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Games [Now Released] Eastshade: A game about exploration

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by djweinbaum, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Hey everyone,

    I've been hanging around these forums for a while and I'm glad to finally have something to show. I'm about six months in a I just launched my site and blog: http://www.eastshade.com/

    [EDIT - I deleted a paragraph here that had a bunch of out of date/since-changed information about the game.]

    Its early, so I haven't much to show, but I hope some of the weird flavor comes through. There's a lot of weird aspects of the world I have yet to layer in, but 'm aiming to make the world striking enough to make people curious, and hopefully, capture imaginations.

    Thanks for checking it out.
    Danny

     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  2. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    beautiful!
     
  3. dterbeest

    dterbeest

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    You terrain work is absolutely stunning!
     
  4. cdosrun

    cdosrun

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    It looks great! The screenshots are from Unity?
     
  5. ensiferum888

    ensiferum888

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    This looks amazing, are you alone working on this?

    Are you a professional graphic artist this is seriously the best looking Unity project I've ever seen, it actually looks like one of the best games I've ever seen. I am profoundly jealous of what your game looks like, good job.
     
  6. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Thanks guys! You're very kind.

    Of course!

    That's a darn nice thing to say, and darn nice to hear! I'm a one man band, and indeed I'm an environment artist for the games industry. I actually quit a rather comfortable day job at a AAA game studio to work on this full time.
     
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  7. ChechW

    ChechW

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    First off, very nice visuals! Always loved exploration games and I think the game-concept you have coupled with some background lore for the world that reveals as you explore could be a very fun and rewarding experience.

    Don't know about others, but I would be very interested to see how a professional does something like this.

    If you have the time and it's not a problem I'd love if you could post some screenshots of the development (modeling, texturing, unity scene, etc) and explain how you work to create an environment like this to complement in-game screenshots on your blog.

    Again, very nice work. And good luck with your project, looks promising!
     
  8. Zionmoose

    Zionmoose

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    Impressive. Cant wait to see more.
     
  9. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Thanks for the reinforcement! I do plan on posting some videos going into the technical of how I'm accomplishing some of the visuals. I'll keep this thread up to date with my updates.
     
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  10. botumys

    botumys

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    Very nice screenshots, I'm a big fan of your trees too!
    Do you used unity tree creator or another solution?
     
  11. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Thanks! I hand model the trees in blender. All the foliage textures are created from hand modeled bakes as well.
     
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  12. derkoi

    derkoi

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    Looks awesome, would love to see those technical videos. :)
     
  13. JMcKenna

    JMcKenna

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    Awesome images, you've certainly made me curious .
    I'm doing a research project on exploration mechanics in games - I'd love to talk about exploration with you if you're up for it - I've sent you an email through your website contact email.
    Cheers,
    Jarrett.
     
  14. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    I'm been working on my Night Day cycle. I considered a few from the asset store, even purchased a few, but I didn't find them to be open ended enough for the very specific things I wanted to do. The one I've made is really modular. You just choose what values you want to track in the scene, then make presets for each time of day, and it will lerp through them all. I attached a screenshot of what the little GUI for it looks like.

    I'm planning on making a video soon of it in action, but I want to art out a new biome first. I don't wish to keep posting shots from this same little area. Hopefully I'll have more to show soon.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Origxn

    Origxn

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    looks beautiful. I'm curious to see how the gameplay mechanics will turn out though.
     
  16. protopop

    protopop

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    Brilliant! I love the blue flowers shining under the moonlight.

    In creating this youre actually making natural plugins you could eventually sell in the asset store.

    Id love to have a day night cycle eventually. With all my light mapping i guess im worried about visual fidelity. But i think the more procedural the environment can get the better:)

    Great work.
     
  17. Arac

    Arac

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    This looks absolutely stunning!

    Good luck with the project
     
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  18. ManAmazin

    ManAmazin

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    very very good looking game-play should be awesome site to see
     
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  19. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Thanks, guys.

    Thanks, protopop! Yeah I did initially think I would sell some of these systems, but now I'm cautious because I'm worried about supporting them and making them compatible. I'm still unsure.
     
  20. protopop

    protopop

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    Just play it by ear. from what i see you'll need all of your focus on your project to keep building that beautiful world. If and when you ever do decide that it feels right to get into the sales game, go for it.
     
  21. bgivenb

    bgivenb

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    Awesome work!
     
  22. randomperson42

    randomperson42

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    First of all, this is really great.
    I'm curious, do you use blender for all your 3d modelling?
     
