Devblog post #4

2D Art
3D Art
Animation
Programming

Survive & Thrive has been in development for about two and a half months now and looking back we made a lot of progress and we are pretty happy about it. Currently we are getting ready for our first deliverable, a build for a showcase at our school. For this we have done and are doing a lot of work, so stay tuned to see what we deliver. And as always please connect with us through Twitter: @FourNomadsGames or Facebook: fb.com/FourNomadsGames and share your thoughts and questions.

Wan Yie: 2D Art – The User Interface

For this sprint we wanted to tackle the user interface. A placeholder for the prototype, which means it isn’t our final design, we will probably implement it for the showcase alone.

For the UI we had to keep in mind that this most probably describes the game in its entirety. We started out with several designs that would fit in the tribal theme where the UI had its very own fancy borders. Eventually we figured that it was too vague and didn’t bring out the information due to the lack of focus, so we chose to simplify it- for now.

Ingame_UI_01

With the style chosen for the UI, we pressed on and iterated upon a temporary start and pause screen. We used several existing pieces of art and photos to give an impression and thus do not claim ownership to these. It’s merely a very useful and faster way of working.

Impression

As an artist inexperienced with interface designs, I underestimated the amount of research that had to be done prior to the visualisation phase. But I think it’s quite alright as it’s just for a prototype- again, for now.

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Jeen: 3D Art – Lighting

This time I’ve been working on some things to enhance the feel of the in game world. One of these things I’ve been making was a Lightray particle effect.

Lightray

It’s a simple dual particle effect that instantiates planes in the core of the particle system.

Rotating them with a random value so it will simulate the multiple beams of light created by the open spaces between leaves. The beams all appear and disappear over time contributing to a feel of movement (clouds perhaps, who knows). But it helps to make it less static.

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Underneath the light beams is the second part of the dual particle effect. On floor level there will instantiate small spots of dust levitating into the light beams. Giving it a back and forth contrast between the two particle systems.

BlogPost_Img1_01_12

If you want to recreate this effect I must tell you to make your own plane mesh, don’t use the standard plane mesh for its pivot point is in the middle. This way the light beams create a sort of hourglass shape. Something that you don’t really want.

Instead make your own plane and move the pivot upwards. This way the beams will rotate around their top creating the triangular shape.

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Daniël: Animation – Tweaking

Time flies when you’re having fun, it’s already the fourth installment of these blog posts!

Hey all, Daniël here. Last time I gave the greydeer several animations to make sure it can survive and perish in the world. Allowing it to eat for nourishment, run away for survival when you as a player get too close and die when you finally catch up and shoot him down.

These past weeks I spent time on improving the start of the running animation, to add that extra bit of power, to make it more believable whilst also polishing up the loop of the animation itself. I’m not entirely happy with the results yet but it’s getting there.

To make sure the player knows when the greydeer is aware of his presence I animated the Alert state of the creature. When you get too close it will look up in your direction and start stomping the ground to notify its pack that there’s possible danger, from there on out it can start it’s running animation to get away.

AlertedLeftRight

RunningUpdated

Last time I made a temporary Death Animation that will probably be updated and still be used for one hit kills. Sometimes it will take some time before the deer dies and will run away from you. This means you will have to follow it around until it’s dead before you can skin and gut it for resources.

For this reason I started a second death animation that is not yet finished. Finding the references needed to make a proper death animation has proved somewhat difficult and slightly disheartening but I’m going to make it happen.

DyingWIP

The idea for the next two weeks is going to be to finish up the death animation of the greydeer. Make a strafe animation for the main character when he’s aiming. Add a separate modified pickup animation for the main character when he has his bow equipped and polish all the other animations to make it Showcase worthy.

See you next time!

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Neander: Programming – Elevation

Elevation

These past two weeks I have been working on a lot. But the biggest change I implemented is the ground elevation. This feature has been planned for a long time but I did not yet have the time to add it. Before, all of the surface was flat and boring, but now there is variation and I can really feel the difference.

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I first made the effect by generating a new mesh at runtime and use noise to offset all the vertices on the y axis. This worked but had a giant leg spike when calculating all the values. So I decided to keep using the ground prefab and just edit all the vertices in the same way. This meant that instead of around 2700 calculations it now does around 100 calculations per ground mesh, so I think the change is obvious. It now runs smoothly and looks really nice already in my opinion.

When I have time I will add more levels of noise and some mathematical calculations to make it even more look like a jungle floor and by doing so adding some rivers and ponds.

Showcase

We are currently hard at work on delivering a working and enjoyable build for our schools showcase, which will be held on the 15th of december. The build is playable but there are a lot of things that can and need to be tweaked, so that’s what we are doing and will be doing the next two weeks. You can expect implementation of the things we worked on these past two weeks and visual tweaks. So keep your eyes out for the next post.

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