HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea is a charming open-world single-player RTS loaded with quirky characters, beautiful planetary design and a healthy dollop of humor. It combines classic resource management, technology research and civilization building with intuitive tower-defense gameplay.

Post news Report RSS DevBlog #5 - HYPERNOVA: The Xploder Creation

Haya is an alien moon populated with nasty creatures of all shapes and sizes that want to chew your face off and reduce your colony to rubble in all manner of strange ways.

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The creation

These little creatures (well, not so little) have DNA polygons. It all started from a simple Blob molecule of digital clay. The Creator (deity) instructed its minion artist to design and create this creature. To do this, he was given a special tool called Zbrush. The artist already knew how it will form the blob, he just had to make the idea happen.

7 creatures

The first concept


It took months of painful puling and pushing that poor blob, using various sculpting tools. It took days, months, even years to come up with the shape the Creator wanted. The process was laborious, but in the end, the hard work paid off. So the artist went to the Creator and show this little creature taking shape. Once the blob was formed in all its glory, it was time for another tool. It was just a shell with no soul and function in this world. Something needed to be done.

Xploder 1


Xploder 2


Simplification

Because the fully formed blob still didn't have a life of its own and was an organism too complex to live in this world, it was time to do something about it. The artist took a hard look at the problem and decided to use another prophecy. 3D Coat was a perfect solution to this problem. The artist had to transform this blob into a much simpler surface that could easily live in this new world and support its soul when brought to life. The surface had to be clean and easily deformable. It had to follow the blob shape yet be simple in its construction.

Xploder 3


Preparation

The creator still wasn’t happy. “There is no color!”, said to the poor artist. So the artist was given the task to make the creature feel more lifelike. “But how would he do that?” he asked himself. Once again, he had to resort to the wisdom of the ancient Maya. Maya was believed to be the most powerful and versatile tool of all. So the idea was simple: the Artist had to paint this simple creature surface. To do that, he needed to create a paintable surface like a sheet of paper foiled around an object. So here comes the UV creation. Once that was done, it was time for another solution.

Xploder 4


Transference

The artist had to do some magic and use an ancient, almost forgotten wisdom to make all the blob details appear to look the same on a simpler surface. Using Maya, he transferred details from the blob mesh to a surface made in 3D Coat. This magic gave to the creature a new look to be indistinguishable from a blobby creature in all its glory. Additional sheets have been created, such as normal maps and ambient occlusion. This sheets will help painting the creature and adding more details to pop out in the real world.

Let there be color

The prophecy once again foretold to use 3D Coat. Ancient wisdom always knew best tools for the job. So the Artist obeyed the prophecy and began to add some colors to the creature.

      1. First he had to apply a base color and define different parts of the creature. It looked flat and lifeless. So a gradient was applied to the overall form.
      2. It was much better but still boring to look at. So he decided to add some more details and break up its surface by adding some life to the colors.

        Xploder 5 1

      3. It was still not enough. To make it look more interesting, additional details have been added: pores, wrinkles and some more shadowing in the corner of its mouth and arms.
      4. In the end, a special ambient occlusion layer was added, as well as more details to the eyes and other smaller parts of the body. Bringing out the lifeless eyes was the key component to make the final look.

        Xploder 5 2

The creature almost looked alive.

Xploder 5


The birth

Once the Creator approved the colors and form, it was time to put this magic trickery into Unity. A universal creature world where everything comes to life. It was still necessary to make it move, but that remains another story.

Xploder 6

Xploder - final


Swarm

Creatures in action


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That's it for now. Thanks for reading, cheers!

- Darko.

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HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea
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