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The Resistance - 3rd Year Game


94 replies to this topic

#1
Josh203

Josh203

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Logo_final_22.png

 

So here we go, third year project!

 

This will be our thread for our final project “The Resistance”

 

The team:

Joshua Khusal: Environment Artist

Benjamin Lane: Environment Artist

Georgia Jeffries: Character Artist

Adelaide Coldham: Animator

 

Freelancers:

Matt Jenkins: Rigging

We will be looking for freelance prop artist / environment artist/ character artists

 

We have been sitting on this idea since October of last year and originally planned to do it for our second-year project, however we decided to hold it off for our third-year project due to the scale and time. 

 

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Pitch:

Our aim with this project is to create a highly detailed small trade town in the 15th century in the style of the byzantine empire, that sits in the middle of bridge that spans a rapid flowing river, populated by the town’s residents. 

 

Trailer:

Short cinematic sequence of the environment, mixture of landscape shots, as well as shots in street level, followed by a playable sequence of the character walking through the town, towards the Barons house.

 

 

The Story:

The city state of (insert name of town here) is stuck between two warring armies.

The city is very crucial for trade and diplomacy so the surrounding countries treat it as neutral ground. Now a war has begun, both armies need to use (insert name of town here) to get across to the other side to invade, but the nobles of the city are worried about the damage either army passing through would cause, and in turn has restricted access into the town for anyone without specific permission (traders, important/wealthy people, etc). The inhabitants of the city are getting agitated by the threat of either army and many refugees are finding their way to the bridge only to find that they cannot pass to escape their plight. The tension between the rich and poor gets to breaking point and the poor in the city and refugees unable to afford the substantial toll to cross has started a resistance to take the bridge under their control. The nobles are aware of this issue and have been hiring many mercenaries to help discipline the resistance to little success. They have now ordered the help of (PLAYER CHARACTER) to help them, a highly successful and famous mercenary. The player will make his way through the town, towards the Barons house, that sits at the edge of the town.

 

 

Research: Trip to Croatia

The architecture we have chosen is 15th century Byzantine architecture. We therefore organised a trip to one of the best preserved old towns with this style of architecture, Dubrovnik in Croatia.

 

From this trip, we gathered a total of 1,700 pictures, ranging from modelling ref, to texture ref (to turn into tillable materials) to city streets layouts, as well as the general atmosphere we want to aim for. We organised all the pictures, into respecting folders and have them on a server for the whole team to use during the project.  

 

This is the overall style we want to aim to:

https://preview.ibb....k/moodboard.jpg

 

A brick texture I turned into a tillable material in ue4

https://image.ibb.co/koocFQ/Bricks.png

 

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Concept Art:

The image that gave us this idea:

 

https://image.ibb.co...dges_sunset.jpg

 

And I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a small town on the bridge instead of a cathedral.

From the end of May we started discussing how something like this could be possible, we did lots and lots of research of the credibility/ believability of the overall concept of the idea. We found a great thesis by Mohammed Mansoor did in lots of detail on how a town could be sustainable on a bridge, the width of riverbank, the number of houses it could contain, the population demographic, etc. The main thing we took out from it, was that a town like that would have to survive off trade, therefore we started building our concept and story around that premise.

 

We then decided to have some concept art made for us ( By Iacocca Khen Arasy)

 

Town Layout:

https://image.ibb.co..._sketches_4.jpg

 

Concept Art:

https://image.ibb.co...t_Art_final.png

 

Concept Art to real world reference:

https://image.ibb.co..._Real_World.jpg

 

The concept art is more of a layout guide than anything else, as while we’re building it in 3D, things will most likely change. We are planning to make the streets feel very busy, dirty and used. Filling it with props, such as crates, barrels, people in cages, market stalls, traders, carts as well as all the people which will be around the scene.

 

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That’s an overview of the project and what we’ve been working on! There’s lots of other things that we’ve been researching and organising as well! Everything is still a work in progress and we’ll most definitely end up changing a lot of it, but here it is in its current state!

Crit and feedback welcomed as always!

