Welcome to our second written development diary. This one will be relatively short, but will discuss a very important aspect of our approach when developing Flesh Asunder. However, before I get to that, allow me to give you the run down on what we're up to right now.
Our current focus is on completing the following tasks:
*Building, at the very least, a few rooms for the shelter environment which we can be part of our upcoming gameplay demonstration.
*Rebuilding the user interface into something more polished.
*Providing Richter, the main character, with an entirely new (and complete) set of animations. These are almost complete.
*Rigging and animating Christian's monsters so that we have stuff to kill.
*Completing a laundry list of smaller, but just as important tasks. These include programming the new UI to work in tandem with gameplay mechanics (picking up and equipping gear, updating stats properly), creating visual representations for loot drops, implementing the first wave of particle effects, and much more.
In terms of sheer content creation, I would say that building our first environment is currently our largest task. Griffin is hard at work in this department. And it is this aspect of our development which I want to share with all of you this evening.
We've gone through several methods with which we could have built the indoor environments. We think that our current approach is definitely the best one so far. We will be hand-crafting each room in a 3D modeling program and will import it into UDK. This method allows us to add a great deal of detail to the environments even before adding all of the bells and whistles. And, with the creation of minor variants for each room, along with intelligent placement of props, decals, particle effects, and enemies (which will not be added until the rooms are in-engine), we can use the basic template for a single room multiple times within the same environment.
Here is an example of what Griffin is creating. Please keep in mind that this is just one small piece of an environment and it is unfinished.
By making this hallway piece fit together in a modular fashion with the other rooms being created for the shelter environment, we can piece the environment together in a number of different ways. This will allow us to experiment with the overall layout of the shelter when we need to re-work quest locations or pacing, and it will not require us to backtrack through weeks (or even months) worth of work. In addition, as
I mentioned before, it will be relatively easy to create variants for each map piece. For instance, for this hallway, we could place the piping in different locations, change the number of fans, lights, and vents, or even remove them entirely. This will allow us to re-use a lot of geometry and still make each room unique.
I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have about our indoor environment creation. I hope you've enjoyed this development diary, and please keep your eyes peeled for more of them in the coming weeks.