size). The orange is the command center, the blue are other defensive structures.
So this is a layout of every detail, every nook and cranny on the model. It’s built on an exact ratio of 16 pixels per meter. The entire game is actually built on this ratio. So when we’re done, there will be a 100% consistent pixel density on all parts of the world at all times.
Once the sheet is laid out, the next step is to map the ‘UVW’ or texture space of the 3D model onto this 2D sheet. This part is fun, as you get to see the model slowly turn into a TRON-like labyrinth of edge lines.
To anyone else the correlation between the orange model lines and the 2D sheet might look incomprehensible. But as the colors and details are painted in, the connection between the sheet and the model should become pretty clear.
Once I have the texture painted, I plan on making the model and the texture available to anyone who wants to play around with the final texture or the model. So you guys can see the pieces of the game up close. If someone has a better texture idea, that might even make it into the game!
Until next time!
July 19th, 2013
Hey, happy Friday! So Brian and I have been hard at work on two big contracts. That’s why we’ve disappeared. The idea is to build up funds to pay for full-time development on Slime City. The work has been great, and we’re still finding time to push progress forward on Slime City.
The time we have been spending on Slime City went into an overview design doc for potential investors (as I mentioned in a previous update). It covers all aspects of the game in a speculative form. Inevitably play testing will reveal issues and obvious improvements. But it’s helpful to have a basic shared vision to aim at. We’re keeping the specifics confidential at this point. But here’s a blurry pic showing our hard work : )
Once we got the design doc sent off, Brian pushed forward with implementing a bunch of cool features. We now have a resource based economy in-game as well as basic procedural level creation. Next he’ll be adding some of the weapons and ‘monsters’ in the slime’s arsenal. This should greatly improve and excite the feel of the core game-play.
I’ve been designing your first, and most important game building, ‘The Command Center’. It’s the only building you must retain to stay in the game. Currently it also acts as a collection drop for resources, and a minimal power source. Here’s the finished base model with no textures, and mocked up lighting.
It has heavy pressure doors on two sides that lift to allow in resource drops. That central shaft launches resources up to an orbital building construction station. On the back there’s a rotating communications disk that handles coms for the whole ground operation.
That’s it for this update. Look for more progress updates soon!