 

 

 

 



#2
Spezzy

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Looks awesome, all that research/reference behind you is gonna make things soooo much easier

 

Biggest advice for a project like this: work out how your edit is going to come together as soon as you can, and try "working to shots",ie, getting your sequencer run done early then specifically focusing on layout/props for those shots. I can only speak for my experience on my third year project, but it's not fun detailing every part of a huge environment knowing only 10-20% will be seen in a trailer haha. Plus in general, it's better to have 5-10 areas that are AAA quality, rather than the whole thing be done less well 

 

Obviously you'll know modularity is key etc so no need to go into that :)

 

For your brick texture: is there still a bit of light info in the diffuse? It could just be the lighting for it, but the shadows look quite dark.


  • Josh203 likes this

#3
Josh203

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Thank you very much! 

 

Yeah I definitely agree, really solid advice! I think as soon as we have a block out, we'll start working on establishing camera angles and shots and things like that, and then work from there! 

 

Yeah we've been experimenting with what will be the best way to break the environment down into modular pieces! 

 

I think there might still be some light info in the diffuse, it was a really rough test, just wanted to see how the pipeline would work and things like that! For the real ones ill take a lot more care and attention (: 

 

Cheers man!



#4
Lluis Cavalcanti

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Looking good.
If you need any freelancing animators, I'm in :)



#5
Josh203

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Thank you!

Sounds good, ill let you know (: 



#6
nerdsharpie

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Thank you!

Sounds good, ill let you know (: 

Amazing pitch so far! And like  Lluis said, i bet you're glad you've got all the research done and out the way; can't wait to see more!

Gimme a shout if you need an extra pair of hands with textures; but i think you're pretty much set already :) 



#7
Josh203

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Thanks a bunch Paige!
Definitely will do! (:

#8
ZombieDawgs

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I have no issues with the idea for the story or environment, but the trailer sounds really generic and what we've seen a hundred times in terms of games cinematics. It would be really nice if you could play with the elements a bit more. You have a lot of flexibility with it being a realtime project. Don't go down the tradition route of "cinematic" shots of a beautiful environment, really try to flesh out the world, make it breathable and seem alive. If you just stick some cameras in with walking character blueprint sure you'll have a great portfolio piece but there wont be any substance to what you've created.

 

Having NPCs walk around and doing things; if the city is supposed to be a bustling hub, play with UE4's pathfinding system and have some regular people breathing some motion and life into things, I'd much prefer to see a city that seems like it's bustling with trade than an empty one with really good allegorithmic© substance™ designer® cobblestone floor texture.

 

Good start, needs fleshing out in terms of execution though.

 

Keep us updated on where you go with it.


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#9
Oliver Hopley

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Obviously still early stages, I would be really interested to see the trade side pushed to an extreme. My thoughts are it would provide opportunity to see multiple stories added into the environment. However I do like what I see and I look forward to seeing where you take it!!



#10
Josh203

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I have no issues with the idea for the story or environment, but the trailer sounds really generic and what we've seen a hundred times in terms of games cinematics. It would be really nice if you could play with the elements a bit more. You have a lot of flexibility with it being a realtime project. Don't go down the tradition route of "cinematic" shots of a beautiful environment, really try to flesh out the world, make it breathable and seem alive. If you just stick some cameras in with walking character blueprint sure you'll have a great portfolio piece but there wont be any substance to what you've created.

 

Having NPCs walk around and doing things; if the city is supposed to be a bustling hub, play with UE4's pathfinding system and have some regular people breathing some motion and life into things, I'd much prefer to see a city that seems like it's bustling with trade than an empty one with really good allegorithmic© substance™ designer® cobblestone floor texture.

 

Good start, needs fleshing out in terms of execution though.

 

Keep us updated on where you go with it.

 

Thanks for the ton of feedback! Appreciate that loads (: 
 
I dont think I made it clear in the pitch, but thats exactly what we wanted to do, fill the town with characters going about their business, having drunk people on the streets, traders, guards and that sort of thing! Adelaide (our animator) has been researching on the best way to make NPC navigation system so hopefully we will be posting that progress soon!
 
I definitely agree with the generic cinematic sort of thing, we'll try and come up with some interesting ways to display it all!

Obviously still early stages, I would be really interested to see the trade side pushed to an extreme. My thoughts are it would provide opportunity to see multiple stories added into the environment. However I do like what I see and I look forward to seeing where you take it!!

 

Thank you!! 

Yeah that definitely sounds like an interesting aspect to have! Thanks for the suggestion! (:


Edited by Josh203, 30 July 2017 - 05:50 PM.


