So far, we have told you in general about the game, the main character, and presented a plot. Today we want to show you a few things from ...
Behind the Scenes
To spice things up a bit, we decided to share with you some interesting facts about game development. In Devlog # 3, we introduced you to the world of Rin through the process of creating one of the locations available in the game. We want to dedicate this post to this topic as well, but this time we will focus on the details and production elements of our title. We hope you will like this insightful post as well.
Many Things To Do
As you know, a lot of things are needed to create a game. Programming, animations, graphics... but also planning and execution of these ideas. The more complicated the gameplay is, the more mini-projects there are. One overall game design can change up to hundreds, if not thousands, of successive minor projects broken down into different components. (Not to mention the bugs and their fixes...)
Using the example of the plant assets we use to create and beautify available locations in Rin, we will present an example of one such process.
Plants are an example of a mini-project in our game, which we mentioned above. We use a lot of floral assets in RIN. So... how did it all come about?
In our designed locations, they simply could not be missing. Each place has its charm and character. And, each of these lands needed different types of vegetation. Without it, the areas would seem empty and devoid of life.
In the photo, you can see a water lily. It was one of the reference pictures for our lily asset. Mother Nature creates the best things, so it's hard not to get inspired by her when creating plant designs! Most if not every plant in our game was based on nature.
A similar process - searching for inspiration based on photos of naturally existing lands and greenery - was repeated many times. The reference pictures were therefore the basis for designing our locations and their details.
Each location in Rin's world received not only its graphic design but also lush, thematic vegetation.
Some of them are quite standard, for example, based on vegetation found in rainforests, steppes, or deserts. However, in the case of one of the lands - a thematic mix of space and the underwater world - we allowed ourselves more creative freedom.
In Rin, you can expect 5 different locations [related to 5 existing Aspects in Rin's World] - in each of them, you will meet many plants and their variants. So, how many exactly are there?
In one of the locations where the vegetation is the most abundant, we have a total of approx. 680 assets of flora (and location details like rocks) alone. From creeper plants to fern leaves, fancy flower puffballs, and so on. In contrast, in the Time, there are far fewer plants due to the desert nature of the place. We have designed only 570 assets for this location.
Fortunately, we didn't have to program or animate the plants in any way. [We are planning some ambient animations - If we make these plans real, we will describe them in one of the future devlogs!]. Plant assets were prepared to beautify and enliven the game world. Most of them are static pictures that we combined into a given scene after preparing the terrain. These assets you could see in the images above are game-ready and just need to be implemented in the game engine.
BUT. With so many plants (around 2500+), we had to find a solution that would make all this work more efficient. There were just… too many assets, and adding them to the map in the standard way was not a quick solution and could cause a huge headache.
To help ourselves, we developed an art tool we call Xochipilli. The way it works is quite simple, but it significantly improves the speed of all the hard work of decorating the area.
Our art tool - how it works?
The artist using the art tool first chooses one of the previously created asset palettes, e.g. flowers, stones, or trees. Palettes are also divided not only into asset types but also into game locations. It makes it easier for artists to start implementing the right and suitable objects at a given location. After selecting a specific palette, the art tool randomly selects one of the objects available. The artist can place this random object directly on a scene (on a path, or wherever else) perpendicularly or not, depending on the effect the artist prefers. An object can also be rotated or resized during placement.
However, this is not the only advantage of Xochipilla. The art tool also ensures that each placed object is correctly added to the folders and sorted in the scene files. Thanks to this, we avoid problems related to the organization of assets. We do not struggle with the mess of hundreds of props tossed everywhere.
Thanks to this tool we have much less manual work related to design implementation.
* Our developer is willing to describe the way the tool works in a more technical way, so we will definitely publish a separate post dedicated to this topic in the future.
We hope you like this article. See you next time!