December 4, 2012

Spacecraft interior

So there's this little challenge thing on Polycount for people newer to modeling and environment art but I felt like I could use the practice and I liked the concept art (by Mark Yang). Progress after a couple of days of leisurely working on it. Still WIP, but it's about half way done or so...
It's very monotone, I really want to add color to it. So I'll probably be straying even more from the concept art later.

November 29, 2012

Dirty P90

Messed around in the dDo beta with that P90 from before...mmmm, dirty.

November 27, 2012

Scifi Batmanish guys

Practice to design characters faster. Done in like 6 hours. Sort of batman inspired character designs.

November 26, 2012

nDo2 Practice

Was practicing with nDo2 last night. Super fun program to use.

November 17, 2012

Spacelady sketch

Some space lady design that I was working on to get back into doing more characters. Will come back to her later...

Something on your face.

I don't know. I just felt like doing it.

November 15, 2012

A forest

Just in the mood to paint something


That P90 is coming along. Got the low poly done and the textures are in process now...I'm thinking now I'll make some attachments for this.

November 14, 2012

It's red. Shoot it.

Super fast thing because I felt like painting some textures. I might come back to revise this and maybe do more things like it later...

If only life was more like a video game...we'd have barrels blowing up everywhere.
I'm pretty sure the "if it's red it blows up" rule is one of the first examples of a recurring visual language in video games.

November 11, 2012


Weekend modeling practice. I'm thinking of making this P90 lowpoly and making it a custom weapon in UDK if I get around to it.

October 6, 2012

That little place again

I'm being a little too slow with this environment, there were technical issues with some building meshes but it's mostly worked out. Here's some more screenshots of how it looks now. There's an upstairs now!

and I decided to make the exterior as well.

September 29, 2012

A little place

I quickly threw together a block out of a little peasanty home interior yesterday. Testing to see what I can achieve before moving these assets into a larger space. There's some more models I'll probably make but for now it'll be best to get what's there now all textured. Also, there's more lighting and an upstairs to do.

September 12, 2012

Dungeon Tiles and Props on sale now!

These sets are not live on the roll20 marketplace! Designed to be used with tabletop RPGs such as D&D and Pathfinder. It works in the roll20 virtual tabletop and other virtual tabletops, but they are available for download to be printed and used on real tabletops!

Dungeon Tiles
Dungeon Props

The sets are being sold for 4.99 each right now, but here's a free map created with all these assets on the roll20 virtual tabletop

August 8, 2012

Update BlackRock

So I've been working on this off and on, whenever it pleases me but here's an update so far with a few of the models in the level. I decided to just make a single test house to make sure the assets are working properly before I go and try to fill up the entire level. It's not much as of right now, there's been some experimentation and planning going on. I'll probably be trying out some new tricks and workflows soon.

Also this nifty rock that is seen in the background of some of the images

And some concepts I threw together for future buildings to go into this environment.
The blacksmith works out of a volcanic "chimney" instead of a fireplace. He also turns part of his home into his shop so that he's never far from business.

The Crane Control will control the large chain that can be seen dipping into the heart of the volcano. The chain will coil up in the building when retracted. It's controlled through hand turned gears. It will probably get taller seeing as I want this to be the tallest building in the environment.

July 28, 2012

Black Rock Environment

I'm starting up this old idea I had for an environment called Black Rock. The idea is a little city that is built up on the top of an active volcano. It's run by orcs, goblins and other baddies who have use the volcano to create deadly weapons. Since there isn't much space for everyone and their business they have to make their building tall and sometimes on top of someone else building. Since no one is really a nice guy here there are often fights that breakout, instead of fighting in the middle of the streets where others are trying to do work or run a business, they instead have fights ABOVE the volcanic pit where they melt scrap metal and ores. Things get heated to say the least. It's best to stay away from this place, unless you're in the business to kill things...

