011 Influencer Research & More Graveyard Level Work
Wednesday 16th Jan 2019
Morning! I spent quite some time in bed last night researching Influencers on YouTube and compiling a list of those I think might enjoy playing Must Dash Amigos on my phone. So this morning I’m going to spend a little time writing it all up into a spreadsheet for future use.
Well that was a time consuming task and I’m not even finished yet! So far I have setup a spreadsheet that lists all of the Influencers I researched, links to their channels, subscriber count (at time of writing), and categorized them too (i.e. Family Friendly, Plays Multiplayer Games, etc). I need to go back through the list and add contact details for each, but I’ll save that for another time as I’ve spent long enough on it today.
Time to jump back into Blender & Unity to keep improving the Graveyard level.
I’ve got all of my gravestone variations in, and have painted down the marigolds too using Unity’s Terrain system (simple billboards). It’s starting to look pretty good now, and has a lot more character to it.
The next thing I’ll do is throw some placeholder materials onto the graves to introduce some more colour and personality, which shouldn’t take long. It will hopefully give the Artist a better idea of the environment’s mood when he comes to do an art pass on the level. I’ll probably model a nicer bridge too, something that is closer to final standard. And after all that, I’ll start to map down the weapon pickups and begin plugging in other gameplay-dependent components / functionality.
Time for lunch!
Had a relatively short lunch as the weather is terrible outside so no dog walking today. Back to work!
What a session! Have to stop quickly here to go eat dinner that the better half has kindly made, but just making a note of the time and I’ll be back soon to wrap up!
Back in the office to quickly finish what I was doing, before writing up the rest of this blog entry.
Well this afternoon I was well and truly in the zone. From 1pm onwards I just did not stop and made significant progress. I created some quick placeholder textures and materials for the grave stones which has really helped bring the area to life. The models themselves still need work to bring them in-line with the art style but they’re looking OK for now.
I modelled a bridge for the level, using an existing bridge asset as a basis to build upon, including making a staircase. I had to tinker with the bridge in game to ensure the colliders were aligned correctly, I also used a variation of this bridge to replace a placeholder one in the swamp area too.
After that I spent significant time revamping the terrain as I wasn’t happy with how flat the entire area was. I did create more height variation in the graveyard itself (raising some graves up onto mounds etc) but this wasn’t enough. So I settled on lowering the entirety of the Swamp area, and slightly elevating the area to the south of the main entrance. This gives the environment a top, middle and bottom in the vertical axis which makes it way more interesting. After doing this I further enhanced the height variation in the graveyard itself by giving the main race track some swooping declines and camber.
I then spent some time playing with the colour balance and lighting in the scene. I tweaked the candles on the graves to be a bit more subtle and have less of a saturated yellow tint. The lampposts again changed from quite a strong yellow tint to a more subtle hint of blue. The gloabl lighting (which is just being derived from a colour) was darkened slightly, and I added a fog – which really adds a bunch of spooky atmosphere to this level. I think I also reduced the strength of the player’s head lamp a touch to increase the difficulty and dread, and finally I removed the rim light on the player’s mesh shader to ensure they’re properly shrouded in darkness.
Overall the level is feeling really close to the final vision I had now. Tomorrow I’ll spend the morning replacing the final whiteboxed assets (the lampposts and graveyard perimeter walls), and then in the afternoon wrap up this mini-project by plugging it into the game so it is a fully playable race.
Signed by my face