(Main) Raccoons Boatacular Escape Backup

Pre-production

For this project we were told to get into groups of up to 4-5 and to pick either to create a Level from a video game, a animation or a VFX video. As a group we decided were going to create a game concept and create the first level for it. The theme of the game was to be about an animal with a chaotic theme with games like untitled goose game given as real life examples.

We started looking into what the basic features of our game would be such as how it would work, what would be the main mechanics, what the character would be, time and setting and many others. To easily keep track of all these ideas we created a shared google drive and used a word document slowly eliminating ideas as we narrowed down what we wanted in the game. After a bit more time we had finally narrowed down what ideas we wanted to use and highlighted the definite ones it black bold.

After all this we all settled on having our game be a 3rd person low poly stylized puzzle adventure game. In which the player would control a mischievous raccoon on a pier at night with the objective of collecting boat parts to repair the broken boat. We would also use Cel shading which is a type of non-photorealistic rendering designed to make 3-D computer graphics appear to be flat by using less shading colour instead of a shade gradient or tints and shades. Our project and ideas were inspired by games such as untitled goose game and dount county.

Project Proposal

After we had got our idea we started to create a project proposal for it so that we could easily show our idea to people and obtain feedback on it. We started by creating a team contract which everyone signed accepting the fact that they would all help and do their individual parts.

After creating the team contract we all created our own individual mood boards based on the style, location and assets that would be in our game or used for concepts in our game. Below are the 3 mood boards that I created.

When everyone had created their 3 mood boards we compiled them all onto 1 slide in our project proposal. We then decided what each of our roles would be and created a schedule based around our specific roles. We also dished out all the remaining parts of the project proposal as equally as possible.

For the project proposal I did the Overview, Theme, Characters/Narrative, Key features/Mechanics, Asset List, Storyboard, Playboard, Character Concept Art, Environment concept art, Asset concept art and created the block out in Maya as well as the concept for the game logo.

To create the block out I used Maya and used very rough shapes to quickly layout where most things would be including how big or small they would be. I used squares to indicate where the shops/stalls would go as well as the lifeguard towers. Once I had a rough block out I took it into Unreal to make sure it all worked and so I could get a greater understanding of how things would need to be. I feel doing the block out helped a lot especially in helping me understand how certain things will need to be layed out and how important it is everything is accurately scaled to human size so that there is no issues with the movement for the player.

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Weekly Extension Task

For this weeks extension task I was tasked with researching a new skill which had something to do with my current project of creating a game and then implying it into my work. This skill could either be hand drawn or a digital skill. For me personally I looked into poses and low poly characters as for my project proposal one part I worked on was the character concept art. For this I needed to draw a low poly raccoon that visually looked the same from multiple different poses so that one of my team mates would be accurately able to model the raccoon and animate him. In particular for my research I used things such as YouTube videos, websites and google images, some of which I have linked below.

https://sundaysundae.co/how-to-make-low-poly-characters/
https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/cartoon-fundamentals-the-secrets-in-drawing-animals–vector-17361

After doing some research and practicing some of these new skills myself I created the piece of paper below which includes our low poly raccoon in 4 different poses them being stood up, on all 4s, sat down, layed down and then a close up of the face of the raccoon. I feel this extension task has helped me a lot in realising how important concept art is in the pre production process but also how to draw more low poly characters which could help the person modelling that character a lot more.

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After we had all done our specific parts and finished the project proposal we presented it to the other groups so we could get some feedback on everything. After receiving feedback we were confident on our idea and decided we were done and would start working on creating the game. First though we had to create a Trello page and set up a document for our weekly meetings.

Production on RBE Game

Week 4

As week 4 started we had our usual weekly meeting and discussed what we were all going to start getting on with for me that was starting to model the environment along with the main assets for the environment.

I started the week of by jumping into Maya and modelling the lifeguard tower making sure to always be using my reference from my mood boards. I also made sure to accurately scale everyhting to human size by using the content browser human built into Maya. I started off by modelling the main bit of the lifeguard tower that being the little house including windows and doors into it by using tools such as extrude. When I had achieved the desired look and made sure my team member’s thought it was good I then started to model the legs to the tower as well as the staircase to get up to it. Once I had the model fully made I started to UV the lifeguard tower making sure to use tools such as best plane and then giving all the UVs the same texel density that way none of the textures would be stretched. After all was done I did a quick render shot to make sure all looked good and then moved on to the next model.

