The team is in the last month of production and the game is really coming together. Both characters are complete, the background environment is being tweaked and the level geo/textures are coming in. There are no new changes being made to the game, and a lot of polishing is being done at this point. There are only a few weeks left before our target event, the Level Up Showcase in Toronto. For this last production stage, I have gone back to the terrain to optimize it, add atmospherics effects and help finish up the characters and have them in the game.
Both characters are fully textured and animated within the game. I helped texture the Exo character so that our 3D artist and spend more time on bringing the level environment to a completion. I had to watch some quick tutorials on Substance Painter so that I can work in parallel with the other artist on our team. I was lucky enough to also get some quick tips and ask for help whenever needed from my peer.
Above is the textures low-poly version of our Exo character which I was responsible for making. I referenced several games including Halo to get an idea about what colour scheme would fit within the game. The Exo characters are red and the Solars are a mix of white and blue. This creates contrast between the two characters not only through the colour, but also the shape and forms (more organic vs. mech/blocky). We had to make sure the designs and colour both worked when the player is in 3rd person and top-down views.
I went back to the landscape and played with the colours. There was no time to fix the texture stretching around the inner faces of the crater, but combined with atmospheric effects, the outer environment has come together.
Above are some in-engine screenshots showing the result of the effects. I re-created the skybox within Photoshop, making sure to paint in 32-bit depth to get the value ranges within the sky. The sun is created from an atmospheric scattering script from the Adam Environment Demo. In the demo, I took a look at how they did the environmental effects. We wanted a rotating skybox within our scene, so it had to be separated from the Sun on a different layer. The Sun is actually the Directional Light within the Unity scene with a script attached to it in order to edit the amotspheric levels and glow.
Since we decided to rotate the skybox, I had to create new geometry for the distant mountains to be painted on. Previously, I painted the mountains straight into the skybox, but this had to change. I simply created low-poly ring geometry and put a transparent texture with my painted mountains. After atmospherics were adjusted, I took a screenshot in order to colour pick the real landscape geometry to match the colours and make it look as real as possible, despite it being a billboard in the background. Overall I was pretty satisfied with the result.
We were given the amazing opportunity to playtest our game at Ubisoft this past week to get feedback before the Level Up event. The team worked hard before the big day to prep for the playtest. In the end, we were able to get a very solid build prepared for Ubisoft. We got a lot of good feedback about how we can bring our game to a polish for Level Up. In terms of art, they made sure to mention that the level-geo should have the more detail than the background in the landscape. Since we only had floor textures for the level-geo, it was evident that we have a lot of texture work to be done on the level-geo.
NEXT STEP: LEVEL UP SHOWCASE
The next step is a lot of testing and bringing in final art assets for the level geometry and being prepared for Level Up. We are brainstorming ideas about branding for the event and raising a lot of questions about how we can get peoples attention during the event. However, the most important thing is still getting the game to play well and ensuring that players will have fun. One crucial thing to remember is that there will be a lot of people at the event, and we have to create a way for people to quickly come in and learn the mechanics and go through a play-through that is successful.