  23. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Yeah I do. I occasionally use 3d coat for sculpting among a few other things.
     
  24. Rinoa_Heartilly

    Rinoa_Heartilly

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    it's really beautiful :) can't wait to play it xD
     
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  25. gwubgwub

    gwubgwub

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    This is really nice, il be following this post :)
     
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  26. Karearea

    Karearea

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    Gorgeous!

    Really interested to hear more about the exploration mechanic mentioned on your blog.
     
  27. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Thanks guys! Its perhaps not terribly newsworthy, but I use my own Blender exporter for all the models in Eastshade, and I released it here on the forums in case any Blender people find it interesting.
     
  28. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Howdy guys! Its been longer than I meant, but Eastshade is going well! I have a little update. I think I may be the world's slowest writer, so I'm just going to cross post what I wrote on my site here:


    I’m a subscriber to the up-and-coming idea that games have potential to invoke a much broader range of emotions than what we’ve been seeing so far. Jenova Chen has pointed this out very eloquently in a number of interviews and talks. One emotion that I’m consciously trying to procure in Eastshade is safety. I think this medium is particularly suited to do this effectively, since in a game, one must overcome danger themselves, rather than sit back and watch events unfold as in a book or movie. In traditional RPGs, I love the feeling of returning to the safety of an inn after surviving a treacherous dungeon.


    To effectively create that wonderful feeling of safety, there has to be some danger. While there are no hostile AI in Eastshade, the world itself is as dangerous as it is beautiful. You have to pay attention to your malady, cold, exhaustion and hunger, and as you travel, you’ll deal with “conditions” that the environment will inflict on you. Jumping in water will make you wet for some time, which makes you colder. Walking without boots in rocky tide pools will give you a deep cut, which continues to affect your Malady bar until you bandage it. The tent pictured above, safely perched on a seaside bluff, restores the players exhaustion, and the fire keeps them warm.


    Of late, I’ve been working on inventory systems and GUI. On the left is your stuff and on the right are the schematics you’ve acquired (crafting recipes). At the bottom are your vitality bars. We’re doing pretty good at the moment. On each side of the vitality bars are equipment slots. You won’t be able to equip an acorn (as indicated in the image), because I tried equipping one in real life today and it had little effect. For some reason I thought it would give me resistance to poison. Provided you’ve the schematic and the necessary materials, you’ll be able to create vehicles (a means of travel) and gear (protection from some of the “conditions” the environment will give you). Items will be sprinkled throughout the world, but the schematics will be particularly valuable, and will primarily be acquired by reaching new places. I have a novel idea for the way which rewards are delivered but for moment I don’t want to talk about it until I’ve actually tried implementing it. I will say that whatever this delivery method ends up being, it definitely won’t be a loot chest.

    BTW if anyone's curious, I'm using Daikon Forge as my GUI solution.
     
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  29. christides11

    christides11

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    Looking really beautiful, keep it up.
     
  30. Lazdude17

    Lazdude17

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    I feel horrible critiquing something that looks so amazing but that planet is distracting to me, like the edge is to hard. Aside from and even including that, it looks awesome. That GUI looks pristine :)
     
  31. AlanGameDev

    AlanGameDev

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    Amazing work. This is the kind of game I'd play even if there were no game mechanics at all other than wandering around... For some reason everything in the screenshots reminds me of the last Elder Scrolls games (obviously your graphics are much better), that tower reminds me of Oblivion and the night shots reminds me of Skyrim, also the GUI is very similar to the Skyrim one imho, I mean, with that usability mod for PCs... In fact I've played both Oblivion and Skyrim full of mods :).

    I hope I don't get sued for mentioning Scrolls :).
     
  32. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    @chrisall76 Thanks I'll try!
    @Lazdude17 Thanks for the feedback. Good to hear you dig it anyway.
    @BeliarTheEvil Yeah I love to wander in games too! Elder Scrolls is my favorite series of all time so I don't mind. Indeed the GUI is indisputably similar to Skyrim's. Its more similar than I'd like it to be.
     
  33. Izitmee

    Izitmee

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    GAH!!!! I really am not into realistic 3D environments, not from AAA nor from anything else, since they all seem quite boring to me, but what you're doing is wonderfully amazing and in spite of the realism it has great personality and a fantastic painterly effect. I totally bow to that, and to you! I hope I'll be able to afford a new high end machine for when you'll release it, because I love it already. These were my two cents :)
     
  34. Izitmee

    Izitmee

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    P.S. I just placed "tent on the edge" as my desktop wallpaper. You should add logos and such there ;)
     
  35. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    I hear ya. I'm pretty bored with realistic places/settings like Arma III or whatever. However, I love realistic rendering. To put it as pretentiously as possible: I like an aesthetic that uses the visual language of reality, but is totally weird and imaginative.

