Back in Business

Week 2 of the spring semester has come to a close and this time I made sure to record all of my work to prove that, yes, I have actually been productive.

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The color map, aside from making this gun absolutely beautiful, allows me to create automatic masks in Photoshop for the various materials that will be incorporated into the final texture.

First things first, I finished the normal and color maps for the shock rifle. These maps aid in the texturing process and also allow us to incorporate a lot of detail into an efficient, low-resolution mesh. This particular model tops out at around 5600 tris (triangles that every object in a game environment is made of), which is perfect for us. It also features full articulation for pieces that could potentially be modified or animated in-game, such as the clip, trigger, and scope.

The other thing I worked on this week is a completely different weapon. This one doesn’t have a fancy name as of now so we just call it “grenade.” Can you guess what it does? Yep, that’s right. It explodes. Because it’s a grenade.

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Making the arms that protrude down the sides NOT taper inwards at the collar was way harder than it needed to be.

The idea for this grenade came about when it was decided that conventional grenades are boring in their use. Don’t get me wrong, the pin-and-lever system found in real grenades is clever and efficient, but I was growing tired of seeing sci-fi versions that were simply futuristic grenades with futuristic pins attached to futuristic levers. Instead, I decided (with the full support of my team) to go with a knob system instead. In fact, through all the different sketches and concepts for this object the incorporation of a knob was the one thing that remained consistent.

The idea for the grenade is very simple. Inside the large, easily-grippable knob is a ball made of what I will refer to as compressed magic science powder. The CMSP ball is held in place by an aperture. The aperture leads to the transparent container of exploding future juice. Once the knob is turned the button on top pops up and the timer is activated. When the timer runs out the aperture opens, releasing the CMSP ball into the EFJ container, which will start to glow brighter and brighter for a second or two until it finally explodes. To deactivate the grenade before it explodes, a user must press and hold the button while twisting the knob back into place.

Of course, that’s just the sci-fi explanation for this asset. Many of those design elements serve a useful purpose in the game as well. The transparent container allows us to use the liquid and its glowing reaction as a visual cue to players that an explosion is imminent. The large rubber knob, brightly colored button, and contrasting colors below serve to make what will ultimately be a relatively small asset more recognizable, especially when it’s laying on the ground. The design also allows for nice, exaggerated motions (similar to the classic “pulling the pin” motion that occurs on real grenades) and light effect which will help cue players in to the “cooking” mechanic that we have chosen to employ. I also added decals on the arms of the asset (currently they are simple Xs as placeholders) that will feature the game’s grenade icon. Incorporating the respective interface icon into every asset’s texture will help us teach players what the icons mean and make it more intuitive when we show them without text.

Finally, take a look at my timesheet for this week. I got 19.5 hours of work done, although that number would be higher if you included the 8+ hours of sketching I did while at work. Here’s the breakdown:

2/2
1 project meeting

2/3
4 shock rifle normal mapping

2/5
3 grenade concept

2/6
1 project meeting
2 grenade concept

2/7
4.5 grenade model

2/8
4 grenade model

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Back in Business

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