The trimester is coming to a close and one of the last projects I get to work on is a game!!! Finally, I’ve been excited for this all trimester and I finally get to put my 3D skills to the test, well not quite. So Vendorbus, what is it? I hear you asking. Well it’s a game in which the player is a homicidal vending machine who has to sell as many goodies as possible as it travels through a city, all while not been seen by people while it’s moving. At least that’s how I understand it.
Visually it’s a game built purely upon squares, really simple meshes similar to that of Minecraft or Crossy Roads which is what attracted me to it in the first place as it’s simple enough to make a lot of assets but challenging enough because I have to try stretch those assets as far as possible in modularity. Meaning a group of meshes can come together to make a variety of different structures.
Coming together with the games students was surprising in the fact that they were fairly realistic with what they wanted and communicated their needs very well. Often with other disciplines they are either overambitious with what can be achieved within the time frame or can’t give us a good idea of what they want so we’re left to simply improvise. But right off the bat, they informed us of the art style and even had numerous examples to show me providing a clear idea of how to proceed and also how I can make it better. A time frame was also set of one and a half weeks when they needed all the assets and also that I would handle all the environment. We exchanged contact details and decided to use the tried and true method of group communication which was Slack.
After a few days we decided to meet on Skype to lock down a game plan and clarify any details we had thought of in the meantime. For me this meant getting a better understanding of exactly what type of priority assets they absolutely needed and the layout of the level. This is when I found out they have five different key locations that each need their own style which are Residential, Corporate, Nightclub, Hospital and Beach area. On top of the buildings I also have to create all the little accessories that make the environment an environment, like roads, paths, foliage, bins and even train tracks with accompanying trains! Thats a lot of assets even if they are simple voxel assets, oh and to make things even more complicated, their design brief included a scaling limitation so each object had to be within a set size relationship to each other.
Before getting to work I had to wait for them to finish all their documentation, no point in starting the work only to potentially redo it all because you didn’t understand one little detail. Within a few days, I had an Art Bible, a Level Design Document, a Game Design Document and the all important Asset List to work off. It was fantastic, the level of detail in each of these documents made it really easy to get straight to work. The art bible included a colour palette, numerous style examples for each type of priority asset and and a rough scale guide.
With this knowledge in hand I plan on creating the priority assets first that aren’t modular because most of them have real world examples I can reference from. Once those are done I’ll import them into the Unity game engine to make sure they scale and look correct and there’s no other issues with the assets. Then I’ll get stuck into making modular assets for each area of the game making sure to give each modular asset a set of different colours to give even more variation in the look of the city. Hopefully I can achieve this all in a few days.