Ludum Dare 38
TLDR; Timelapse Video
Ludum Dare comes around again, right before my university submissions, I considered not doing it, but I love doing these and I learn a lot, especially tackling new problems with barely any time to figure out how, definitely developed a whole bunch of skills to create assets fast this time around. Once again this Ludum Dare will be 3D and done in Unity, really getting to grips with the software.
With this being our second attempt at a game in Unity its now a matter of refining workflow and learning new parts of the software small pieces at a time now that the basics are starting to become second nature.
Day 1 - Theme Release
The project kicks off with the theme being Small World, as always I open Photoshop, grab my pen and start sketching ideas for game-play, characters or environments, whatever sparks ideas. Initial thoughts for the project were along the lines of Super Mario Galaxy, as an artist, its easy to forget the difficulty of programming said ideas. My thoughts coming into the project were that of wanting to create a combat system with some combat animations, but again, perhaps didn't quite have the time to fit these functions in. Trying to simplify the concept down to something less spherical because, programming. Any kind of curvature landscape was planning out to be quite difficult. Settling on a Starboud style looping world.
Once we establish what the game is and how it will be played, its time to create the character(s). Creating sketches in different styles, trying to keep my initial process varied, male, female, evil, good etc. just anything.
Because of the initial idea of combat a lot of these had the idea of weapons or enemies in mind. Moving on to deciding what character was working and felt interesting was this one at the bottom. Reminds me a little of the characters from Dustforce. Then taking these characters on to further development and making them 3D ready. Some proportion sketches, get a feel for what kind of body shape she'll have.
Fully aware that the skirt will likely be a difficult aspect of the character creation, mainly when it comes to rigging, I decided I'd roll with it and figure it out. With new found skills, Unwrapping and Modelling shouldn't be as difficult and should also be better quality than last LudumDares Alex. Haven't focused heavily on any paint weights and thus Alexa hasn't got the best deformations.
Character came out alright considering the speed at which I tried to complete her. Doing the character first worked out well as it gave me the time to focus on other assets as I knew the character would take up the largest chunk of time.
Just before heading off for the day I created a structure that would act as a hub location for the world.
Drew up some concepts for shapes and ideas both for the structure I intend to create and potential for others across the world if needed.
My initial design didn't go so well when I began to model. I decided to sleep, refresh my mind and approach the construct in the morning.
Day 2 & 3 - Creating the World & Other Assets
Here on its creating the world, assets and various gameplay elements to fit the world. First starting with the structure that I was unhappy with the previous evening and recreating a new version keeping the same overall design.
I realise covering all the assets individually is going to make for quite a long post so I'll keep things in list format with brief notes on each asset if needed. Each of the zones is broken up into modules with each module having its own set of assets. With some minor crossovers.
Starting Module / Hub
- House - Turning Windmill to add some liveliness to the environment.
- Bushes - Just Spheres really.
- Spirit Tree - Extruded cylinder and use of Mash to distribute floating crystals
- Spirit Tree Sapling - Including Seed
- Well - Extruding bricks to show depth and using different gradient shades to texture bricks
- Teleportation Rock
- Pine Trees - Some Variations
- Cactus - Some Variations
- Snow Pine Trees - Retextured Pine Trees
Spirit / Curse Module
- Spirit & Curse Trees - Similar to Spirit tree on house, using MASH for floating spheres and changing colour pallet to differentiate Spirit/Curse - Some Variations.
Spirit & Curse tree concepts
After finishing a bunch of location items it was then time to go back to the character and finish up the textures. I experimented with various colour schemes and changed between black and white to make sure the character colour values read well.
UVs & Placeholder Colours
Created Shears, Watering Can, Shovel, Axe & Seed for the player to pick up and complete various tasks with.
Finally, the last element of the game, HUD. The minimap system uses transparent textures that are rotated and cropped to fit the minimap accordingly. Here are a few examples of how the minimap may look.
Objective & Location Icons
Ingame view of Minimap
This is one of the biggest projects I've done to date, not only was it ambitious but there were a lot of assets to create in a fairly short period of time. Design choices of course could be stronger but being such a short timespan there's little room to stop and think about small design choices, I give it my best shot with a small amount of concepts and choose the next best thing on my mind. Texturing could have been a lot of work, but thanks to some research sources I managed to find an effective and fast alternative method for texturing.
Sadly due to some troubles at the end of the project we didn't quite manage to get a working build out to the public. With a lack of publicity and working build the game was un-rated in the event. I have however, learned a lot from the event and it really puts in perspective how much work can be done if you put your mind to it.
**Will try to get some gameplay footage here for closure and to eventually add to my showreel**
This is the entire process over the 3 days from my perspective.
Just over 24 Hours of Footage in 16 Minutes (x90 speed)