Dev Blog

Swanky planet art pass complete!

I picked up Substance Painter and went nuts on tutorials and lessons for a week, and ended up with these planet materials after about 4 days of work.

planetmaterialsarray

If you’re interested in a video, here you go :)

 

So hey, all!  Guess what?…. SHIP ART IS COMPLETE!

Yep!  All 5 races, three ships each, all with amazing new materials on them.  Jake Williams was a contract artist we used for the material work, since I’m unfamiliar with Substance Painter… but I’m planning to fix that soon.

I posted a couple short videos on my Twitter feed, here are a few:

Human fighter

Human Fleet

Mech Fleet and Squids duking it out

Scourge fleet

BUGS! Bug fleet actually

For now, it’s just some vids, but there will be proper gameplay vids and nicer imagery coming soon.  Baby steps!

 

Tons of new work coming soon!!!  For now, color concept work…

 

All quiet on the page for a bit, but we have tons of work coming online.  Namely, the materials and shaders for all the ships!  So, stay tuned.

For now… here’s some examples of the paintovers for the shader guy…

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CkM2-vBUYAICVMZ  CjUeRy-UUAYlcWG

Ciyw4kxUgAABPF6 Ci2lRYwUYAAzY3H

All back from GDC and cranking on new Commander Pods…

Had a great GDC, did 2 talks and a panel this year, and pimped the game around some.  Was fun, but not much to report :)

BUT, I’ve been modeling on the various race’s commander pods, and am pretty happy with the new pod for the bug race.  It’s here near the human one, so, have a look!

CommanderBugs1

Nearly done with modeling the final race!  Squeee!

 

I am about halfway through the last model of the last ship for the last race!  Can’t wait to wrap this up and get on nailing down some cool new aspects of the game, revolving around control improvements, and multiplayer representation of the players.

For now though, here’s some model shots of the Scourge dudes!  Oooooh… bad guys!

(The largest ship there is the one still being worked on, the underside in particular is very much in a blocked in state)

Scourge4

5th (and final?) race designed, and I’m CRAZY stoked for these guys…

Hot on the heals of “The Squiddies” (still a temp name! Remain quiet!) Tiffany and I have struck upon the concept for our 5th race for the game.

I always try to think of the races in terms of gameplay mechanics first, and theme second, and this was no exception.  So far we have races that use Attack power, Speed, Production, and Stealth.  The new race we decided on having a starting advantage.

They will start with more ships than their opponents, and have a major boost to their ability to specifically attack the neutral *non-player* planets that pepper the playing field.  In essence, they get an advantage at the start of the match, coming out swinging and spreading like a plague through the solar system.  But… after that?  Hmmmm… yeah, that’s as far as their gifts take them.  After their initial expanse, they’re facing enemy races that continue to have unique gifts, while they are in a sort of “hold it together!” mode.

Sounds very asymmetric, and I will likely do a post in the near future about some very cool things we have planned to balance our multiplayer so these are all able to play well together (obviously super critical).

SO!!!! The theme we settled on is really cool, and art stud Scott was helpful in the process.  Somewhere between the Necromongers from Riddick to the Chaos ships in Games Workshop’s Battlefleet Gothic game. They’re the scourge…  oh man.  That’s not a bad name… hot damn.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, they’re the sort of counterpart to the humans in the game, the Klingons, the zombies, the boogey men.

I have some stupid early initial ship roughs worked out already, but I’ll wait to post the ship designs until they’re further along.  STOKED!!!!!!

No…!  NO!  NO WAIT!  I… I’M… I’M TOOO STOKED!!!!  GAH!!!! MUST SHOW SOMETHING!RNKWLSGFHNBEJL:G VHJBN:D

Scourge1

Whew!  I feel better now.  Sorry about that.