    Way! I'm flattered.
     
    Izitmee likes this.
  36. Rinoa_Heartilly

    Rinoa_Heartilly

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    currently this is my wallpaper :p
     
  37. bbsbot

    bbsbot

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    OMG, this is the most beautyfull project i have ever seen in this forum.
    I have 2 questions.
    1
    the skyboxs looks fantasy especially the night one. will you release an asset pack with this skybox on unity asset shop?
    2
    about the water. I'm making an outdoor scene currently, it also have terrain, trees, grass, buildings, and rivers.
    I want my water can reflect surround things, both skybox and landscape, and buildings. so i use the pro water.
    when i add water to my scene, the drawcall increase to 2 times. fps=40+ without water, and fps=15+ with water.
    I see your water have reflection of landscape. i wonder how did you make it without heavy drawcall added?

    bestwishes
     
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  38. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    @Rinoa_Heartilly you and @Izitmee are melting my heart.

    @bbsbot wow! That's mighty kind!
    1. The sky is a character in Eastshade. Its fully dynamic (clouds, colors, lighting, etc), and uses a system I wrote called DayCycler. I wrote a bit about it in this thread. I may sell the system/code but I'd never sell the art. Its like how Epic sells their engine for others to use, but not the art from Gears of War.
    2. I made my ocean shader in Shader Forge. It doesn't use planar reflections or SSR. It has a bunch of cubemap probes that are lerped to based on the players position, so the reflections are usually roughly the tones of the surroundings. They are blurry enough for discrepancies to not really be noticeable.
     
  39. HolBol

    HolBol

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    Just throwing this out there but that's some of the nicest art in a Unity game ever.
     
  40. KheltonHeadley

    KheltonHeadley

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    Obviously never played Slender. :rolleyes: I have to agree though, this is one fantastic looking game.
     
  41. LeakedDave

    LeakedDave

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    Absolutely stunning visuals. Definitely keeping an eye on this one.
     
  42. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Hey everyone,

    I just did a blog post on my site where I summarize all the tools, including all the asset store extensions to make Eastshade. I'd imagine a post like this is only interesting to fellow game devs, and probably most interesting to fellow Unity devs, so I'm cross posting a shortened version of that here:



    UFPS - For me, the only price I paid for this asset was the time I spent learning how its insides work well enough for me to implement my own gameplay on top of it. Though I still get the feeling I’m not using it totally as intended, its player controller and input system are the backbone of the player controls in Eastshade.

    Shader Forge - I actually would have had a really tough time building the look of the world without this extension. Every shader bar the foliage was built with Shader Forge. I wouldn’t have the chops to write something like a Y projection for moss and snow, or my own implementation of a global cubemap managing system had it not been for the simple node based workflow this asset provides.

    Advanced Foliage Shader - The screen real estate that foliage takes up is considerable, and AFS, in addition to allowing my vegetables to flutter gracefully in the wind, looks beautiful.

    DevConsole - A simple but important thing to have, I think, is a way to call certain functions from inside your game for debugging purposes. DevConsole makes it easy to define new console commands, even ones that accept arguments.

    FogVolume - For all those foggy, foggy times. Inscattering is has a big visual impact on long site lines (which you should have a tone of!).

    SplineBend - I use this for all my roads and paths. I love how simple and open ended this asset is. I prefer it to EasyRoads for sure. Thought I still use EasyRoads sometimes, not for building roads, but to shape my terrain oddly enough.

    Shadow Softener - Soft shadows are nice, but nicer is the 10 fps I reclaimed when I started using this asset. Perhaps Unity 5 will negate the need for this asset, but currently soft shadows is essential for performance alone.

    Every prefab placement painting tool on the store - I’m pretty sure I have them all now, but I’m skeptical to endorse any of them because none of them quite satisfy me. I’m half tempted to write my own at this point.

