For the Game we have decided to make we’re doing a 80’s theme detective game in VR.
We are aiming for a realistic, but clean look for the game it self with two different main game modes, Investigation and Interrogation. The team consists of 6 people divided into several different roles. My part on the team is to be the 3D environment artist and to help out with level design. The rest of the team is divided into one 3D Character Artist, one 2D artist, one sound designer, one programmer and Level Designer, and one Producer and Game Designer.
My job as the 3D environment artist is to take the work of the 2D artists concepts and make them into the 3D world. The tools we have decided to use for this are Autodesk Maya for the modelling, Mudbox/zBrush for sculpting and Mudbox/Photoshop for the texturing. This because we have been taught these programs at school and that i have 2 years of experience with Maya previous to starting my studies at Sheridan in 2013. Since the game we are making is a VR game, we’re limited in the sense of cheating with 3D models. Normally you can cheat quite a lot with 3D models if in an area that you cannot see, but with the VR headset you can see more sides of the objects than you could with a locked camera.
My biggest challenge so far has been to make the models as real as possible but still keeping the poly count down (due to performance of the VR headset), and to keep them distinct enough so they wont be subject to licencing/copyright. This is mostly for the real life objects we want to have in the game. In this case, a Beretta hand gun.
I made several different changes to the way the model looks like to make sure it would be distinct enough, and once it is textured there should not be any issues with it. The gun is fairly close to completion, just missing the UV’s from me and it will be sent of to our 2D artist for texturing.
The scope of the game has been drastically reduced from 4 episodes (crimes) including a tutorial level to 2 episodes. This changes the way i am working in the sense that we are focusing more on polishing what we have compared to stretching ourselves. My models will therefore be assigned more time and be of a higher quality.
Going forward I will probably start working more from sketches from our 2D artist instead of pictures so I will have more freedom in interpreting the concept and making it into a 3D object or level, depending on the sketch. This could also be a challenge depending on what needs to be done, depending on my interpretation of the concept compared to the producer.
This will be the last update with the project now coming to an end. Most of the loose threads are now coming together with the textures and models finishing up. The crime desk and interrogation rooms are more or less complete, the same goes for Level 0. Level 1 is still ways off but will be done for the Gold Master. Here are some textures of objects so far
There are lots of optimization still to do for the game to make sure that we dont dip below the 90FPS limit. This will fall on me and Sam to find a balance between the code and art. The lighting with shadows play a hugely important part in this since we are trying to do as many dynamic lights as we can in order to make sure that if you toss something into one of the lights, it will have a shadow. It will not be easy to make this work but we will do it. We are experimenting with light probes and reflection probes to minimize the amounts of lights that interact with any given object at a time. This should help save a lot of processing power. We are stable over the limit now but the game only seems to work if we build it on Sam’s computer. If we do Mike’s then it wont have the correct FPS and mine does weird things with textures. We have no idea why but we’ll stick with Sam’s for now. I hope we’ll be able to bring that one to levelup, if not then it will be interesting.
We decided as a team to only showcase the first level (modified to be shorter) at levelup so that we can give the players a more focused experience and so that they can experience both the investigation and interrogation parts of the game.
There is still lots to do in the sense of integrating the textures and finishing up level 1 before the gold master is done. There will be long nights and it will be tough, but we can do it. It will be a relief when this is done and over with, but then real life begins…
Hello again! It has been quite some time since last post and there has been a lot of updates with the development of Detective VR.
Last post left off with updates on our first main piece of evidence for the first level. Since then I have taken on the role of Level Designer and World-builder in addition to my role as a 3D Environment Artist. I have also made several more evidence assets and environment assets along with the different level layouts.
The process of making the regular assets are fairly straight forward like any other 3D models. To make the models less performance heavy in unity i made them with as low poly-count as I could and the UV’s are laid out in such a way that all the models per level work as separate texture atlases. This should make it easier for Unity to load just one big texture instead of having to load several smaller ones.
Custom VIVE controller
I made a custom touch pad for the VIVE controller so the players can tell more easily which part of the controller to press for certain actions
Level 0 (tutorial) Layout
Level 0 Layout
Level 0 3D Layout
Level 0 3D Layout
Level 0 (tutorial) Assets
Level 0 models from TurboSquid
We decided to get some models from TurboSquid to save time in our development.
Level 1 Layout
Level 1 Layout First Floor
Level 1 Layout Second Floor
Level 1 in Editor
Level 1 in Editor
Level 1 in Editor
Level 1 Assets
The elevator doors are animated and implemented into the game, awaiting the correct code to trigger it.
Development is still going forward but there is a lot left to do until we hit the end of March deadline.