#11
Mossbros

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Just thought I would pop in to say something, as from the pitch it sounds really interesting but I have some advice.
Id say really try to make sure you take in to consideration scale, as a city is a very large thing to be taking on, and during the creation process is usually the only time you will realise this, by that point its usually too late.

For a living world, you are undertaking multiple characters that need animation, rigs and a multitude of things to make sure it runs well. There are ways around this by using the UE4 character rig and animation re-targeting which would give you a big pack of default anims but you'll soon find making sure the characters all have specific animations for separate tasks. If you still chose to go this route, maybe consider getting an animation pack or something and making sure the character artist is able to hit deadlines in time. One problem I've seen countless time is the miss-judgement in time that character artists believe they can finish things in.

Currently you have 21 houses inside your blue zone, outside of that zone you have 39.  If you work modular it would make the task manageable, but you still need to build this like a mapper and have shader variation to make everything not look like a big Ctrl+c  Ctrl+v. Also making sure you use a master shader and texture atlas would really save you a bit. If you are thinking about texture authoring yourself, this may be quite the task. 

http://www.gdcvault....yhem-Physically

Agents of mayhem have a good breakdown on material packing that allows good variation in tone and a few other things, page 21 onwards. 

 

On modularity, make modular packs from single assets, not assets from modular thinking. This will speed up the development of assets.
Ie:- You create a single full building, then break it up into parts that can be reused, As working the other way is a good method to spend a lot of time not progressing. 

One big thing is to try not to bake assets that don't need to be baked. Only use the normals if needed, the textures should be sufficient enough, it's easy to get into the habit of having to bake every single thing down, or you'll be wasting your time, and honestly you'll have a much better experience. 

A tough decision, but. Think about scaling the project down a little or test a workflow that would speed up your development prior to agreeing to creating a small town. 

If you work with the film version of the shot early like Ben mentioned it will really help to figure out what area's to really polish, and what area's aren't even needed.

 

I do see a lot of promise in this, you just need to really think about your time, as you will find during production suddenly you are hit with factors you never thought existed, having the smaller scale means it won't hit you as hard.

A final piece of advice, for a project this big, you really need to stay on top of what needs to be done. Having a solid blockout that has all of the main assets done to a simple standard will really help you and is literally the most crucial step of this entire project.

Then listing the items and assigning multiple people to work on things even outside of their wanted exclusive roles ( this is huge).

If you have your team thinking they can be a dedicated type of artist on something like this, usually you will find one person carrying the weight which sucks, a lot. 

Make sure you all are working towards the same goal, not one person doing most, and 3 people doing textures only or tech only. It's understandable there's skill gaps, but learn from each other, and push each other to better standards.

Only through strong collaboration will something this vast succeed, so make sure you have this talk in the beginning, or you may find it difficult to explain this later in the stages, when someone feels comfortable in their safe zone. 



#12
Josh203

Josh203

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Appreciate the kind words! For our characters we've set up a pipeline that allows the character artist to create a modular character pack, where all of the characters share one rig, so our animator can start making animations on a dummy character from the start and we can apply the animations to the character as they get produced, we've tested out the system with some random blobby characters made in zbrush and so far its working well (: Heres a test we did: 

 

https://gyazo.com/1a...ac929d03d68c527

 

Cheers for the link on texture authoring, ill have a good read through that!

We're in the process of creating our gantt chart so hopefully that will keep us on top of things! 

 

Thank you very very much for the ton of advice! Its really got us thinking! (: 



#13
markw

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Hi. I agree with the comments made so far. Watch the opening credits of the series Salem tv series. Give it a real mood. Salem was known for the witch hunts. Poor against rich has been done a lot. In your version maybe the crowd and camera follow up a street to a unlawful hanging which is why the whole town erupted. You also want just one rig. Use local. Keep up the good work. Best mark
Hi. I agree with the comments made so far. Watch the opening credits of the series Salem tv series. Give it a real mood. Salem was known for the witch hunts. Poor against rich has been done a lot. In your version maybe the crowd and camera follow up a street to a unlawful hanging which is why the whole town erupted. You also want just one rig. Use local. Keep up the good work. Best mark

#14
Josh203

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Cheers for the suggestion Mark! We'll definitely watch that scene!



#15
Benjia

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Logo made me assume that it's a sci-fi FPS kinda thing, the bloody hand print could work but the font should probably be something more 15th century Byzantine if that's what you're going for. Concept art looks great!






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