I kid, but I do want to be able to post rough work we are doing on the game as we go.  Otherwise, it’s less a dev blog and more of a place to get beauty renders… and that’s what the media tab should be for 😉

As to if this will be the last race at the time we ship the game… We’re not sure yet.  When you play against people, we want it to feel almost like Street Fighter, where you pick a race at the start of a match, so having enough to feel interesting is important.  BUT, I don’t want to add races JUST to pad the numbers.  It’s super important for each race to have a meaningful unique aspect to them, and avoid the specialties of the other races.  So, will we have more races than this?  Maaaaybe.  It largely depends if we have more awesome inspirations for gameplay abilities, that’s the important part.

 

 

Models complete for the 4th race, “The Squiddies” (totally temp name, hush!)

I just wrapped up optimizing and tweaks for the 3 ships that make up the 4th race in the game.

Where the other races have benefits based on Attack power, Speed, and Production… the Squiddies will be uniquely gifted at stealth and allow their player to be all kinds of sneaky, utilizing underhanded tactics and unparalleled douche-ness.

Our plan is for their fleets to launch as normal, but after a second or two, they cloak… becoming invisible to their opponents.  This will put fear into to the hearts of their enemies, muahaha.  Also, for all races if you save up for the huge ships, you’ll be able to select your fleets in mid-route and redirect them… so, in the case of the Squiddies, you can truly get something akin to submarine warfare in space.  Can’t wait!!!

SquiddiesGroup

 

New artwork contributor!

The super talented Scott Baker is working with Tiffany and I on our shaders and materials.  He works with the Quixel suite team as well.  So, I suppose having an artist who works on the actual tool is a pretty great thing when you need something done.  He’s awesome to work with so far, and here’s some of his early work, which is just too damn cool!

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New material and shader work!

I’ve been doing some cool shader work, making the game generally look way better… here’s a couple to check out!

 

Human Battleship:

BattleshipTexture

Human Doomstar:

DoorStarTexture

 

New mechy models…

A big aspect of MoonStrike is having this asymmetrical combat between different factions.  One of the races we have had running for a while was these robot dudes. I originally modeled them as these complex arrangements of cubes, kind of like some abstract borg thing.  (My wife said they looked like cheese cubes to her and we should make a race of mice)

Here’s a shot of those from when I was making them:

But, since this I realized that the Vive and Oculus later versions can really support higher detail than I had given them credit for early on, and more detail was needed in the models.  Specifically, people are REALLY driven to look closely at the models in the game and the more little moving fiddly bits they have, the better.  So, I started realizing that the cheeze cubes weren’t really up to that task.

So, I started a new set of robot/mechy models.  They’re much more along the lines of looking like tiny giant robots, move little moving arms and ball-joint heads that will search and track enemies and face them when they fire.  I also thought it would be fun if they had little jet feet…

Mech1 Mech2

 

 

 

Failed planets…

One of the things that have been beating on my head with regards to coming up with a visual style for the game is the planets themselves.  The current “shelves and plateaus” vibe is kind of “done” now… and I was hoping to find something more unique.  One issue we push against in VR constantly is that the amount of detail in the world has to be very measured and practical.  You need to be running at an exceptionally high framerate, so you can’t just go nuts and model out insane details on the planets… yet.

One attempt I made was to try more organic looking surfaces.  The individual continents are randomly scattered around the surface for variety, but it’s still not “there” yet… it lacks any style as of yet.  This is one area of the game we have a LONG way to go with.  I’ve been experimenting with particle systems for the planets having lots of little air “traffic” on them, representing the density of units present there… but that started really chugging the framerate down, so that’s needing some rethinking on clever ways to pull that off.

Regardless, the end goal is that we have something that invites the player to crane their head really close to the surface of the miniature planets and look around.  We’ll get there!

-Lee

PlanetWork2

First Post!

Testing out the blog with a little modeling work for the floor of the VR environment.

It turns out that a significant chunk of users don’t feel comfortable in VR if they’re just floating over a void without any real floor to stand on. So, I figured a cool way to handle that would be to build this mechanism under the player’s feet that made it look as if you’re in a sort of holodeck.

This is a model of what lay under your feet, beneath a reflective sheet of glass, so you kind of get a peak at this mechanism.

FloorInnards1

-Lee

 

 



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