Tag Archive: 3D

Sweating the Small Stuff

As we’re in the final mile of the project, there are quite a lot of little details that need polishing. Not the most fun work – but gotta be done. Girders and metal bars are used all over the game, and used still some early test textures without final effects like normal maps. So now I redid all of them, fixed all errors – and brushed them up to the style of the other objects. That will also help to make the game look consistent.

girders 3d

Supports and girders

And menu stuff – little navigation arrows and medals for the achievements.

Menu Icons

More Icons – including achievement medals

And the endboss you will meet every chapter got updated – we’re still tweaking the gameplay. Beware: He can now shoot back!

alien mesh

The “alien” – got a new home.. and weapons.

Sphere Evolution – Now in 3D!

In the last art posting here, I showed the concepting steps of the sphere. Here is the progress on the 3D side of things.

These were the meshes I created to choose from. It’s quite a lot – but it is of course in important asset of the game.

We chose number four – and the team basically said “works really well, don’t touch it anymore”. The visibility is much better – and the rolling motion shows more clearly.
There might be an option to use the other versions as addons or bonuses.

Here is a is the work as a still image to enjoy ;). In the later stages I might tweak it still, to add the outline look that all other assets have.

By now, there has been quite some evolution of the sphere throughout the development. Uh, makes me feel nostalgic.

shpere mesh

The progress of the sphere mesh.

Brushing up the Commercial Chapter

Here are some newly finished objects for our so-named commercial chapter. A train, and some more houses.
There are still a handful items left for this one, but it nears completion. After that I will concentrate on the challenge levels, that will get a completely different set. We’re getting good progress on several fronts, and it’s soon time to add more ooomph the effects and backgrounds. There is still much room to improve. Exciting!

Inking Out the Texture Style

Pens used for hand drawn texturing

These are the two pens I use for drawing the textures.

I want to write a bit about the texture-making process for Caromble, which is quite different than I learned to make textures for bigger games. Early on I decided to try a more analogue texture look, while not going too experimental.

All textures are done first on paper with a simple ink pen (the Pilot G-Tec-C4 0.4mm). Before that step I put the A4 paper on the monitor and trace the texture layout on with a light blue pen (Pilot Color eno 0.7 “soft blue”). A bit of a low tech approach, but it works quite well. On the side picture you can see the blue traces.

Over the years of working on the game, the style and process changed a bit. Earlier Assets used to be much more detailed. Here are some of the later assets (with the signs you can see in a recent post). There you can see the lineart, that I scan and then color on the computer. Without effects it looks quite bland, so there are always specular maps (that change the shininess of an object) and normal maps (which add surface details). Sometimes some other render effects like illumination maps, that for example make windows and car-lights glow.

Texture layers of stylized sign

The textures of the bus. With the linart first, the colored texture, specular – and then the effect map that shows which parts should glow.

Texture layers of stylized sign

The textures for a commercial sign. With the linart, the final diffuse, specular – and a normal map.

Texture layers of stylized sign

Another commercial sign. Showing linart, diffuse, specular and normal map.

I think going for that low tech pen workflow was a good choice, since it saved time compared to tougher lead-penciling styles – even if that might have been easier to show off with. This way I can gather more experience before trying crazier art styles. For example I learned over time that I can work really small – a 512 texture only taking up 3cm. By now I could nearly fit the whole game on two A4 papers.
On the scan below you can see some earlier textures. While more detail looks nicer on paper, in the game (surrounded by lots of items) these just disappeared. The simpler and much quicker way looks better in the end. Win-Win!

A4 ink texture sheet

This is the A4 sheet I use for inking – it has half the textures of the game.

Here I’ve made a render with just the line-art. It looks also interesting – definitely something I will experiment around with more. The next one shows how it looks with all textures applied – the colors help the gampelay a lot, making it easier to distinguish items and their function.

Noshadow Lineart-game render

This is how the game looks with just the line-art (and a small black outline around the objects).

Lineart-game render

Here it’s the same textures, but with shadows, shading and some effects like blur.

Flat color render

This is a plain render – with no shadows or effects, showing the added color layer.

Effects render

And this is after turning on some of the effects you see in the game, like the normal maps, glowing lights, blur in the depth, and of course shadowing. The game actually has some more.

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.

Teaser Trailer ‘Lift-Off’ online

Crunching is taking its toll. We’re tired, more quiet than usual and hardly having any fights… and trust me, that’s not a good sign. This week is awesome though. We are making good progress into making Caromble! a worthy indie game. To show you a bit of what we’ve been up to this week, we took some hours inbetween the crunching to make a teaser trailer. It’s a special gift for you, even though it isn’t Christmas, cause that’s how we roll (pun intended):

And this is what 3 crunching people look like when one of them is taking the picture and an artist is lying on a couch:


Now I’m off, we have a game to finish!

Let’s get ready to Caromble!

Back from Japan

Thomas Schmall is back from Japan and so we had a ‘Welcome Back’ diner last Thursday. Whilst having some Chinese food, we discussed our progress and brainstormed about the paddle redesign, menu and general presentation of the game. Finally we have got our Graphics visionary back, good you’re here again Thomas!

We have more or less finished the levels of our first graphical theme and next week we’ll start on new levels. A bit late perhaps, but still as a present for Sinterklaas: a screenshot. And keep in mind, this is a singleplayer level:)

Orderly Rubble

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

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.