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First impressions

Posted by
Monday, April 20th, 2015 8:54 am

Hello everyone,

we are still heavily busy putting everything together. Non the less, we want to share some screenshots of our game world, which is a wall we found close to Fred´s apartment, with you.
The people sitting in the biergarden next to our beautiful red brick wall seemed to be amused watching us making hundreds of pictures of the same spot over and over again :)

IMG_2182

 

Out of this pictures we created the meshes and the textures on witch our hero will run around.

makingof

 

We are quite happy with the result so far. Now it is time to put the game together!

And we are trying to be fast, because we are already looking forward to play all the awesome games! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making of main Character of BlackWald Forest

Posted by
Monday, May 19th, 2014 3:23 pm

Hello my name is Tom (tom3d.de) and I have here created the characters for our game.

The Main Character should be a little creepy imp and i searched the internet and in the surrounding area for suitable references.

As inspiration i found Quasimodo from the movie Hotel Transilvania.

 

Mkt010_Quasi1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the shape of the character I use Sculptris from Pixologic. The advantage of Sculptris is that you not need to worry about the mesh, as it completely dynamically divides the mesh depending on subtleties. So you just let your creativity run free and do not care about the technical stuff.

sculptris1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After sculpting you can paint a basic texture on the mesh directly in Scultris.

sculptris2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

so far so good.

The mesh is of course in a very high resolution and must be first in a playable low poly shape.

This I did by hand with the beautiful Retopolize tools in Modo 801

modo1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

then i have shaded the high poly mesh and baked all on the the low poly mesh texture.

creepy texture

texture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the final result at the end was the nasty little imp that running through our game and defended his Princess.

final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

so now you can also try out our game the same :)

play our BlackWald Forest

 

 

Games from the beneath the forest

Posted by
Sunday, May 18th, 2014 11:11 am

As the deadline nears, we decided to make a general postmortem about the entire experience :)

 

The Jam Crew :

Fred – Code

Steffi – Code

Timo – Code

Benni – Code

Peer  – Art

Tanja – Art

Tom – Art

Rebekka – Gamedesign

Olaf – Gamedesign

Jan – Sound

 

That was quite a crowd, and far to many to work at somebody’s home. So we found a nice hut in the Black Forest.

With a sauna, whirlpool, huge garden and bbq area, and enough rooms. We are all workmates, working at Flaregames, an independent mobile game developer and publisher.

And all city kids, so the silence you in such a “remote” area get is impressive :)

_1010274 _1010279 _1010280 _1010290 _1010297_1010304

 

This was an incredible nice experience, especially the change of scenery. Sitting together on the big balcony and getting refreshed with

some beers and tasty barbecue was priceless.

We arrived at friday afternoon, where we unpacked all our equipment, bought a shitload of food and drinks and waited excited for two o’clock in the morning,

when the theme was finally made public. We spend till late of the night for a quick brainstorming, continued fleshing out our plan until saturday afternoon, and worked from there

until half an hour before the deadline. Occasionally we were visited by some other workmates, who gladly took over the barbecue duty 😀

We had set up a server, all tools and templates before the announcement of the theme, so we could jump right into working. That really paid of.

Especially the infrastructure, short but thorough planning and a very well filled fridge.

Tools used :

Unity,Sourcetree,Cubase,Aftereffects,Marmoset,Playmaker,3dsmax,Modo,Sculptris,zBrush,Photoscan

 

And next time? Maybe we’ll rent a house at a lake :)

Thanks to everybody who participated in this Ludum Dare, you all made some great great games. We had a blast playing them over the last two weeks.

Oh,yes, and if you haven’t played it yet : Beneath Blackwald Forest

Team Flare

Scanning the Blackwald Forest, Part 2

Posted by
Thursday, May 15th, 2014 5:11 pm

3D Scanned mesh to game ready asset in a few minutes :

Scanning the Blackwald Forest

 
This is part two of our 3D Scanning Postmortem.

( or play our game )

What you get out of the 3D scan is a very high density triangulated mesh, that is uv mapped using a very large atlas texture.

What we want is a low poly object, 3k polys max, with a nice uv map, as well as a clean high poly we can use for the bake.

And we want that fast :)


Cleaning up the scan :

This is what it looks like when imported into zBrush. As you notice, there are some parts flying around, and the scan has a hole in the top.

We’re going to fix that now.

1

First we applied the bitmap texture and deleted the useless parts by splitting the mesh into subtools.

Then we subdivided the mesh a couple of times, for converting the bitmap texture into a polypaint(vertex map) texture.

2

Retopology and fixing texture errors :

We ran a zRemesh over the scan. This converts the scan into a mesh with better ( all quad ) topology.

It won’t conform entirely to the scan, and will also lose the vertex colors. But we can project that back from the original scan.

Before we do that, now is the time to close the holes in the mesh.