Just the preliminary stuff. Not even finished getting the buildings laid out or constructed, I'm just setting the stage... I'm mostly just going to be using this environment to experiment and learn stuff.

July 5, 2012

The Chieftain Hunter

So I'm making this guy for a contest on Polycount for $1,000. It's some orc tribal chieftain hunter that wears his trophies on him.

And now I've started working on him in zBrush. Just blocking in some of the clothes and major parts.

The contest doesn't end until August 19th so I have some time, but there's still a lot to do with this guy. More updates to come.

June 27, 2012

It came from the zBrush

Just another zbrush thing. I think I might getting the hang of using it...but maybe not.

June 8, 2012

Kaz the Kobold

A friend's D&D character. I felt kind of bored and my friend was bothering me to draw him so here's a quicky.

May 22, 2012

Fieldrunners 2 Announced

The game Fieldrunners 2 was announced earlier today! That news probably isn't exciting for you but the fact that I worked on the game a year ago with the Subatomic guys as an intern makes it exciting for me. I did mainly FX work with them but I was also able to work with them when brainstorming ideas and give feedback on parts of the game. This is probably going to be the best Tower Defense game on mobile for a while so keep a few $1's in your account to get this game when it comes out.

May 21, 2012

Odyssia: The Process

My final year at Ringling College wrapped itself up in a nice little diploma for me. So I decided to wrap up my thesis experience into one blog post for anyone interested and for future reference for myself.

Give it a moment to load images and things

Odyssia is a game concept developed as a 2012 senior thesis at Ringling College of Art and Design in the Game Art and Design major. It's a collaboration between three people:

ODYSSIA is an underwater resort that is suddenly attacked by a giant sea creature. Everyone manages to escape except for one woman. She has to make her way through the now dangerous paradise using a Energy Transferring Tool (ETT). This allows her to absorb the energy used to power objects and inject it into things that she would need to escape or to avoid the creature.

The the player is this woman and the Energy Transferring is the the main gameplay mechanic used to solve environmental puzzles. The general mood is creepy and often threatening with some action thrown in there for encounters with the creature destroying parts of the resort. It can all be thought as a mix between Portal's gameplay and Amnesia's thrill put in a setting similar to Bioshock.

All of this information was developed out in our Junior year second semester as well as over the summer break of 2011. Our animatic trailer looked very different after this point and much of the concepts were still extremely rough. Here's the original animatic that we ended the Pre-Production class with.

It's pretty obvious that some things were cut and some things were added in the final trailer. We showed off gameplay for one thing, I'll go into why that was taken out later on but I am going to go into what kind of gameplay was developed in this concept phase. Even though it was not in the final trailer it still saved us from a massive headache when putting together a navigable space later on. Here are some preliminary concepts and level layouts I created for the team:
I always approach environment design as if I'm creating an interactive illustration. Game environments are meant to not only give the player a challenge to overcome but to also give them some emotional feedback, either through visual narrative or graphics like a XP bonuses and such.

After this we decided on who will be taking which environments. Originally these designs were for gameplay in mind and some spaces you see are not in the final trailer and somethings in the trailer were not in the original design, such as the pod bay environment. That was originally going to be a part of the entrance space because it made sense with the gameplay but as the trailer came along, explaining that one small thing became an issue and so they diverged into two separate environments. As well as another environment entirely dissapearing even though it was a perfect gameplay scenario:

Originally a gameplay level where you have to swim outside to get to another building but you had to avoid the creature's swaying tentacles in order to make it across safely.
This happened quite a bit in the Production phase. Speaking of which...

This is when nothing was just "what could be?" This was when things had to come together and fit properly. Still there was a lot of people questioning us what our thesis was and if it could have some other things to it. Feature creep started happening and the project began to get bloated by the comments of others. Here's the first pass trailer we had when Senior Year started.

Well first off the big comment we got back was "What was all that?" and yeah, there was a lot going on and lots of different shots showing different parts of the game, but it didn't really explain the story that much and there lie the issue we had. The faculty were very much confused by the montage of moments and really pushed for something more linear. 

