I made this animation for a new 2D mobile game idea. I used Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 for the illustration and After Effects CC 2014 for animation.
I made this animation for a new 2D mobile game idea. I used Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 for the illustration and After Effects CC 2014 for animation.
Between this July and August, we made a Game Design Class for highschool juniors. It was a great way to spend holidays for them. Amazing experience for us as well. It was a 3 weeks long program. We taught how to make a 2D game, a VR shooter game, motion graphics and video editing.
I explained basics of game art. We created a mobile game similar to Flappy Bird with Unity. In the course students created their own game design by changing minor things in Flappy Bird Design, they created their own stories, character designs, backgrounds, user interface and even their game trailer for market. Students had no design background but they learned everything rapidly. In my opinion most of their designs were even above industry standarts in the end of the class.
Cem explained game programming with Unity3D by using Bolt plugin. We chose Bolt because its node-based interface would be easier to understand for students rather than C# programming.
After the 2D game, Gökhan explained 3D modeling in 3Ds Max. Students created their own pistols for a VR Shooter game. The game was based on one of our studios VR experience, Medieval VR.
Here they are proudly presented their games to their parents and gain the certificates from Bilge Adam.
Results were amazing. I believe that the students have revealed their creativity. I would really like to see some of them in gaming industry in the future.
I come across this great tutorial while stumbling upon 2D effects for a new mobile game project. Then I wanted to give it a try. This is my result. The tools that the tutorial shows brought many ideas to my mind.
BUG Spring Jam was held in 13-15 April at Bahçeşehir University/ İstanbul. It took 48 hours. We teamed up as Gökhan (3D Art), Cenk (3D Art), Cem (Programmer) and me Günışığı (3D Art). Actually we have already spent a lot time as developer team. Because of that, the jam felt like an ordinary weekend for us. However it was great to work really dedicated on a project from idea to a prototype ( i think the result was little more than a prototype ) without distractions and obstacles.
The theme was ” Death… to the demoness Allegra Geller ” from the movie ” Existenz ”
We had individual ideas before the jam. Nowadays we are playing local multiplayer games such as “Gang Beasts” and “Stick Fight” and we really enjoy these games. We all agreed to create a game like them. We kind of mixed those games with the art of Gang Beasts and the pace of Stick Fight. We also influenced by Flippy Knife.
Game mechanics was cleaned up as;
We started to create assets as quick as possible. We shared our needs. I undertook the characters, their textures and animatons and some props for the gameplay area. Gökhan created the axes and their textures and also some props. Cenk mainly worked on environment art. We used no pre-made assets. All the assets we used were created during the jam.
While we were working on models, Cem was working on codes and stuff. There is an early footage of the work.
As I mentioned above, we tried to create a similar atmosphere with Gang Beasts. We used Unity 3D’s standart shader for every 3D model. Environment models have solid colors. The color palette we used is below.
For the characters and axes, we decided to have more detailed 3D models. So for those models we just added substance painter into our pipeline. We detailed them with normal maps, height maps and metalness maps.
To make the characters more distinguishable, I gave them different colors and cosmetics. We are planning to make more hats that player can select. Currently there are 4 different hats as above. Comrade, Janissary, Kendo Guy, American Chief. Ignore the dead guys in the background.
Axes are very detailed and have different shapes according to their effects. They are currently the same but finally they will have different abilities. The first one is more likely to hit and kills instantly but goes shortest or the last one will trace enemy etc.
Here we are presenting our game to the other teams. Cem was talking about game while we were playing it. I really enjoyed the game, i couldn’t even listen the presentation.
We are planning to publish our game to Steam as soon as possible. It can be also published for Xbox and Play Station maybe even for iOS and Android.
GIST 2018 Developers Conference
I explained my previous experiences on VR, mostly about Diesel Express, my workflow that i used in the games, performance in VR and how to optimize 3D models for VR games. There is the workflow diagram i prepared for the presentation below.
I skipped the concept part and started with a pre-made 3D model of a car. Without UVW’s and vertex paint. I created UVW and vertex paint in 3Ds Max. Then i followed the diagram until rendering the final model in Unity3D. It took about 1 hour.
I started to work on a VR game project with Low Poly Style graphics. I am going to announce the new project next months. It’s very crazy and something never been tried. We are realy excited to work on it!
Eventhough, I used to work on Low poly style graphics in 3ds max ( I have even a tutorial post in previous pages), it is quite tricky when working in Unity 3D. When it comes to creating 3D models for VR experiences, keeping the vertex count low is very important. Models must be really low poly and the scene must be very well optimized for a fluid experience.
However, when i export my low poly models with individual smoothing groups per polygon, vertex counts in Unity increases to astronomical numbers. I was very surprised when i realized smooth objects are more performance friendly rather than flat objects (Low poly style). Because i was expecting the opposite.
So I wanted to test what is actually happening.