Remeshed with zRemesher :

3

Projected the polypaint from the scan to the new cleaner scan :
4

Converting the cleaned mesh into lowpoly :

We duplicated the cleaned mesh, and ran a decimation over it, and brought it down to roughly 1k polys.

After that, we did an automated unwrapping. This works very fine in zBrush. It won’t fill the uv space optimal, but it has little to no seams.

Reduced to 1k polys using decimationMaster :
6
UVs with zBrush uvMaster :
5
Baking the texture with Substance Designer :

Substance is amazing when you need to batch through a couple of similar objects. It’s like a node based photoshop that also has every texture baking option available you could think of :)

We did the node graph once, and then used that as a preset for all objects. It also takes care of downsizing the textures.
What we baked :

  • Bake vertex map from high poly onto the lowpoly as a diffuse texture.
  • Bake a normal map from the high poly to the lowpoly
  • Bake an ambient occlusion map

The rest is blending and color correcting the maps, with some further tweaking of the normal map

 

Baking and processing in Substance Designer :

7
Inside Unity we used the Marmoset Shaders on every object and lighted the scene with an very blurred hdr image.

In the end we used some post effects to finetune the look abit.

This is what it looked without post :

8

 

And like this after some grading, vignette, and blur :

9


What went right :

+ Confused village people staring at a bunch of nerd taking pictures of rocks and tree barks – priceless.

+ after we figured out what steps to make, the scanning was rather quickly

+ would have been impossible to get the same level of detail and texture work with traditional modeling/texturing in that short timeframe


What went wrong :

– as usual, could have used some more time to finetune the distribution of level objects

– if the pipeline would have been defined abit earlier, we could have used a lot of automatization.

– was not aware of that unity can actually use LUTs for color correction. We could have graded the scene in Photoshop instead of using Unity’s limited color correction post effect.


None of us had ever done 3D Scanning using Photogrammetry before. Although the result was not optimal in some parts, it’s interesting enough to pursue further, and the LD gave a good kickstart of how to do that and optimize the process even further :) In total, the entire experience was a blast.

 

Enjoy our game :)

 

Scanning the Blackwald Forest, Part 1

Posted by
Sunday, May 4th, 2014 6:46 am

title

For this Ludum Dare we decided to leave our usual premises and rent a hut in the German Blackwald.
So why not include the location in the game?

Almost every asset in the game has been created via 3D scanning real world objects.

We used Photoscan, zBursh and Substance Designer for the process of scanning, cleaning, converting and baking. When we had everything figured out, it would take like
one hour from taking pictures to getting the asset into unity, and most of that was waiting time for processes to finish :)
We had never before done this, and it was an awesome opportunity to test that out.
We did some evaluation of tools a day prior to Ludum Dare.

Here’s what we evaluated :
+Very fast, realtime scan feedback using Scanekt.
– Low accuracy
– Low texture resolution
– needs a big distance to the subject if not using a special lens
– needs power adapter
+ Easy to use
+ free
– cloud based, requieres internet connection
– “blackboxed” , parts of the process are not adjustable
+ Easy to use
+ very adjustable ( number of points, polygons, texture resolution )
– calculation can take long if you have too many or too highres photos
So we went with Photoscan. It’s commercial software, but the beginner version is around 180$, and you can get a student version for 59$.
So how does it work?

Taking pictures :
  • Take 20-30 Photographs, while you move around the subject. The more the better. Steps must be small, there must be common features between the pictures
  • Make sure there is some perspective shift between the photographs, it will help the software to figure out the depth
  • Make sure the background of the object has enough unique features. We tried with a tiled floor, but the tile pattern wasso regular, that it confused the software,so we had to add more markers ( e.g. throw some little stones on the floor )
  • Thin objects don’t work well. We tried scanning some branches and twigs, but it always failed. Best results were always achieved be having a more or less solid pile of stuff.
  • Obviously the better the camera the better the result. It works with cheap digicams, but we used a DSLR camera.
  • Avoid reflecting surfaces or moving object ( or people walking into the photos )
You get something like this :
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Converting into a high density point cloud and mesh :

Process in Photoscan is pretty straight forwards. There’s a dropdown called workflow, which will give you every step you need to do. There are alot of options in these steps,

but apart from setting the desired point count we could often let everything at the default settings.

photoscan_0

photoscan_1

First thing you will get is a rough point cloud and the positions from where the picture has been taken.Magic! ( also called Photogrametry ). Here you can allready see if it’s working with your set of pictures/subject or not. Smaller holes or bumps in the scan are ok, you can fix that later on with zBrush.

Final result with this scan was 1 Million Polygons and a 4K Texture. Which we needed to get down to 3K with a 1K Map for Diffuse and Normals.

photoscan_2

In the next part I will describe what steps we took in zBrush and Substance and what we used in unity as post effects :) If you have any questions,

I’ll gladly answer them :)

Don’t forget to play our game :)

Blackwald Forest

Creating some first levels

Posted by
Monday, April 28th, 2014 4:08 am

The last 14 hours are running down and we’re in our time shedule, so far.