    Honorable Mentions - I was using skyshop until recently, when I opted to use all my own shaders write my own cubemap controller. There were two reasons for this: The first is that Skyshop’s cubemap blending was more than I needed, as I found I only needed to tint my cubemap during weather changes, rather than switch to a new one. Lerping between cubemaps is pretty expensive, and I really didn’t like the implementation of how you just chose a blend duration and fired it off. I wanted my own night/day controller to drive the change. The second reason is that I found I never needed a full RGBA for spec and gloss (the skyshop shaders don’t allow you to pack the spec into an alpha channel). My last honorable mention would be Daikon Forge, which is a great GUI library, but turned out to be a massive mistake since the guy who made it just stopped supporting it. I made the call to switch to the new uGUI before moving forward with any more GUI stuff. I’ve been using the 4.6 beta and have yet to hit any showstopping bugs.

    Git and SourceTree - This doesn’t belong in the Unity section but I’ve no other place for it. SourceTree is a wonderful GUI front end for the almighty GIT. It makes working with version control a lot easier for someone like me, who doesn’t wish to dabble in a command line console to submit and revert files. You may be wondering, “But aren’t you one person? Why do you need version control?” If your spending a lot of time on something its wise to be making iterative backups as you go, and as long as your making iterative backups you may as well be using an application to manage them. Version control is designed for that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to look into previous revisions after realizing I’ve messed something up.

    Content Creation



    Blender - I first learned the ropes of 3d with 3ds Max, and then spent my professional career as an environment artist so far using Maya, but despite having sunk so many hours into these other industry standard tools, I prefer Blender over them. I wrote a special exporter to make getting my stuff into Unity as easy and fast as possible.

    Photoshop CC - I was using Gimp to save some money, but since Adobe did the 10 bucks a month thing I switched back to the tried and true. After using Gimp extensively, I can honestly say it has a long way to go before comparing to PS. All you have to do is try adjusting the levels of a 2048 and watch Gimp slowly loop through all the pixels line by line each time you nudge a slider to be convinced.

    Unorthodox Game Dev Tools - If you’re a game artist and haven’t heard of this Photoshop plugin you should definitely check it out. Its the sweetest texture export plugin I’ve ever used, and its author is a nice guy, very responsive, and helpful.

    3d Coat - Aside from being an excellent sculpting package, I love being able to drop a totally garbagy mesh (perhaps from a photo scan) in there and convert it to voxels, then convert it back to polygons and decimate it. I also use it for unwrapping organic things like rocks and tree trunks. Its got the best seam making tools I’ve ever used.

    Lost of other things - I use quite a few other little programs for content creation often for very specific tasks. Among them are CrazyBump for texture creation, PhotoSculpt which can derive a height map comparing two photos of slightly different angles, and automagically tile textures with normal map and all, and fairly obscure (and free) MeshLab for its incredible UV-preserving mesh decimation features.
     
  43. Izitmee

    Izitmee

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    Thanks for the post: it was very greatly interesting :)
     
  44. mgear

    mgear

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    Just curious, what kind of tool / features you would need?
     
  45. nasos_333

    nasos_333

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    Looks stunning, amazing work. Especially love the cliff pic :)

    Your custom day cycler looks very cool too, you have any plans of selling in the store ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  46. virror

    virror

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    This game looks absolutely amazing!
    Any plans for VR support? This game screams for it : p
     
  47. jzela

    jzela

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    Just beautiful!
     
  48. Crazyjack145

    Crazyjack145

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    Wow Just amazing......
     
  49. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Thanks for checking it out!

    Well its not really that they have missing features, its just each has little quirks that frustrate me. The one I've been using most often is GeoPainter, and my quirk with that one is that there's no way to release the prefabs from the painting system without also destroying the settings used to paint that prefab. I want the simplest painting system ever.

    The asset store scares me now actually. I tried submitting a simple editor extension called Warp Points that I thought was quite useful. Here's a screenshot of it:

    It lets you warp objects (like your main player or camera) to saved locations in your world. I use it every day and its really useful to me. I tested it well, spent a full work day making a concise scripted video tutorial, wrote a lovely guide document, made the icon images and page art, and they turned it down saying it was too simple. It blew my mind considering some of the garbage that's on there. The amount of work it took to get that asset "store ready" was insane considering how simple the asset was, and if that wasn't even good enough, I think I'm done with the asset store. So at this point I'd be more likely to just throw my stuff up for free somewhere, and not spend time debugging and documenting it for public use. If people check out my game in exchange for using my extensions that would be enough for me.

    @jzela and @Crazyjack145 Thanks guys!
     
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  50. Izitmee

    Izitmee

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    That Asset Store thing leaves me wordless (considering some trash that is there, as you mentioned) *_* Sorry for the bad experience.