I created this two geosphere above in 3Ds Max. They are absolutely same, clone geospheres. I named them as “smooth” and “flat”, then i added smooth modifier to the “flat”. Then i lower the smooth treshold like picture below.
Then I exported them to Unity 3D 2017
Keep in mind that an empty scene in Unity 3D causes 5k vertex eventhough there is no object around. It is because of the skybox in the scene. If you clear the skybox from lighting panel you can decrease default vertex count to 4, I assume.
As you see the picture above, you will notice that flat is 4 times more, compare to smooth. In larger scenes, this difference will be beyond acceptable limits.
What is the correct way to create Low Poly Style Scenes?
The best way to solve that issue is creating the low poly style in shaders. Exporting 3D Models with 1 smoothing group is best for performance. Then you can give it low poly look with shader below.
As you see in the picture below, object “smooth” has flat shading material which i downloaded from the link above, has no vertex difference compared to its default.
The result is absolutely wonderful for me.
I hope the post was clear and helpful for the people who stuck in that problem.
A couple months ago i came upon open call for VR Days Europe 2017 volunteers. This kind of events gather many people all around the world from the industry and developers as well as the speakers. It is a great place to meet people and see what is going on in the industry. I applied to the open call and i was selected.
First day started in DeLaMar Theater with an opening speech by Zilah Watson from BBC then continued with conferences of the speakers. Due to i had no shift in the first day, i listened all the speakers and it was really valuable resource for me.
Martin de Ronde from Forcefield talked about his predictions of the second rise of the VR and the similarities of its current situation and mobile games in 2007 according to his observations since then. Leen Segers explained the business side of the industry. Jason Toff from Google, showed some of the first prototypes of google’s VR projects and explained how did they used the prototypes to develop a stable version of their project. He pointed out mostly spending a dedicated time for prototyping, sketching ideas, brainstorming, sharing before being ready and letting people test the prototypes oftenly. Tenderclaws, showed some examples of their project and talked about creating the interaction in VR. Yitian Han explained the current situation of VR Cinema industry in China. Philip Rosedale from High Fidelity made a live VR performance of their massive online multiplayer videogame, Second life. Jeff Burton from Woodside Creek shared his previous experiences as an ex Electronic Arts employee.
So it was an very busy day 🙂
Next day i arrived to the construction of the exhibition place. It was 7 in the morning.
Exhibition hall is completely empty.
In a few hours the hall is getting ready.
This is the hall i actually worked 2 days. It is called Church of VR. I dont know why they named this place as church. Fun fact: I was the only one turkish or from muslim country to work in the church. It was fun though. We had around 15 VR experience and several movies to show. Some of them was really cool. “Gloomy Eyes” and “Chocolate” are my favourites. Visitors also liked the experiences. Their feedbacks were very positive.
This is the choir area. Visitors experienced VR movies with Gear VR. It was like a place from the future. People was looking different places in same movie. I understood the personal space that is offered by virtual reality again. Persoanl space was created with cinema curtain for above a century. But VR will increase it to a upper dimention.
Nice marketing 🙂 Sadly and surprisingly all the beverage and food was on sale. Including coffee and tea. This is the only summit i went and pay for them. Well i actually didnt pay anything because of i rejected to pay. So i bought what i need from markets.
We had a boat which worked between Central station and Exhibition hall (Kromhouthal). I came across it by chance. It was written nowhere in the papers i had. It is a cool thing.
PSVR stand. First time i have tried the PSVR. It was really comfortable. Screen resolution is same as oculus and vive. But the trackers sucks. Or maybe controllers, i dont know. They told me that trackers are interfereing with the others. It makes sense.
Pimax 8k VR headset is something you cant find oftenly. I waited a very long line to try it. It absolutely worth. Resolution is great. Tracking is not worse than Vive. They look very same. Device has a wider screen, so you dont see the end of the screen horizontally as well as vertically. I saw 2 seam lines in middle right and middle left side of the screen. It feels like they connected 3 screens in headset. After all, great device.
This one is the craziest experience i have ever seen. You actually jump in a pool with VR headset and a snorkel to swim with dolphins.
It’s been long time since my last post. Since then, i have created a few new media art work, a couple of VR video games and stuff. I also co-created my own game studio “Lazylab Games” with my brother. I already had 2 years experience in video game industry and i wasn’t able to improve myself anymore in same job. So why don’t i quit my job and making my own game? Then the journey of “Diesel Express VR” has begun.
