I have been rigging and animating the new boss in our desert level for Knights of the Drowned Table. He is an elemental dust demon, he has a dust tornado keeping him centered on the ground and is very powerful. He is finally alive!
When designing the boss for the desert level we started with concept art that I created. Below are some examples, Getting the boss to look and feel like the concept is always a challenge when dealing with character design. The amount animation going into this boss needs to be grandiose! It needs to be intimidating and at the same time fun. Trying to find the balance is no easy feat. As a team we discussed and shared video feeds to come to a conclusion on how the boss should function in the game and we came to an agreement on how he should act and feel.
Coming to Life
When animating anything you work on, you want to think like the character you are animating. When you become one with the character you will be able to animate things more personally and bring them to life. I had to do this countless times to figure out what the boss will act like. I will show you the process of animating the popup animation the boss does when you activate him. The first video clip you will see here is the first iteration of that animation. It’s very basic and brings no character to the table and if I was coming up to this I wouldn’t really feel intimidated. The second clip shows more of an intimidating factor and really brings the boss to life! He crawls out of the floor and is pulling himself up from the ground, he looks around to see who has summoned him and then he brews up a storm. As the storm rises he thrusts himself up and then the battle begins.
Just for giggles
Heres a bit of an insider on what our dev team was doing last night. We were all on a video chat discussing the game and making things happen. It felt great and we all had a couple laughs getting work done at the same time. When animating the boss I had made everyone laugh by making the boss to dab in the middle of his animation.
Thanks for stopping by, Keep on creating!
ALL OF THE PROPS!
The past week I have been creating props, lots of props. As an environment artist I spend most of my time developing props, textures and other cool things for the environments in Knights of the Drowned Table. It has taken blood, sweat, tears, caffeine, hard work, caffeine, working late nights, doing backflips, caffeine, googling bacon memes, and caffeine to get this far. After much caffeine the desert is finally coming together. It is looking like something we all can be proud of and I can’t wait to see people playing and having fun playing a game that myself and everyone on the team has worked so hard to create.
Moving forward we are getting ready for the first stage of polishing for the desert level Drunken Dunes. This means updating textures, adding details, and fixing any issues with existing assets. Its going to be a lot more work, and caffeine. This is also the fun part, because this is the part where the everything starts to look awesome and I don’t know about anyone else but I love awesome because its awesome!
Soon, we will be streaming, I will be streaming my self modeling in Maya and creating textures inside of Substance Designer. I look forward to interacting with the community and anyone interested in game art! You can follow us here, https://www.twitch.tv/rillybossstudios.
To everyone the best, and much BACON!
Knights of the Drowned Table
We are coming up on two months of work on our latest game. Up until now, this was a game without a name. However, this is no longer the case! By allowing our fans to voice their opinions, we have finally decided on the name for our game – “Knights of the Drowned Table.” We received over 150 votes and ideas in our poll. As you can see by the results, this was a very close poll, but in the end we mixed the best our development team’s ideas with the best of the community’s ideas. It is a win-win for everyone! We ended up choosing a name outside of the poll that was submitted by a community member. Based on the theme and setting of our game and the results of our poll, we found that Knights of the Drowned Table was similar to our development team’s names, a clever play on words, as well as an intriguing and interesting name. We’d like to extend a special thank you to Reddit user /u/TreFoilHat for submitting the Knights of the Drowned Table!
One of the core elements we want to be present in each level of the game is humor. I have been negotiating with a YouTube celebrity with the hopes of having her voice act our script for the upcoming level of our game. The celebrity was a perfect fit for what we had written in our script and I was very optimistic that we would be able to work out a deal. Unfortunately, I learned this week that we could not meet on a price. The entire team was looking forward to working with this person, and now we have to start back at square one. Although it is a minor setback, it is the first failure we’ve experienced thus far as group, and I believe it will help us grow and learn to adapt. On that note, if any of our fans is interested in providing voice acting for Knights of The Drowned Table, please do not hesitate to contact me!
