Monday 15 June 2009

Fluffy Bunny Slippers

A mild reorganization, not so much of what I'm doing more how I'm approaching it. Priority is now a multi-level demo, polished to how the whole thing will eventaully/allededly/hopefully look and play. This can act on a number of levels.

Normals and spec, with basemap standing in for diffuse for the time being

Gametest, make sure the damn thing actually works, get feedback, extra bughunting in case I've missed anything (though I'm usually on the ball on how a player will attempt to break the game), see how it works across multiple types of box for I have only one, and state of the art it ain't.
Act as publicity, getting something out there, showing existance, get known.
Backstory. Narrative is an important element in my plan, and I don't want it to appear tact on as an after thought (think practically any major 3A big-budget release) or as some sort of shallow excuse for action and mayhem. It needs to be integrated, but not overwhelming. You can't play narrative, but you should be able to experience it as part of a unified whole, and it should complement the gameplay. Not be 5 hours of cutscene gobbledigook (I'm looking at you Hideo).

Also, fluffy bunny slippers.

I figured it was safe to increase polycount a notch and watched Jonathon Williamson's tuts on modeling a head in Blender at CGCookie. I recommend it greatly, though after watching it, I did ignore it and work my own, slightly organic way ... which brought a few extra problems but hey ... the general process was taken.

After that, more messing trying to sort out a decent body. I'vestill a few problems with deformation in various areas (like anywhere the mesh deforms ... ) but I now understand what is wrong, and if I don't I've a pretty good idea of how to fix it. Things are looking/working better.

And still no bald spacemarines ... infact, getting further away from the cliche every bunny slipper. Surely more awesome moustaches to come. Possibly twizzled.

Game characters that are recognisable, are more often than not devoid of character. Lara was huge boobs. Master Chef of Hallo was a suit of armour barking gruff orders down the spaceship's mess hall. Gordon was mute but at least he was speccy and had a facial hair. How come his specs never fell off? And just how good was his eyesight without them. Was that why he carried that damn crowbar instead of a BFG, couldn't see anything until it was right on top of him .... [/tangent_of_doom]

I had also been thinking about reflective ambient lighting --- on the cheap. Back when I was modding I used to like to put in subtle lighting effects, to catch the edges of models from opposite angles and help create depth on screen in the shadows. This was usually a cold, bluish backlight to complement warm, yellowish sunlight, but on a night level, I could go a little artier with pinks and blues and greens. It all looked rather nifty.

So I decided to do it again. I'm not aiming for realism or 12 million shades of grey/brown, so why not ...

Which was when I noticed a forum thread on the same sort of idea, but with a fancy, technological solution. But it did mention using primary colours, which I thought was a rather good idea. So I've setup a rather basic triangluar crossfire of RYB to pose as arty reflective ambient lighting.

Triangular Crossfire of Psuedo-Reflective Ambient Colours

As a foil to my previously developed plans of large, rural and urban, open areas, I've been designing a bit of claustrophobia. Tight, industrial style tunnels and interiors. Currently they are textureless, with teh basemap I used for the normals being used as diffuse, so it all looks a bit metallic and shiny. But I'll colour coordinate them to the seperate areas for variety and artiness.

T3D beta2 seemed to have a whole lot of initial issues sorted -- which is what a beta is for. It still all looks rather promising. And after a fair bit of messing, I transported the basics of my AI system over and let them have a good run about.

Roll on beta3, and can I haz more hours in a day, plox, it's flippin' nearly monsoon season, better known as Wimbledon.