fredag 30 mars 2012

A project done

Four weeks have passed since I placed the first polygon of this project and now everything have been implemented in engine and is ready for play.

It has been an interesting challenge to do something of this proportion in such a limited time and I have forced my self to learn so many new things, both artistically and technically.

The challenge for me was to build a level of as few modular pieces as possible and while doing so getting and understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of modularity.
To build this level I had to model four main pieces, some of these where then altered to add variation.
So in total seven models and four textures.
Except from the modelling and texturing I also created my own shaders and built all of the light as well as everything else that is required to make the level playable with bots or over lan.

One thing that I'm not pleased with is the reflections in the metal. I never managed to pull of a decent cubemapshader. My result is in the screens below. This is something that is on my to do list and will be fixed as soon as I get some time on my hands.

The level itself is not the most fascinating Capture the flag map ever made but this was also my intention.
By making a small non-experimental level I managed to mitigate my risks and instead give the project a bigger chance of being successful, which for me was more important.
I would much rather work on a smaller scale, making almost certain that I would manage to complete all of my planned tasks, than making something half-hearted that I would not be able to stand for.

After this project I have learned that you should use modularity for almost everything, the question is rather how modular it can be. If I where to do the same project again I would also concentrate at making the textures modular also and rather build my set pieces from the textures instead. By doing it that way you can save precious computing and instead spend it on where it matter e.g. characters and first person weapons. This will probably be my next project when I find time for it.
Another drawback of working with modular pieces in lightmap based engines such as UDK is that it can produce seams while tiling meshes. These seams are produced if the UV seams is placed in the middle of a pixel. A smart way around this is to model seams where these seams are produced, you can see this in my floor piece.

The result for the curious:  

The four main meshes

Basic layout

Print-screened directly from the editor
You can shoot, also

tisdag 6 mars 2012

Hi there!

I just wanted to show of some models that I have finished in the last days.

This is one of the wall together with the floor piece. There is still some time left on the pipe texture.

Because that the wall pieces have geometry pushing in to the negative axis it produces gaps in the corners and I had to cover that up with something, so I made this doorway thingy. The pillars with the lamp is its own mesh and can be placed elsewhere. It can also be rotated making the light not visible. In UDK I am going to use the emissive for static lighting with lightmass and I think it's going to look sweet.

I have also looked in to how to create a translucent shader for a wall piece with some glass details. It's coming along and I hope to have some results next week. I have also started implementing meshes into UDK so I will show some progress of that in the next post.

fredag 2 mars 2012


The last week was spent designing the level on paper. At first I drew a rough sketch on graph paper of a basic layout. The was done to get some measurement proportions for the modular parts.
I then started to research some CTF maps. The maps I researched was VCTF_Necropolis, CTF_FaceClassic, CTF_Absolute_Zero, CTF_1on1_Joust and CTF_Maul. These are all maps from the Unreal series by Epic.
The things I was looking for was if the map was symmetrical, if it had alternate routes from base to base, if it has more then one level of height, if it had any open spaces and where the spawn points were placed in relation the flags.
This gave me some ideas of how I could design my own map as well as of how big or small it should be to support play for 4 players. I want to have some alternate routes and not just a corridor - room - corridor - room map.
I have also decided to color code each half of the level for the respective teams' side. This could be done either by textures or by lightning. This should help the players to locate themselves since the map will be symmetrical.
I have also an idea of giving the map lower gravity since the narrative of the level is that of a sci-fi spaceship. But this is something I will have to look into later.
After the research I finished my own layout on paper. It is not 100 % accurate yet and I am sure that it is going to and should change when I start to test the map, but will serve as a guide when I do the actual blockout in UDK.
I have also started to model several different parts. I am making them as modular as possible so that they can be tiled, rotated and placed on several places in the map. This method will let me try out new ideas on the fly in UDK and let me use rapid prototyping while designing the map.
One of my aesthetics for the map design is chaos. I have thought of different ways to compensate my design for this. One idea that I have is to let all the players spawn in the same room and this spawn room will be in the middle of the map, but this will have to be tested.

Here is a screenshot of a floor piece. I will show of some more models as soon as they are finished

torsdag 23 februari 2012


Here we are again.
I am currently taking a new course were I am to plan and execute a project in five weeks and I thought it would be interesting for the posterity to document my working process. The assignment is more or less for me produce what I would want as long as it is connected to game design. I have decided to design, model and texture a Capture the flag map in UDK.

The first week will be spent researching CTF maps under certain criterias and later blocking out the actual level on paper. With a good paper block out I believe that I can start to model some parts that I know that I will need.

This is the concept that I will work towards.

I will follow it quite loosely because though because I have some ideas of my own that I want to try out when I have a chance.  

måndag 13 juni 2011

A recap of the project

We started the project 2011-03-28 and it went on to the end of GGC (2011-05-28)
Our game started out as a digital game but about two weeks into production we realized that the digital game we were producing didn’t meet our quality standards. So, we had to make a serious decision. Would we continue with the digital project, should we design something completely new or should we keep the design and make an analogue game instead?
We decided to make an analogue game.