From the very beginning of this project, I have been a stickler for setting and meeting deadlines. It is very important to me that we are on schedule with all of our tasks. Luckily, I am surrounded by passionate team members who meet and exceed my expectations. At the beginning of September, we set out to have a playable version of our desert level Drunken’ Dunes completed by the end of the month. The Art and Design team has been hard at work creating an entire world from the ground up. Currently, we have over 90% of the scene complete and on track to meeting our first deadline. We will be providing live playable demos of this level during the October 20th-22nd DreamHack Denver event . We will be posting more information about this event in the coming weeks!
Drunken’ Dunes is the second level in Knights of the Drowned Table. It is a tale that describes the narrators haphazard adventure throughout an arid desert. The narrator describes her journey as up to three players relive the story through their own eyes. As players encounter certain events and areas, the narrator will describe the situation by continuing with her story. We are nearing completion and putting together the final touches this week.
Drunken’ Dunes differs from our first level in many ways. Unlike the Snow scene, 95% of the artwork is created exclusively by our art team. In order to defeat the boss, the players are required to complete the objectives. The level is not linear, and allows the players to tackle the objectives in any order they wish. It also features new effects, 3 new fully animated enemies, a new fully animated boss encounter, a detailed hand-crafted environment, and a slew of new structures, props, scenery, and more. We are very excited to finish this level and show it to our fans at all of our upcoming events. An early build of the level can be seen in the following video:
Although we are nearly done with the initial build of Drunken Dunes, there is still some work to be done. We are aiming to knock this list out by the end of the week.
- Sound Effects: The entire scene is missing audio. We are working this week on adding environmental sounds, enemy sounds, and more!
- Scripted Events: In order to complete the level, the players are required to complete multiple objectives. Some of these objectives require scripted events such as an ambush. I am implementing these events over the next few days.
- Voice Acting: While we recently learned that we will not have our desired voice actor, that does not remove the need for a narrator. We will be recording the script this week and adding into the game.
- Optimization: There are certain areas which we are losing performance. I am hard at work optimizing each level to ensure a smooth experience
- Testing: Testing cannot be overlooked. Although we play test frequently and often, you can never do enough testing.
- Polish: Add additional polish to the level, and ensure everything looks presentable.
Our progress has been nothing shy of amazing, and I do not see anyone taking their foot off of the gas pedal yet. We’ve started discussing the design of our next level, and will start building the Level Design Document during our weekly meeting. Keep an eye out for new posts on the RillyBoss Studios blog to learn more.
Let’s Add Some Color!
Now that we have all of the characters models rigged and animated, it’s time to add some color! Before you do any animations always remember to unwrap your UV’s and texture them! It is very important to not skip this step, you will mess up your character models.
To color or not to color? That is the question. In this case, we will color, Texturing your characters need to fit with the environment so being in touch with your environmental guy is always recommended. This way you already have a color profile you are aiming for when texturing your characters. Knowing your budget and what style you’re going for, whether it’s cartoon or realistic is key.
Keeping the team involved on the color schemes you’re going for helps the process go by smoothly. Here are the base textures for all of our enemies in the desert oasis I’ve been working on!
These textures are just simple gradients that will become something better in time. If you start simple this allows you to stay on track and focus on bigger tasks at hand while maintaining the colors you’re aiming for in your levels. There will always be time for improvement during the development process, this allows me to be as fast as I can while maintaining quality.
Substance painter is a new tool I have been working on recently and it is tons of fun! I previously used Quixel for all of my texturing needs however I took this time to expand knowledge on more powerful programs. Using substance painter and designer I will be able to make more stylized textures to help fit the theme we are going for. As stated from above expect to see changes because there is always room for improvement! Here is a sneak peak of the FireLords textures I have been working on.
Thanks for stopping by, Keep on creating!
What’s my motivation?
Certain elements in game are necessary. The mechanics, the graphics and features are always at the highest of said imaginary list that exist in our heads as gamers. The one thing we sometimes over look is creating a story. JK Rowling once said “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” It is so true especially in our era of gaming. It allows you to give you the motivation of killing that enemy or picking up that item. Why should I care?
