Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Trees, grass, and levels! Oh my.

     Judging by the title, one can safely assume that I've been busy. It is true, today I started modeling some more assets for Roundy's Adventure. Also, I started working on the first level! I'll get to that later, for now we will talk about planning out the levels prior to starting them. Now this should come as no surprise, but let me tell you from experience. It is so hard to force yourself to sit down and plot out a level when in just a few clicks you can have Blender up and running. Sketch it, write about it, outline it, just do whatever to plan it. You will save yourself a lot of time and headache. I will admit, I was the type to just jump on Blender and start throwing junk together... and that is exactly what I got, junk. Today however, was different. I did some thinking to figure out what this level is going to look like and decided exactly what assets I would need to model. Also, I decided to use only Blender materials and textures for my first game. Part of it is because I'm lazy and the other part is because I would like to learn G.I.M.P. better first.

     This is the first asset I would like to talk about. It just tall grass. Nothing special, but it is very low poly so it is easy to duplicate and stagger to give the illusion of bunches of grass. To make this piece I just added the default plane and subdivided it twice. Then using the extrude tool, I grabbed the inside edges and added some rotation and scaling to give them the shape you see here.

     For the second tall grass model I took the first one and just moved some of the edges around. It tiles up great next to the first one. For the material and texture I did a green diffuse with shade-less checked. Then added a texture and sized it up so the stripes were more "random" looking. It creates a neat little effect when it is placed sided by side with duplicates of the other grass.

     This asset is, obviously, a tree. I started with a cylinder. Scaling the base out and scaling next ring in, it gives the illusion that the tree in starting to spread out for the roots. Then just using extrude and scale I formed the rest of the trunk. For the leaves I extruded then scaled out and then grabbed the edge and brought it down a bit. From there extrude and scale to bring it back up to form the leaf ball at the top.

     This is the other tree I have ready for this level. It is the same tree as above but I altered the trunk a bit. The cool part about these trees is that they can be scaled along an individual axis, thus changing the shape and making a unique tree. The texture and material on these trees was done similarly to the grasses. The difference is, the trees accept shadows so they appear to be 3D.

     This screen shot shows the humble beginnings of the first level from Roundy's Adventure. I have a rig that follows the camera and contains all the lighting for the level. The camera is set to orthographic to make the game 2D. You can see the big blue background that is just a simple plane. Unfortunately you cannot see the textures that are applied in this image, but I've got a render coming up that will show you all that.

     Here is a sneak peek of the first level! You lucky bastards! I can't wait to work on this some more. The whole process (learning, experimenting, playing, creating) has been an amazingly fun time. I want to get a sample level ready in about a month or so. Having that ready and filmed will really help when I try to get Kickstarter going. Well, I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek and I look forward to some comments and advice!

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