Everyone on our team went to work fast and hard to get another revision completed that was little more linear. We went through multiple storyboards and animatics to try out different ideas. I even had to completely throw away multiple versions of the entrance space before getting to what you see in the end.

The biggest issue we were having was that the entrance was on the top of the building, which made sense with gameplay (escape the rising water scenario), but in the trailer all attempts to make use of it confused the faculty.

All the while I had another environment to work on as well, the Prominade Hallway which gt significantly less attention than I had wanted because of the constant revisions to the Entrance environment. Eventually though I had the time to give that environment some much needed

There's a jump in the quality mainly because after spending so long on the entrance I had to crunch to bring the hallway up to par.

Eventually we came to a version of the trailer that was very linear, something the faculty really wanted, but had cut the gameplay entirely.

It got the thumbs up of approval but as a team we asked ourselves if we could get some more gameplay footage in. At this point however we were running out of time and as it was it was already going to be a big push. I had added another hallway environment attached to the entrance and the Pod Bay had become it's own environment that Kez took over as her own.

The only issue now was that there was no woman. The woman was something that kept dissapearing and reappearing in our trailer, since it required animation but none of us knew how to animate very well. Still we needed a person there for the main story set up and because we were getting comments from the faculty challenging us to get them to "care about why the environments are flooding" as the viewer.

We needed a person who was left behind in all this destruction and chaos. We needed a damsel is distress with no one there to save her. So I took up the challenge to make and animate this character and we created a scene at the end to introduce her after the destruction. The trailer was all there now, all that was left was to finish the assets and filling up the spaces

Here's the trailer that we had at the end of our first semester:

As the winter break went by, I didn't actually take much of a break. I was working on how I could fill up my spaces quickly with assets, and I went through a lot of sketches and designs for the character that I now had to model and animate as quickly as possible. But first I needed a final design for her. This is the process that she went through:

Some silhouettes and portrait sketches. I concluded some of the aspects of the dress that I wanted and what kind of face shape and hair she should have from these.
Some corset designs, I knew I wanted her dress to have a corset so I did a few quick designs.
This of course led to her turn around sheet...
...and a nice little painting of her.
When I got back to school I got approval and feed back from teachers and classmates and moved on to the modeling and textureing. It was a mixture of things, I kept going back and forth between zBrush and Maya. There was a lot of tweaking and editing. I used zBrush mainly for painting the textures, especially around the face. You can never pay enough attention to the face, everyone will judge your character mainly from the face. By the end I had something like this:

She went through a few tweaks and changes before the end but the main model was done and rigged, ready for animation.

The environments went through an overhaul right after the character was finished. There wasn't much documentation done during this time because we were all on crunch pretty much to the end of thesis.

During this time however I went ahead and just started turning our environments into something that could be used for the navigable space which was a nice change of pace. I was able to think more about the spaces as a player as opposed to a film director and I got back into touch with the initial ideas for environments concerning their mood. It was a whirlwind race to beat the clock with this.

I could only take 5 days away from the work for the trailer if I was ever to hope to finish it in time. By the end of those 5 days I had re-lit, rearranged, added sound, worked around many technical problems with level streaming and kismet, and created a few smaller environments to connect each of our environments together.

Then I went right back to work on the trailer: getting the lighting just right, filling up enough screen space with assets, working out technical issues with matinee, and of course animating the character. By the end of everything we had our trailer finished, the same trailer you saw up on the top of the blog but here it is again:

I also created a gag poster for the trailer that was shown around the school.

Mike and Kez created this awesome desktop backgroud with their hero assets. You should make it your desktop background, 'cause it's better than whatever you have right now

And here are some stills of my final environments:

Water FX by Michael Hosticka
This is one of the environments from the navigable space.

This may be edited in the future since I am still missing some imagery at the moment, but this is enough info that I think you get the gist of most of it.