Now we, at RillyBoss, aren’t planning on a creating a game with a novel worth of lore and backstory. We want you to have a story that motivates you and gives you purpose in our world. When we first discussed this project, we knew what the theme was going to be and the features. Yet, we did not know how to tie a story in. We could have just said “hey, you’re a warrior! Fight these things!”. That works for most games initially, but when that happens for the 37th time. You’ll get annoyed. So in our first team meeting, I threw out the idea of the player being a sort of Dungeon and Dragon player playing a round and imagining himself in that adventure, since it is VR. Though my inner comedian came out and added an additional idea, which was, “what if the Dungeon Master was drunk?” This spurred idea after idea for the game as a team. This idea motivated us and some design choices we are going with. So with this idea, we came up with a bunch of ideas for the title of said Drunken Dungeon master narrates story of your adventure VR project (That is not the title, just fyi). We decided to let you, our potential player, choose our title for the game which we had many people give us feedback and will be revealing the name soon.
Now, with the title and the story in hand, we are starting to draft a script for voice actors. These voice actors will probably be drunk when reading it, so we can get an authentic inebriated feel to your impending adventure.
It’s always a balancing act
As I work on this project, I will be, to use a baseball term, a utility player. I will bounce around wherever the project needs me. I am modeling assets for the game that are sometimes not the most interesting to look at, so I decided to talk about me how I’ll be writing and shaping the story for this project. I’m excited about this project and the story that will be told.
Wubba Dubba Dub,
Out of Thin Air
It has been nothing but a pleasure to be working at RillyBoss Studios, This will be my first gig as a game developer for a local company. All I ever wanted to do was make video games and now I’m finally here. In this blog post, I will show you how to create a character out of thin air.
Hello, my name is Julian, I am in charge of concepts and character creation at RillyBoss. A lot of my work focuses on the environmental aspect of video games, however, I found this to be a good chance to build my skill set. You may have seen my previous concept work in the community update 4, like those the process for character development is very similar. I will show you the process of creating a character. The character I will be showing you is our Firelord enemy in the desert level. This is like a sneak preview of what is to come! With everything, you start off with concept art and for characters, something that is good to learn is silhouette design.
As a team, we picked the three that we liked the most and went with them to design our final concepts for our characters. They are numbered to help us decide which ones are the best fit for the look we are going for. The Firelord is a combination of #16 and #4 and using those shapes I was able to create these rough sketches.
Once the concepts are done for the characters its time for modeling! When modeling characters it’s good to take note of the look and feel of the game you’re aiming for. Our game is low poly and has a very stylized look to it. The 3D model for Firelord isn’t exactly like the concept drawing, however, It gets the point across and has the overall shape design we were aiming for. The model matched the look of the game and the concept art which is what you should always aim for. This is the complete model for the Firelord in all of its glory!
Here is a short video of my moving the skeleton to create animations of Firelord. Firelord is a very bulky being so he moves slower than most creatures. Keeping that in mind helps the process of making the animations look and feel believable. The 12 principles of animation is also a handy tool to use at your disposal. With these principles, you will be able to animate anything your hearts desire.
12 Animation Principles:
- SQUASH AND STRETCH:
This action gives the illusion of weight and volume to a character as it moves.
This movement prepares the audience for a major action the character is about to perform, such as starting to run, jump or change expression.
A pose or action should clearly communicate to the audience the attitude, mood, reaction or idea of the character as it relates to the story and continuity of the storyline.
- STRAIGHT AHEAD AND POSE TO POSE ANIMATION:
Straight ahead animation starts at the first drawing and works drawing to drawing to the end of a scene.
- FOLLOW THROUGH AND OVERLAPPING ACTION:
When the main body of the character stops all other parts continue to catch up to the main mass of the character, such as arms, long hair, clothing, coat tails or a dress, floppy ears or a long tail.
- SLOW-OUT AND SLOW-IN:
As action starts, we have more drawings near the starting pose, one or two in the middle, and more drawings near the next pose.
All actions, with few exceptions (such as the animation of a mechanical device), follow an arc or slightly circular path.
- SECONDARY ACTION:
This action adds to and enriches the main action and adds more dimension to the character animation, supplementing and/or re-enforcing the main action.
