Visibility Zero Making-of Part 2: the Environment

Posted by (twitter: @molecats)
December 17th, 2014 4:18 am



ENTRY | Postmortem | All Making-of Posts

Hi there! We continue our Visibility Zero making-of posts. The 2nd one will be about environment assets.

As I’ve already said in the previous article, due to limitations of what is seen on the screen in various modes we had an opportunity to use very simple assets for the environment, still maintaining a nice visual presentation at the same time.

I will start from the list of common rules for the assets, which have helped us to quickly compose the environment almost without worrying about performance:

  1. Lowpoly speed modelling with almost automatic smoothing group assignment (by angle, with minor manual tweaks) to easily receive properly triangulated models for “papercraft” feel.noise
  2. Automatic unwrap, no texture baking, no texture painting.
  3. Simple noise with a very small tiling is used as a texture.
  4. Very simple materials & shaders (except the ones we use for “glowing” objects).
  5. No global lightning & shadows in the scene (we only use red point lights near “HOT” objects).
  6. We don’t really like Unity’s standard terrain (cause it’s not very flexible), but for this project it was just perfect: we haven’t used any textures at all because the player has almost no chance to see them.

As for example assets, I will start with our Planet Rover (just for looks on the frontpage, you know=)):


Rover is a starting point (and an ending one – we know the game lacks explanation “a little”;D). It could be more thoughtfully designed functionality-wise, but it was made from the scratch and implemented into Unity in an hour or so. I think it’s turned out rather nice. As you can notice from the “sketch” it had 4 wheels initially, but Yaroslav asked me to add 2 middle wheels for “the sake of harmony” and it looks distinctly better now.

Plants and clutter:


Notice how the models are triangulated. We have also used one of the default grass textures for the terrain vegetation and mixed it with our texture (shown on the picture above) to achieve some diversity.

I have also used some suitable assets from my previous projects, somewhat modified & simplified them to match the overall style. As I don’t want to feature them as project’s highlights, you must really search for them on the map: a rocket, a house and a girl. The Construct was previously a blank for a 2d-illustration I’ve made for the Merchant of Venus boardgame redesign (final image), but it is really simple model even if I needed to remake it from the scratch.


The scene itself is in a “pitch black” state, with no lights, but with some really dense fog. This is how it looks in Unity3d editor:


And this is how it looks in-game through the MGNI vision mode (without noise effect):



Thank you for reading! I hope the next part will be about the code=) CU!


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