The engine used to build this game is unknown. This is not a real game engine, this is a GENERIC placeholder.

Game series run on an unknown engine should be assigned here. An engine built for a specific, single game, should be assigned to Custom Built engine category, not Unknown.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Trudy and PBR

About Trudy's Mechanicals. with 2 comments by IncubatorGames on May 20th, 2015

We learned a fair deal preparing for and making our first character from scratch, the mythical and semi-mechanized Bauk.

The idea behind the unit was a resistant damage-sponge that could reflect projectiles using a large, spinning shield, and also use it to attack his enemies much like a Spartan. Since the unit is one of the few aboard the ship created specifically for fighting, we also indulged a bit by turning his right arm into a shrapnel-firing cannon.

The link to the bear come through the unit’s general hardiness and resistance (he can shake off all status effects after one round), and various aesthetic touches. The most obvious is the bear-cap atop his head, as well as the general stockiness and wild mane of hair. We also embedded a necklace of bear teeth into his beard to provide a semblance of a lower jaw, and attached claws to the ends of the cannon and foot-coverings. A patchwork of leathery fur-trim further added to the ursine look.

Colouring wise we looked to Valve’s Dota 2 approach for guidelines.

The PDF is worth checking out even if you’re not making a 3D game, but it was particularly applicable for us given Trudy’s classic iso-style perspective. Of particular usefulness were the tips on picking colour palettes so as to keep units distinct beyond just their silhouettes, and painting techniques (darker at the feet and brighter at the torso and head).

The character itself was modeled in Maya and used 2,698 vertices (2,9120 polygons). It was carved from a template we created as a base for the humanoid units; you can see the time-lapse process below:

The density of the polygons is distributed fairly evenly, with special care paid to the areas that require deformations for animations (joints, beard, cloak). Static components that are animated like the cannon don't require as much detail. Here's a checkered UV layout showing the overall distribution:

For texture mapping, we decided to try out Physically Based Rendering. PBR is a method that describes surface characteristics in more precision than typical approaches, but it also requires a few more maps to be generated. There's no de facto standard for PBR, but here's a good overview that we roughly followed.

Below are the different maps we created for PBR from a base diffuse map:

Albedo – made by hand with cut out transparencies and dimmed reflective elements such as the breast plate.

Roughness – made by hand to indicate reflective (white) and non-reflective (black) surfaces.

Normal – generated using nDo2 for surface depth via bump mapping. nDo2 is a great Photoshop plugin that can automate normal map creation and allows for painting in normals that aren’t necessarily visible in the texture map itself. Below is an example of using nDo2 and the normal map we created with it.

Substance – made by hand to separate metallic surfaces at near-full brightness for PBR when factored in with the other maps.

And here are the end results, the base map and the PBR version:

One thing we'll definitely keep in mind going forward is the amount of detail on the diffuse map. We found that a lot of the detail got lost in the noise and made the surface a bit less readable. It didn't muddle up the unit when viewed in-game too much, but there were probably too many folds and creases in the leather and fur parts that we'll smooth out later on.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 33)
freeman2001 Jul 29 2014, 8:49pm says:

Unknown is definitely better than Lithtech!

+1 vote     reply to comment
AngryGam3rLead Dec 24 2013, 11:48am says:

actually with your tetris comment, I've often wondered how much of Dr. Mario was recycled code from tetris. They are awfully similar but just different enough to be two different game LOL

+1 vote     reply to comment
hakaru-x Jan 23 2013, 3:44pm says:

this and custom built are the best engines.

+1 vote     reply to comment
McKane Aug 16 2011, 6:32am says:

Never heard of the Unknown Engine, sounds alright.

+3 votes     reply to comment
togoaway Sep 1 2012, 8:57am replied:

lol that's so Mckane

+3 votes     reply to comment
DEAD_FiSH Jul 14 2011, 8:26am says:

But without engine game is not a game... How can engine be generic.
Engine must be made for a game... Unknown is unknown, game has the engine but we hell know nothing about it. Like Custom Built is not enough, damn it.
This and Custom built should not be rated...

+7 votes     reply to comment
Gary_McTaggart Jul 20 2012, 2:31pm replied:

Well, game engine is not like car's engine. The term "game engine" means a reusable component of a game. So if your game has no part intended for being re-used in other games, your game does not actually have an engine... Have you ever heard about tetris game engine, huh? :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
Flash112 Jun 1 2011, 3:39pm says:

Do i need any license to make and later sell games with this engine, because those features are just AWESOME!! *rating 10 out of 10*

+6 votes     reply to comment
hakaru-x Feb 18 2011, 2:09pm says:

the best engine ever

+8 votes     reply to comment
Jevuner Mar 17 2011, 11:57am replied:

unknown engine is very bad, imho

+8 votes     reply to comment
Gary_McTaggart Jul 20 2012, 2:34pm replied:

Please, give me a link to any professional publication which says it's bad, ok?

+3 votes     reply to comment
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