Now the first levels and scenarios are beeing created.
Also some last elements as switches, mushrooms and blood are beeing finished 😉

Stay tuned to see our work when it’s finished.

 

Level  editing
Schalter

pilz

 

I’m a lady !!!

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 1:15 pm

So here is another 3D Model…  This time of our really ladylike princess:

Princess

  WALDTRAUD

 

 

Recent state of another little protagonist

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 7:45 am

This is a 3D model of our little protagonist. Doesn’t he look like quasimodo? 😉

We still like the topic and are very motivated to get this project done quite well.

 

Quasimodo

 

And here the process of creating and editing him to be an awesome “quasimodo_bumsibumsi”:

Quasimodo

 

 

Music preview

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 7:16 am

Music for our game is coming together nicely =)

Listen to a preview on soundcloud

Our little Kasperle

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 4:30 am

We are having fun with one of our protagonists, recently in progress.
He reminded us of the allknown german Kasperle, then this happened:


 “Video Link – Kasperle”

Unbenannt

 

It´s gonna be legen…

More information of Kasperle?  click here 😉

…dary !

The morning after

Posted by
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 3:38 am

So we all had a good sleep tonight and are now back at work since a few hours.

The fact that we are in the Black Forest explains that we had some little guests this morning:

Hello you little thingy
(seems worse as it was)

Also, our balcony is multifunctional. On the one hand, it gives us a nice panorama over the rainy Black Forest and, on the other hand, it keeps our drinks cold 😉

Beverage storing  That panorama

 

 

Black Forest Adventures

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 6:47 pm

Because we’ve rented a hut in the Black Forest for Ludum Dare, we decided not only to make a game in the Black Forest, but almost entirely using the Black Forest as material.

We ventured deep into the woods today and captured and collected alot of material to use.

Using a DSLR Camera, Photoscan, zBrush, Substance Designer and Unity :)

10-20 Photographaps..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Converted to a mesh with Photoscan, cleanup and retopology with zBrush…

stamm

Baking maps with Substance Designer…

substance

Fancy lighting in Unity

unity

 

First post – Work in progress !

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 3:46 pm

We are busy with realizing our ideas, so we have no time to show you ingame assets yet.
This time we are quite happy with the topic and discussed several ideas until we could finally start working early this day.

Here are some pictures of our work in progress:

 

LD29_TeamFlare_01 LD29_TeamFlare_03 LD29_TeamFlare_02

LD29_TeamFlare_04 LD29_TeamFlare_05

Live Stream is up

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 5:40 pm

Got the livestream working.

Got beer. And retro music :)

http://www.twitch.tv/theteamflare

Posted by
Friday, April 25th, 2014 2:36 pm

 

 

 

This Ludum Dare we decided to leave our usual jam place ,and rented a hut in the German Black Forest.

Art and Design :

art

Sound :

Music

 

Code :

 

Coder

Ponys:

Ponys

 

We wish you happy jamming! Man, are we excited :)

 

RGB Coding Postmortem

Posted by
Monday, January 6th, 2014 12:40 pm
Now it’s time for a little coding postmortem for our game RGB
Planning:
After we found a good interpretation for the jam theme the planning for the programming part started. We knew now, that it will be a Jump & Run, so we clarified which features shall be in the final game and defined it with the designers.
Make it happen:
We started from the beginning with the basic Unity-Engine. First of all we created a Character controller and a working Camera controller to move around and being able to test new game elements. Afterwards we build the editor, with all needed game elements like platforms or bouncers, so that the designers were able to build levels more quickly.
Convert the theory into praxis:
After the assets and the editor were ready, we were able to put everything together and create prefabs for the editor. Now the designers started to actually build levels. During this process a lot of bugs appeared in the editor and the character controller, and they were directly fixed.
No time, but so much to do:
During the last 7 hours we had to finish all missing things.. and they were a lot.
Here a list of what I mean:
  • Titel-, Intro-, Levelselection- and Final-Screen ( which is never triggered 😉 )
  • Hud (In game)
  • Popups for Intro-, Levelselection- and Final-Screen
  • Music
  • Playerprogress
  • Posteffect(s)
  • Integrate Background tiles for levels
Lessons learned:
  • Don’t drink too much in the day before Ludumdare
  • Planning saves so much time
  • Prefabs rock, when you know how to use them 😉
  • Unity has problems with custom 2d collider polygons (we were not able to add nodes to the polygon), we used 2d box colliders instead
  • Plan also Screen flows
  • Make less and make it better 😉
  • Find a way to work with several people on one unity project
  • And finally the most important one. Stay cool.
Thanks for reading, we loved all your games  :)

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