The next thing I modelled was a surfboard, this was quite a quick and simple model in which I used another reference image to help me move the vertex points of a cube to manipulate the object and make it look like a surfboard. Once I was happy with how it looked I then UVd it and took another quick render shot.

The final thing I modelled that week was a beach bench. I made sure to stick to the theme of all our assets being quite low poly and simple and again UVd it after I was happy with how it had turned out. I once again took a rendered shot at the end to check it all looked good and there was no errors.

Week 5

As week 5 started we had another weekly meeting in which we had discussed what progress we each made last week and each gave the others feedback based on what we had done the previous week.

Update 1

Below is the first weekly update to our Trello page since we created in but this time to make everything more easy we set up multiple different headers those being to do, doing, almost done and finished. This allowed for us to track everything a lot easier and quicker.

My goal for this week was to texture all of the models I had made the previous week as well as start on modelling the pier.

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I started of by texturing the lifeguard tower, to do this I exported the model as an fbx file which I then imported into Substance Painter on a PBR metallic roughness allegorithmitic template. For our game we are using a cel shaded art style for the graphics which is a type of non-photorealistic rendering designed to make graphics look flat by using less shading colour similar to the untitled goose game. Due to our chosen art style I made sure to stick to that with my texturing on all my assets and not make them to detailed as it would draw away from the overall look and feel of the game.

After the lifeguard tower I went on to texture the beach bench again keeping to the cel shaded art style. I also made sure to search online for the exact hex code for the colour of the bench to make sure it looked as accurate as possible to our desired look.

The final model I had left to texture was the surfboard, for this I wanted to stick to the cel shading style but also give it a bit more of a graphical design as that is how most real life surfboards are. So I created a few textures In which the surfboard was the just plain colours with and without stripes and then made a special designed one which will be leant against one of the lifeguard towers. I achieved the design below by using paint layers and different bits of multiple designs I found online.

After I had textured all my models I went back to Maya and got started on modelling the pier which is the main part of the environment for the game. I made sure to import the block out into a new scene so that I could use that for size reference as well as to remind me of where I planned for most things to go. I started of with a long thing rectangle which I used for the floor, I then  started to work on the pillars making sure they were all placed as precise as possible where I wanted them. I then started to work on adding in some supporting beams like a real life pier would have.

Overall, I think I’ve achieved everything I set out to do this week to a decent quality, I am especially happy with how some of the textures turned out especially the Lifeguard tower as I wasn’t sure if it was going to look how I wanted it to. Also as a group I feel like we are doing a good job as were all currently on track and making good progress in our own individual tasks.

Week 6

Week 6: Continue Modelling, texturing and prototyping
Nathan – Mainly focusing on environment
Tom – Mainly focusing on Rigging the Raccoon and looking into animating
Joel – Continuing to model assets
Matthew – Continuing to blueprint in Unreal

With week 6 commencing we again had our weekly meeting and checked how everyone was getting on and if they were still on schedule. We each showed our work for the previous week and gave each other feedback.

Update 2

The following week we again update our Trello with the progress everyone had made last week as well as specifying what everyone was going to be working on that current week.

My goal for this week is to finish modelling the Pier as well as modelling the stalls for the pier. I would also like to try and UV both of these as well by the end of this week.

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I started of this week by finishing the pier to do this I first needed to model the fences that would go all around the rim of the pier. After I placed all the fences around I started to model the stairs at the bottom of the pier in which the player will use to gain access to the pier and solve some of the puzzles up there.

After I was happy with how the pier looked I started to model the stalls that would be on the pier. I did this by starting with a cube and making it into the shape of my reference image, after this I then started to add in the window frames and signs. Once the main building was complete I modelled the roof and triangular support separately using tools like the bridge tool which connects to points together and then combined everything together UVd them and added the materials on that I would be using in Substance painter.

Once I had exported it as an fbx I imported it into Substance painter so that I was able to texture it I again stuck to the cel shaded theme. For this particular texture I wanted to add a almost candy cane texture around the stall like my reference images had, this also meant that I could change the colour of the stripes for each stall making them not look and feel completely the same while saving me modelling 3-4 different stalls. I also tried to do a little graphical design on the menus/signs just to add a bit more of a visual appearance to them rather them having them fully black.

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