High Concept

Set in the near future Carnage is a popular and deadly pastime. It is a race for life-and- death where you have to cross the finish line first or make sure that your opponents never get that far.


  • Reward: Discipline and experience of working under a high pressure as well as more 3D experience for the artists. 
  • Ability: Ability to work towards and to hold a tight and hard deadline. 
  • Challenge: To get the most out of the concept Carnage and to get it as well balanced and polished as possible. 
  • Strategy: Everyone takes responsibility for their own work, each one helps the other. 

Project outcomes and results

The Gotland Game Conference went better for our group that what we could have guessed. A lot more people than what we had thought played it and we got a load of positive feedback as well as some constructive criticism from both the jury and the public.
Some of the jurors did even say that they wanted a copy to take home with them and that they was prepared to pay several hundred kronor for it just as it looks now, if it ended up on a store shelf. I guess that you can’t get much better feedback than that.
So, the result of the long hours and hard work that we had put in to our project resulted in very successful conference for us and a potentially commercial product.

My role as Lead Art

My responsible areas
  • Making sure that the group is keeping a consistency of the art 
  • Making sure that the group is keeping deadlines. 
  • Keeping the artists motivated during the course of the project. 
  • 3D modeling, texturing and 
  • Rendering all of the art in the game 
  • 2D art 

I think that I did a good job as lead art. The art looks consistent and we did hold all of our deadlines both internal and external.
As always if we have had more time things would have looked even better and some of the design could have been more polished. I’m although proud of the artists; the three of us have made an excellent job.

Skill set improvements 

I entered this project with some basic knowledge of high res modeling, hard surface modeling, normal mapping and retopology. This project has been a great opportunity to develop that knowledge. I now am much more confident in my workflow and I work a lot faster.
I feel that I have a better understanding for how normal maps work as well as when you should include something in a normal map or when you should leave it as geometry.
I have also learned not only to hold deadlines, but to make sure that other people hold the projects deadlines.

Recommendations of best practices

I would say that my personal best practice is the modeling and texturing of the “front mounted spikes”, a weapon that you can pick up and use in Carnage. I did this model from scratch with baking normal maps and ambient occlusion and painting the diffuse map in about 7 hours. Here is a link to a summary of my work flow.

We worked in a small and tight group. We worked together every day and therefore we could quite easily keep our desired goals and quality. We now have a very well functioning communication in our group and we will work together again in coming projects.
With that being sad, we had a too small group to be able to produce a digital game. This is something that we want to change in the future. We would like to have at least two programmers as well as a dedicated 2d/texture artist.

torsdag 2 juni 2011

GGC is over

Gotland Game Conference is over for this year and to make a long story short, it went much better than what we could expect. Our game was very well received by both the jury and the public. The last day it was actually played non-stop.
We got some constructive criticism (which is always nice), some suggestions on design choices and some ideas of changing and altering some of the mechanics. But other than that no one had anything bad to say about it.

We are still waiting for our written feedback from the jury and I’m waiting in anticipation for that.

Some of jurors have written and talked further about Carnage after conference. While these pages are in Swedish Google translate does a decent job (except from the podcast).

Oskar Skog (writer for Sydsvenskan, LEVEL and ) has written an article about his trip to the Gotland Game Conference.

Linda Kiby (Paradox interactive) has blogged about some of the games

Tove Bengtsson (Svenska Dagbladet ) talks about her three favorite games at the conference in this podcast (57 minutes in)

During this project I have evolved as a 3d artist. I have become more confident in my workflow. I think that this shows if you compare my earlier work in this project with my more recent. Things look better and I work a lot faster.

I have also become more familiar to the term “Kill you darlings”. I understand that you have to see to what is best for the project as a whole, this means to scrap design ideas, early iterations of models or additional content.

Seeing how we worked in a tight group we could always quality assure our graphical assets as well as our design iterations at a very early stage. The result from this is that we have a very polished game.

At last I would like to thank my partners is in design Juan Carlos, André and Joakim. Without you Carnage wouldn’t be.

torsdag 26 maj 2011

2011-05-23 to 2011-05-26

Tomorrow the Gotland Game Conference opens its door and Carnage will be one of almost 60 projects at display. If you are in Visby be sure to come and check it out and of course play a lap or two.
This week has been spent on rendering our art for a show reel that will be shown on a TV screen at our booth. The trailer is also complete with sound and I will post a link in this post.
We got our copies back from the printing company today so the rest of the day will be spent on some arts and craft as well as sorting the thousand cards or so that our ten copies exists of.  The school closes at 01:00 pm so by that time we have to be finished and run home to get some sleep before showing up at 08:00 am tomorrow.

Here are the renders of the 3d models that I have made in this project.