Visibility Zero Making-of Part 1: the Device

Posted by (twitter: @molecats)
December 16th, 2014 6:44 am


ENTRY | Postmortem | All Making-of Posts

Hi! As promised in our postmortem, we will do several Visibility Zero making-of posts this week, starting with this one. You will find all the posts under the tag vzero_omake.

My name is Stas and I’m an artist / designer in our team. The first post is about the visual side, so I’m the one who will narrate.

As soon as we’ve decided to do the idea with “a screen device with various visibility modes toggle”, I’ve started a visual style research. “The Device” is the central & the most important part of the game. It is always before the player’s eyes. It is an UI and a gameplay mechanic at the same time. As the player doesn’t really see a gameworld without the Device and as there is serious limitations of what is seen on the screen in various modes, then we have an opportunity to simplify the scene assets. Thus we have more time to make the Device itself.


Then there was the very first mockup screen:


It was a rough representation of the idea and how a final ingame screen will look like. After doing this and some game-design brainstorming I’ve taken a break from the PC and made some pencil & paper sketches. Here is the one with The Device:


An idea at first was to draw all the assets in 2d, as it was done in oldshool FPS games, like Doom, DN3D, Blood etc.. Then I’ve started to draw a hand and after killing about 2 hours came up with nothing nearly good enough to please my taste and perfectionism. We’ve decided to drop this idea as it turned out to be much more difficult and time-consuming than we’ve thought. So, I’ve started to make the Device in 3dsmax. When you have just 3 days to make a working game, then you actually quite limited in 3d techniques you can use. You can’t do a full cycle you usually do for “nextgen” props: highpoly, sculpting, retopology, manual unwrap, texturing, custom shaders/materials etc.. But you can achieve some nice results with “lowpoly-art” style, which is quite popular nowadays. I don’t usually like to follow trends, but I really like this style if it’s done right. So, I’ve decided to do it as “right” as I can within a time-limit.


Final 3d models:


I’ve tried to add a “papercraft” feel to the assets, and hope it could be seen in the game).

What has helped me to make it fast:

  • The Device is visible ingame only from the front view: I didn’t need to do the back at all and took less attention to the sides. That has also simplified unwrapping & texturing process.
  • I’ve already had a glove model from one of my previous projects. It was a part of a spacesuit with normal-maps and all nextgen stuff, but a bit too lowpoly than I needed. I’ve tessellated it, worked with smoothing groups to add a “papercraft” feel and reunwrapped & reskinned it for animation.
  • Texturing was done really fast: I’ve baked an occlusion maps, colored needed parts, added noise.
  • Animations were made form the scratch, but as they were literally limited to 2d space of the screen, they were actually pretty easy to make.

BTW: At first, a Molecat keychain was added as decoration / reference to our main project, but later became an improvised view-angle indicator.

BTW2: The name “OneScreen 9000” was added for the sake of the Theme).



The final ingame screen:



P.S. Feel free to ask anything about the process!


Play and Rate

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

[cache: storing page]