Narcosis is a first person survival horror, taking place in the gloomy and cold abyss of the Pacific Ocean. After a disaster, all your crew is dead. Equiped with your atmospheric diving suit (ADS), your knife and your torch light, you'll have to find your way through an hostile and gloomy environment.
Hi, i'm Benjamin, visual artist for Narcosis. I have decided to do a (almost) complete overhaul of the first rocks assets we had (those featured in the trailer). I wanted to get close to the look of the volcanic/reef shaped rocks found in the abyss. For this, I have experimented different workflows until I got a result that satisfied me.
First I start by assembling in 3dsmax decimated sculpts of old rock models to obtain an interesting cluster of shapes :
I then proceed to merge the shapes in Zbrush (using Dynamesh), and sculpt. Then I applied different noise filters to obtain this blobby, porous aspects of the ocean reefs :
Since we need to keep an intricate shape for those kind of rocks, I then decimate the model in zbrush while keeping a fairly high topology and then unwrap it. In 3dsmax, in then use pro optimizer to create levels of details without damaging the UVs too much.
The rocks are using a shader which procedurally applies sand based on the vertical direction of the world, which allow us to rotate the same assets and get a different look, which is interesting to give variety. The sand is then masked to appear in the cracks and cavities of the rocks, resulting in a better visual result.
Here are some screenshots of the rocks in-game :
Hope you like it and see you soon for the next article !