Expertise in timing comes best with experience and personal experimentation, using the trial and error method in refining technique.
Exaggeration is not an extreme distortion of a drawing or extremely broad, violent action all the time. It’s like a caricature of facial features, expressions, poses, attitudes, and actions.
- SOLID DRAWING:
The basic principles of drawing form, weight, volume solidity and the illusion of three dimensions apply to animation as it does to academic drawing.
A live performer has charisma. An animated character has appeal. The appealing animation does not mean just being cute and cuddly. All characters have to have appeal whether they are heroic, villainous, comic or cute.
Thanks for stopping by, Keep on creating!
Brick By Brick
I am really excited to be working at RillyBoss Studios and making my first blog post as a developer. I have been spending most of my days working on the second level set in a desert, creating everything from the smallest rocks to the giant maze door. The time laps video included in this post is of me creating a texture map for a sandstone wall. This texture map is to be used only on the giant maze door and that will probably be the only place you will see it in the entire game. As you have probably guessed by now I am responsible for creating almost all of the textures in the game so far, and if you are curious to know what programs I use don’t fret! Because I am about to tell you, I use the Substance Texturing Suite by Allegorithmic. Most of the textures in the game we are working on are very flat and easy to create textures. If it were more realistic a good texture might take hours to create and tweak in game, but our style lets me create much faster and as a result I can crank out even more assets.
As I work on games more, I find my self enjoying creating textures more and more as I get better with the software tools I can be more creative and that is what I love. Its like starting out drawing stick figures and working your way to a cartoonist line art style and then moving on to drawing photo real portraits. The reward is well worth the work, the time, and the effort. Next week as I get more into the swing of things working on this project I may show off some modeling and how I go about creating the polygonal art style in this game.
To all the best, and much bacon.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” After inviting three new team members to RillyBoss Studios, I am starting to really understand what Henry Ford was trying to convey. We have truly made great strides in our project since the arrival of our new members – but in order to be successful – we we will need to not only stay together, but work together strongly as a team.
Each of our three new team members have studied Game Art at the Art Institute of Colorado and are highly talented artists. We have brought on Jared Barner, a former armed forces member of the United States Navy, Jeremiah Baker, an environmental artist as well as a tutor for game art, and Julaian DeHerrera, an accomplished artist who has been honing his art skills since he was in elementary school. Together, they will help us deliver a product that is truly unique and encompasses our vision. Jared, Julian, and Jeremiah are already hard at work producing art assets for the next level in our game. Each team member will be posting weekly blog updates, so you can stay up to date with each members progress!
Let Me Tell You A Story
We have created the concept for our story, and think that our fans will be as excited about it as we are! We plan on having each player start in tavern in a fantasy setting. Within this tavern, the locals will drunkenly retell grandiose and humorous stories in which the players will get to relive and experience. As the game plays, our drunken narrators will slowly unravel the plot for each level. We plan on inviting multiple guest narrators to join us and tell us a drunken tale. We will then hold contests to vote which stories will make it into our game! Please let us know if you have any interest in helping with our project!
Whats In a Name
Today, we released a survey to our fans to vote on the name of this game! Now that we’ve have narrowed down a plot and tone for our game, we believe we will need a unique name. We will no longer need to refer to this project as “RillyBoss Studios upcoming VR project.” You can find the survey here and vote for your favorite! As of this post, we have already received over 80 responses. We are so very appreciative of everyone’s support!
Earlier this month, we teamed up with Player 2 and Platte Park Brewing Company to provide a live playable demo of our game. We had over 30 new players try out our game, receive some free swag, and provide stellar feedback! We really appreciate everyone who participated and are offering free copies of our game upon our release to all participants!
We hope to see an even bigger turn out at our next live demo! Be sure to follow us on social media to stay in the know with all of the latest RillyBoss Studios events!
Back to Work
One of our main goals of our Labor Day demo was to start receiving feedback from the community. Our core value is that the customer comes first. Therefore, we are working diligently to ensure we provide a polished and fun product that meets our fans expectations. I have taken the feedback, and started address comments and concerns submitted by our participants:
- One of the major complaints is that players felt that enemies were coming too close to the player. We are experimenting with providing a “push-back” towards enemies when they enter the players personal bubble.
