Hi! It's been a while since the last development update. Circulation was a great opportunity to learn a lot and also to understand that it's really important to plan carefully and keep the scale of the project manageable.
Anyway, after careful thought and a few prototypes we're up to something new now. The new project is about exploration and puzzle solving. It's fundamentally the same as Circulation but with some notable differences both in gameplay and story-wise. First off, game is played from first person perspective now. Platforming mechanics will play significant role in traversing the environments...
This environment is inspired by Witcher and Skyrim and located at the peak of the mountain. The look we headed to was viking and north styled building and moody snow blizzard.
First was I did after blockout is started cut objects one by one in separate Modo files. In engine I made Master Material which you can see below. What I wanted that all material can do is ability to paint snow/dirt/gravel on them. So I used very nice technique in UE4 called material functions. The idea was simple - we need ability to paint 3 additional materials via vertex painting using RGB values (R - snow, G - dirt, B - gravel). So, instead of having a ton of nodes in main materials we encapsulate them in separate mini-materials called material functions. Each material function have own Albedo, Roughness, Normal and other outputs just like regular material do. We can bring them in our master material and just blend them using Linear Interpolation node and using vertex colors as Interpolation amount.
Hi, readers of this blog! Today we finished our new UE4 environment, called Nazaralan. This environment sat in desert and have mystic arabic atmosphere. You can read full process from blockout stage to final screenshots on polycount. I started searching for references on Pinterest and Google typing words like Persia, Arabic architecture and stuff like that. I wanted Prince of Persia or Alladin atmosphere. Pretty fast I gathered a lot of reference material which I partly show below.
The idea was to create cyberpunk city environment with atmosphere close to great 1982 movie Bladerunner. I gathered quite a lot references before started prototype phase.
I made a little plot for environment:
The scene takes places in imaginary Hydar City. A few days ago there was a series of terrorist attacks on public buildings.
Our character is private eye looking for person who allegedly disappeared during the terrorist attack. He just leaves an apartment of that person in Residential Level 02B and head to Pyramid in search of clues.
Hello, fellow readers of this dev blog! Last month we've been busy finishing Alpha Build including 3 levels. In June we released it, but it still have some rough moments here and there. But for us it's huge milestone.
This robot was needed for on of our puzzles. I iterated 3 times before I liked the look of it.
Greetings in Asset Update #7!
Last weeks we (Andrew and Peter) were busy making Level 03. We are almost done (doing VFX and puzzles). Today we focus on assets, as you would expect, so I tell you about assets I made for Level 03 and Introduction Level (desert).
For introduction level, described in Environment Update #3 I created several assets, that was reused across all environment.
This level is second in order. We have more complex puzzles here as well as more complex level geometry. This means we have to carefully design environments. Rooms and hallways need to make sense and feel believable.
As for art directional side of things I went for more industrial look here because it is factory sector. So no shiny and clean surfaces here. For this environments I have created Fabric Kit which uses overall 3 tillable textures for entire set. It save tremendous amount of time. I cover creation of assets in more detail in Asset Update #7. As always, almost all assets in Fabric Kit fits 64 Unreal Unit grid. This means we can build rooms very fast - I started Level 2 two weeks ago. I think this is pretty fast. Of course I used assets for other Modular Kits here and there, but most meshes are from Fabric Kit.
Hello, today I want to show you some progress on environments in Circulation. Last couple of weeks we've been busy making introduction level. Purpose of this level is to introduce basic mechanics and story plot to the player. Also we want to make this level stand out from our levels. It has linear horizontal layout and open space background at the same time unlike our main layout where you have nonlinear movement possibilities in closed indoor environment.
Environment was influenced by places like canyons in Arizona. We gathered images from internet and begin experimenting until we find good camera angle and overall environment look.
There's been a long since last Asset Update. We've been busy working on minigames and puzzles. But this month we made some new assets, so here it goes.
I began building highpoly model, experimenting with forms and elements along the way. Not all of them made it to lowpoly version.
Initially the idea was that those 3 elements in the center will spin when door open, but I decided to simplify this concept.
Greetings from Warp Games team. In this article I would like to tell you about mini-games in Circulation.
Mini-games serve a simple purpose - to control game pace and bring players fun and different little gameplay experiences. They don't need to be super hard to beat or take too long. We use them with combination with environment puzzles. Together they make half of our core gameplay (other half is exploration). Also mini-games should make sense and fit into the gameplay naturally.
Mini-games, unlike puzzles need universal gameplay scheme. It goes like this - I design mini-game on paper, then I create rough prototype in flash. After I come up with gameplay mechanics and ideas I make few mini-game sets (or maps if you will). Basic gameplay is reused through these maps.