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DESIGN PRINCIPLE

Most of the production stage of this capstone is filled with texturing. At least on the art side of things. The design of the textures is intended to emphasize a simple and consistent art style. It can be similarly related to the textures seen in Overwatch. The visual language that the game promotes is consistency and minimalism. This approach is easy on the eyes and is very appealing in comparison to other visual styles.

Below are some examples of textures with similar visual language:

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APPLICATION of PRINCIPLE

In order to apply these principles into the textures in game, I started by familiarizing myself with the elements that make u this visual language. Below are examples of how I applied the designs into the textures in the game.

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My design philosophy in creating texture-work is to keep consistency (in shapes and colors). Very angular and mechanical shapes are what I tried to emphasize. Restricting your palette to a consistent few colors creates a good sense of harmony. Keep in mind to choose a color that conveys the game well enough that you won’t have to rely on multiple colors as it risks a rather jarring piece of work.


 

ISSUES

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At the moment, the rock mesh is too largely scaled in the game and are not varied in its scale and position. This makes it repetitive to look at. Because of its scale, we can also see the pixels on the textures and it looks much flatter than intended.

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PRODUCTIO

It’s A Learning Process

Having come back from a three week holiday, its time to resharpen and also learn new skills. Texturing and concept work are high priority on the list of assets needed. Having little experience with texturing 3D assets, I needed to improve my grip with Photoshop and familiarize myself with 3D  texturing programs. In this case, Maya and Substance Painter 2.

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Photoshop

Most of the work I’ve done in Photoshop are visual development pieces that include environmental concepts and character designs. Many of these have texture work that can be similarly applied within the UV constraints of the 3D object. With the art style we were going for, it wasn’t difficult translating these texture and color techniques into 3D.

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Maya

The texturing process didn’t require me to use Maya a lot. It was only needed in order to reference the UV constraints. Below is the object I used for texture study. Building scrsht.png


Substance Painter 2

This was the most exciting to learn! It took a while to get used to the hotkeys and brush strokes. But after a while, I finally got the hang of it! Substance Painter 2 is an amazing software for texturing. It allows the user many features that increases work efficiency as well as creating good results.

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In-Game Testing

There is a very specific style of lighting in the game. A lot of these textures will have to go through tests along with their textures in order to get the desired result. Below are some in-game screenshots that turned out quite well.

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PRODUCTIO

Working Title

XOR

The game is set in a desolate alien world, where the only spark of life is the player itself. The player takes on the role of Wallet, the game’s protagonist. Wallet is a synthetic life form that has been reactivated by lightning strike to a world that he once lived in but no longer recognizes. Wallet must bring life to his surroundings by transferring and taking energy in order to traverse landscapes and overcome puzzles.


Pre-Production

As we have begun pre-production on XOR (working title), I have been entrusted with the roles and responsibilities of an Art Director. These few weeks have been dedicated to exercising research, analysis and design in each respective field of development.

On the visual side of things, I found that it was very helpful to have a general idea of a visual aesthetic in mind. This idea, though broad, must accommodate aspects and characteristics that could potentially serve as a medium for the game’s interpretation and sets a basis to commence research.


Research

To visualize and support my ideas, I started by gathering reference images. I found myself looking at different styles which had aspects and elements that better represented XOR. Researching had given me an opportunity to compare my ideas and explore different visual designs to serve the interpretation and feel of the game.


Analysis

Having gathered research and reference material, we began analyzing the possibilities and benefits of using these visual styles.

(Below are several of the images and the summary taken from our style guide)


Environment

The environment needs to encapsulate the intended mood and narrative of the game. It is essential to incorporate elements that stimulate the feeling of a desolate and abandoned world in a way that is both melancholic and beautiful. These elements are essential in expressing the environment of a once thriving world.

Inside

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Inside‘s impeccable use of lighting and color creates a sense of desolation in a beautiful way. This is an emotional experience we are really wanting to establish in XOR through the consistency of color and use of lighting.

Journey

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Journey uses scale and environment to create an atmospheric sense of awe. We would like to apply this as the player walks through the game’s levels and scenery.


Ratchet and Clank

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XOR‘s aesthetic and context of the game relies heavily on lighting as a means of direction. Our design of the game emphasizes lighting as a means to inform the player of specific situations. We can take inspiration from Ratchet and Clank.


Overwatch

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The modelling style of Overwatch relies heavily on clean and low-fidelity models. These models have significant detail and a stylized look through the use of hand-painted textures. The combination of the two elements creates a unique atmosphere and feel.


Character

Wallet, the game’s protagonist and the role that the players will be taking, is a small robot that must bring life to his surroundings. The character should be small in comparison to his surroundings as his size is key in the design of the levels and puzzles. It should look rusted and old, inspired by the game’s post-apocalyptic story line, but leaves a mark of his once pristine design. His walk cycle and animation should add to the “clunkiness” of his physical portrayal and curious personality.

WALL-E

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Wall-E’s design serves an aesthetic and functional purpose. His mechanical and geometrical shape shows a rigid and tidy personality. He has multiple compartments and forms that help with his mobility and contributes to his handy charm.

World War Robot (WWR) Graphic Novel

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This action figure, based on the WWR graphic novel, has a variety of unique design. They all portray a rusty old look as it serves the context of a world war. Wallet’s rusty old look and even form can be inspired from these series.

Design

The design stage is where concept work can begin. Designing the art direction of a game is heavily based on the process of referencing and supporting your ideas with research. Throughout this process, I find myself relieved to know that a style guide has been developed as I keep going back and forth between my own work and the guide itself.

(Below are the concept work done during this design process. More concept work in progress too!)

Wallet

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These are four silhouette designs based on the personality traits we have designed for Wallet. it is very beneficial to have multiple designs in mind, as the possibility for “the best” idea becomes more apparent. It also helps to incorporate simple and brief explanations to reason each design.

Environment

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My design philosophy in creating concept work is to keep consistency (in shapes and colors). Very angular and mechanical shapes are what I tried to emphasize. Restricting your palette to a consistent few colors creates a good sense of harmony. Keep in mind to choose a color that conveys the game well enough that you won’t have to rely on multiple colors as it risks a rather jarring piece of work.
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Interior design comes with designing spaces and props. What kind of walls does this mechanical world have? Do the floors have a metallic surface? Are things rusted and broken or do they stay intact but have a scratched and old vibe?

Endnote

It has been most beneficial throughout these few weeks for me to:

Have an Idea. Research that idea. Analyze that research and design based on the conducted study.

Thus concludes Development-Log 1.


References

Inside. Playdead. 2016. Video Game.

Journey. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2012. Video Game.

Overwatch. Blizzard Entertainment. 2016. Video Game.

Ratchet and Clank. Sony Interactive Entertainment. 2016. Video Game.

Wall-E. Dir. Andrew Stanton. Disney, 2008. Film.

Wood, Ashley. World War Robot. San Diego: IDW Publishing, 2004. Print.

Working Title