Monday, July 19, 2010

Fantastic 3D Caves In Only 10 Minutes!

I made a test piece of track to see if I could get the process down for making good looking caves. It was way easier than I thought and produced fantastic results. And the best part is I did it with no textures at all!

A simple and easy to make cave.

It was easy to make and the process is simple. I took a cylinder and cut off most of the bottom half of it. Then extruded it several times and angled the joints correctly. Then I smoothed it once, and hollowed out the center with a simple command in Wings 3D. I hid all the parts I didn't want to work with and selected all of the horizontal lines of the inside of the cave, then cut them all into 4 parts and connected all the dots. This makes pretty much all of the polygons more or less square instead of really long rectangles. I then hid the floor since I wanted it to turn out more smooth than the walls. I then use a command to select 20% of the edges of the cave walls and moved them all a little bit to make the cave look more rough. I then smoothed the cave walls again. After that all I had to do was unhide the floor and select 20% of the vertices and move them a little bit. This made the floor look a little more natural. It looks pretty great and the polygon count isn't as high as I thought it would need to be. With todays average hardware a computer can be expected to display at least half of a million polygons at once. There is even a scene in Oblivion that shows nearly two million, and my computer never even skips. The simple piece I made is larger than the player will usually see at once and is only about twenty thousand polygons. Of course I'm not going to make anything like this in an outside setting, but for a tight corridor this really works well.

A second look

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Completed Racer

I finally decided to work on my game again. Here is a picture of a completed racing vehicle. I decided to use only material colors on it so the player can customize the colors very easily. There are four customizable colors on this racer. The two primary colors of the racer, a single color for the cockpit, and a metalic color for the details. It kinda looks like a mouse head if you look at it the right way. I'll call that an unintentional cute side effect. Some of the racer designs will look like animals intentionally, like the sea turtle racer I designed a few months ago.

A fancy new racing vehicle!

One thing I really enjoy is when a game can pull off a good atmosphere. I strongly believe the best way to do that is with good lighting. In this case I plan on having a lot of dark places in tracks where you would depend on your own headlights. But also a great feature would be to have tail lights too! Of course the most important lighting will be proper lighting of the levels.

This racer even has headlights and tail lights!

Unfortunately because of time constraints and lack of intense will power I will probably be relying intensely on material colors for most assets and use very few textures. But this makes good lighting much more important. If its done right I can still make the game look fantastic with very few textures. I will likely have to use a lot of textures on the race courses though.

The design for the Sea Turtle Racer I mentioned earlier.

I may need to redesign this Sea Turtle Racer a bit though. I think its arms turned out way too large and its midsection way too skinny. But its a neat first draft and something fun to think about.