- Players felt that they could not tell exactly how hard to hit the enemies for maximum damage. We are working on adding visual and audio effects to signify a significant strike on the enemy.
- Some players feel the overall volume was too loud. We are working on adding volume options for each type of sound effect so that players can adjust all sound levels to their liking.
- Players felt the difficulty was far too hard. We are adjusting player health, enemy, health, weapon damage, and more to get the perfect difficulty setting.
- Some players experienced difficulty in picking up items that were dropped on a slope. We are working on increasing the range to ease this problem.
- Some players felt that they could not hit the enemies. We have since adjusted enemy hit boxes to make attacking the enemies more reliable.
We have also added some new features:
- Voice Chat. Users can now chat with nearby players via their voice.
- We have modified how damage is calculated. You now deal more damage the harder you swing your weapon!
- When hit, enemies will search for a player. If no player is seen, they will run for cover.
- We have added events that can be triggered in the environment, such as an ambush by a large amount of enemies.
- We have updated the player characters to match the environmental aesthetic. Players are no longer pink hot dog men!
- We have created a prototype for the first boss. You can see a sneak peak in the video above!
Whats to Come?
We are hard at work creating our first level as a team. We are shooting to finish the minimum viable product by the end of the month. Stay tuned, as we will be offering another live demo when completed! We have the following features in the pipeline for the new level.
- Multiple New Weapons
- Bow and Arrow
- Battle Axe
- 3 New Enemies
- Secret New Boss
- A hand crafted desert environment including:
- Sand Dunes
- Cliff Side Maze
- Spires, Buttes, Arches, and other interesting rocks.
- A lush oasis.
We are excited for whats to come. Every day we work our butts off to make something we are proud of, and we hope you will be too.
We recently attended a small event showcasing our game demo and it was a major success! Thank you to all who attended. With that being said, we've received a ton of feedback both good and bad to work from and improve upon. We strongly encourage as much support and feedback as possible from everyone as it inevitably helps and advances our development progress. With the feedback given, we will be improving and optimizing the demo level for future events and we will also be showcasing some new things in the works at Rillyboss Studios. This weekend some of the team will be attending a casual event in Aurora, Colorado at Rocky Ridge Park from 11:00am to 6:00pm which will primarily focus on partners and developers. Feel free to drop by!
We've been working hard here at Rillyboss, and after the release of our demo we have a boatload more to do. So we've brought on three new people to the company to help bring our future games to life! We've brought on Jeremiah, who specializes in modeling and texture wrapping for environmental props. Jared, who will be primarily leading the art for some of our characters and main boss modeling. Finally we have Julian, who brings detailed concept art, environmental, and character modeling to the table. Now that we have a solid team put together, we've begun designing and conceptualizing the official new game for release.
Behind the Scenes
Over the last week and a half we've had several in depth meetings to lay down the foundation of what the game will inevitably look like, and what is going to be honed in on specifically for quick release. Our creative minds behind the scenes have been churning out awesome ideas and we are all excited to show what we can do. Our artists have been very hard at work this last week creating concepts and beginning the designs for characters and environment props. So without further adieu, this week we will be showcasing some concepts for an environment we are working on for the official game from the creative concept mind of Julian. We will be showcasing our other artists work as well in the coming week, so keep on the lookout for our development and community updates!
With the success of our demo showcase and our newly put together development A-Team, we look to start developing some amazing, intense, and addicting games in the near future. We will be keeping everyone up to date via blogs, social media, and we will also be attending events as frequently as possible in Colorado to help spread the word. Coming in the near future we will be attending a Twitch event and showcasing our modified demo level and some brand new, never seen before gameplay of our development levels for the official game. The event will be held once again at the Platt Park Brewery in Denver, where you will have the opportunity to try out new games, drink, win prizes and givaways, and have fun! We will keep you posted with details on the event this friday via blog and social media! So keep a lookout, and we can't wait to see you there!