Category: Art

Levels in the new theme

A few weeks ago, our artist Thomas S already showed some of the newly created assets for the new theme: Metropolitan/Commercial style. We have been working hard to create some levels with these and I got official permission to give a sneak peek:

A train that rides more reliably than ours in Utrecht Doesn't the Alien boss look scary!?

We hope you like it! It’s not only the graphics style that is different in this theme. There will be some new gameplay features that could lift you right up:)

Also nice: this week the gaming news website Gamingbolt published a piece we wrote in their section ”Developer journal’. You can read it here. We hope to have some more journals there soon.

Oh, and if you accidentally find yourself  in Amsterdam tomorrow evening, you should go to Pakhuis de Zwijger. There will be another Control Gamelab. This time it is on making Game Trailers. We hope to learn enough to make our upcoming trailer super awesome! Expect it on youtube soon, of course with moving footage of our new graphics theme.


A New Chapter

After showing our first levels with an industry setting at the GamesCom in Cologone we’re concentrating now on the next chapter with a commercial look. The scenes will be less dominated by pipes and machines, but by neon signs, skyscrapers with glowing windows and city traffic.
Here are some asset renders of finished assets.

As many futuristic/industrial cityscapes, this chapter is inspired by Blade Runner. But also by some visits to Tokyo.

A study in light

Friday was one of these days that I just seemed completely unable to focus on the thing I was supposed to do, which is making a new level. It’s not that making levels isn’t fun, because it is. Just didn’t seem to happen that day… The funny thing is, on those days a lot of other things do happen.

Since the level I was supposed to be working is set at night, I figured it would be nice to have some lights flicker when switching on.

But how exactly do lights flicker? Deciding that this situation called for some experiments, I started my code editor and dragged out the Caromble! toolbox. First thing that came out was a simple formula: x*x. Plugging that in the function that controls the intensity of the light, we get a light that gets brighter at an increasingly quick rate. Nice, but not quite what I was after…

Then I thought of an old friend: Perlin Noise! Perlin noise is nice, because it gives you a random number that varies over time, but in a coherent way. For the light this means that it will be on for a while, then off for another, but  not switching every frame. This already gave a nice flickering effect.

The disadvantage of this method is the rate of flickering is constant throughout the whole period. I want the rate of flickering to be high at start, and then gradually decrease. I achieved this effect by taking the square root of the time parameter, before plugging it into the Perlin noise function.

And here is how that looks:

New Paddle


Santa came early this year and look what he brought: a brand new paddle! This paddle matches our background story much better. And it looks better too. On top of that the shape has been updated too, it is a bit more flat at the top, so players will have greater control over the ball.

We also would like to share some concept art previously posted on our Greenlight page. It shows you the direction we’re headed with Caromble!, as we are nearing the final stages of development.

We are eager to hear any thoughts and feedback!


Orderly Rubble

Another new addition: Pieces break into rubble (just for the looks). So here are some amazing rubble models!

Concept: The Alien!

So in our push to get a new demo together we’re also adjusting some gameplay. For one we want to give the player a clear goal what to aim for in a level.

Our idea is to add an alien artifact, that crashed in each level. The player is basically the alien rescue team. Here are some ideas for how the design could look.

It has a clear contrast to the world, to be easily spottable. It also gives us an excuse to make the goodies easily spottable. Red looks nice – so we’ll run witht hat, but we might have to use more colors for different goodies.

New Asset: The Oil Silo

This new object is a bit simpler than the old batch, because the rushed assets usually turned out nicer in the game than the detailed ones. It’s one of the toughest parts in game art to keep the bigger picture in mind. When an artist works on something, then it is easy to optimize detail/contrast/colors for this specific item. But all those properties work completely different in a scene it has to share with many other objects.

So here it is: thicker lines on the texture. Less and softer details. And less color.

Asset: The Bus

One of the assets rushed in for Indigo. Will get some brush-up and normal maps later.

That was by the way some of the interesting feedback I got: the most rushed assets got repeatedly positive reactions. My perfectionism makes me cringe a bit – but of course I should be happy because I can work much faster than I did with some of the older assets. They turned out too detailed – it does not only not show up but also makes their impact lower.

So maybe even this one is a bit more than needed.

Final Asset: The Farmhouse

One of the first bigger assets in it’s final form: the farmhouse. Which is right next to the start on or prototype level. I made a little turnaround movie – one with the diffuse map, and one with just the normal map (Normal maps are basically just showing the shape of a form, instead of the color).

I think I’ll keep this style throughout the project – after all the testing I’ve written about earlier, I’ve got it working: It’s quick, and unique enough. With some after effects we’re planning for this should work well in the final game (again, those asset shots are not done in the real engine yet, but close to it).

More Steps in 3D

On request to add desktop sizes of the last images, I’ve made the caromble wallpaper page. Hope this works for everyone.

And the following images are some more asset-shots to test the final 3D look.

As pointed out in the last post, this is not in-game, but close to it. If we get features like the black outline to work, it will help us also with the gameplay. We could change the color to highlight important objects.

While working on the cow screenshot, there was a little accident. I put the wrong texture on all objects. But I think it actually has something to it – it looks more gritty, evil and in despair. Wile the overall technique for the other assets is ok, I will try to incorporate some of the effects from this mistake. Maybe the cow will get a gasmask one day.