“Apocalypse brought us freedom” said a stranger man named Marius. Nobody knew him before, but he showed another path beside the one which is going behind the walls that built by who responsible of this breakdown. In a few months he was controlling thousands. Then he ordered men to fill the diesel to the engines…”
Diesel Express is set on an alternative time period of the post-WW2 Europe. The war ended by a ceasefire after desolation of the earth. Only a very small population of people are living safely behind the walls of self governed cities which appeared after the breakdown of the countries. While cities are guarded by walls, outland is under control by a doomsday cult which is led by a stranger man named Marius. As an individualist, Marius convinces groups to act against the cities. His idea spread quickly because of the post war conjunctures. The only transportation way being used between the cities is railroad. All the resource trade is made with highly armored diesel trains called “The Dreadnought”s. Our character takes his place in a dreadnought by joining the “regiment”.
But How Does It Look Like?
The game starts with our duty in a group called “Regiment” who is responsible of defending the trains called “Dreadnought” which is used to transport goods between the cities in a post-apocalyptic world. The game tastes a lot of arcade. Player needs to shoot down enemy cars driver or shooter to secure the train. Or player can shot down enemy cars tyres to make them crash, or shot down the fuel tanks to explode the cars. Hiding behind the barriers is very important when need too. Shortly, action never fades in Diesel Express VR.
From the idea to Publishing
After the idea, we created a Game Design Document to make us sure our path. GDD can be look like waste of time by indie gamers but actually it is very important. With the document, we decided about what features we need to make an MVP(Minimum Viable Product). Then we used a Kanban Board to manage our tasks. Our MVP appeared even in two weeks. I am not sure if we assigned our deadlines generously, we always finished our tasks before the deadlines. In 6-7 months we already published Diesel Express VR as early access in Steam Store.
As the Artist of the game, I mostly used 3Ds Max, Unity3D, almost every product of Adobe, Substance Painter/Designer, World Machine, ZBrush, Marmoset Toolbag.
Currently we updated the game three times since the publishing. We added many features from our plans and steam users demandings.
What was the main problems in production?
Enemy vehicles had to approach our train car, then they had to follow us by keeping their velocity. This was a big problem because we didnt provide any paths for enemy cars. They have their own wheel and gas control. We used an algorithm called PID which is being mainly used in robotics and automation. It solved our problem perfectly.
Enemy cars have their own control. So, there is a simple AI working behind to avoid form obstacles.
VR headsets needs a powerful computer to work. But it doesn’t mean that models can be high quality and high polygon. When working with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, we needed to reach 90FPS for a fluid experience. We created the models very low poly, sometimes we baked from high poly model. Optimized textures and so on.
But the most unpredictable problem for us is teaching how to shoot to the players who doesn’t know how a pistol works. Because of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift controllers are mapped to the pistols, the game turns to a shooting simulation in a way. Without an accurate aiming, shooting enemies is impossible. So we decided to add a hovering crosshair to improve the shooting experience for unexperienced players.
Concept Of Diesel Express
We are impressed from many materials when we creating the setting and art style. The main material is Mad Max Fury Road for sure. As the art director of the game, it wont be a surprise if i confess i have seen the movie 4 times in theatre. We tried to use the accomplishment of the movie such as desert look, style and art direction as well as the never ending action in a suitable way in our game. But its wrong to say we tried to create something alike Fury Road. Instead of decorated, punk style cars, we wanted to create the cars as if they were repaired after great war more pragmatistically, not cosmetically.
The date of the year is not definitive. We can estimate the production of the cars and weapons as 1940’s. Because of that, firstly we decided to make a dieselpunk style in our models. Weapons, cars, buildings and clothings gives the clue of dieselpunk. But in overall, we created dusty and rusty Dieselpunk style.
We tried to catch the Bioshock Infinite look in 3D models, Camera effects, interiors and characters. We analyzed Bioshock a lot when we deciding the materials and lighting. Camera has saturated colors and bloom effect like Bioshock. Wooden material that usually not used in Dieselpunk style, might be come from that game too.
Diesel Express has awesome music as well. Before the action, in the pub, we listen 1930’s 1940’s musics. When we ride the train, we hear “Battle in the Sky” by Walid Fegahli. I can’t imagine that i could find another music fits Diesel Express more than that. I think the reason that makes this music so magical to us, we frequently listen it while development. We did the alpha tests with this music. So keeping it in our game was a must. Honestly, we paid the most money to this music.
Poster art was created by a very talented concept artist Eren Arık.
VR is good! VR is impressive! VR has future!
VR is not a new thing. The origin of the idea comes from 50’s. But the golden age of VR start with Oculus Rift which is successfully kicked in Kickstarter. VR provides a very huge experiment space to game designers. When you come across to a problem when developing a game, instead of solving the problem by investigating other games, you solve your problem by yourself. Because most of the time you are the only one in universe who come across this problem. I am sure VR will reach more people in future.
Would I Create The Same Game To Another Platform?
Due to our decision to create the game to VR, i can’t imagine Diesel Express in another platform. Because it has a lot of VR only features. But if i would create, i would like to create something in the triangle of “Outlaws” level 3 Train, Western Express Arcade and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress.
What Did I Learn
Above left advanced shooting script is a must have while above right is an overkill feature