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Games [Now Released] Eastshade: A game about exploration

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

  1. nasos_333

    nasos_333

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    Indeed it is very bad to do so much work and be turned down. Understand complelty :), making the icons, pics, video, manual etc takes a big ammount of time and effort

    Keep up the amazing work on the game, i will probably roll my day/night system as well since none in the store suits my needs, like your game i have saved many cool day time states and will lerp, the how is still up in the air :)
     
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  2. protopop

    protopop

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    That's crazy about the asset store. I hope they minimize the red tape because your warper looks like it deserves a chance in sales. What we need eventually is an open-source store for selling and exchanging assets for various software.

    Awesome post with a lot of juicy information!

    I have a game Nimian Legends : BrightRidge on the app store - similar in that it's an open world wilderness.

    Shader Forge -

    I bought this when it was on sale and havent used it yet, but i thought it would be a good investment. I would like to use it for multi-texture materials with bump, and various river textures. Good to know it's so helpful:)

    Advanced Foliage Shader -

    Ive actually tried almost all of his shaders - they look so useful - but ive never been able to get them to work. Whenever i install one my terrain textures tumble to like 1/16th resolution or something. I can only guess that i'm missing a step or i have some conflicting item in my project folder - anyways i took several looks over a couple of years - maybe i will sit down after my updates are ready and really try to see if i can figure it out


    Every prefab placement painting tool on the store

    Yeah i get what you mean about these. Right now i use terrain composer to place massive amounts of items, its procedural and being able to recreate what ive placed is important. But it wuld be great to have something where you just pain on an object or terrain, press 'generate' and have arandom or recreatable set of items appear. terrain composer does the create part but i agree that while they are all good there's room for something simpler


    Unorthodox Game Dev Tools

    This looks cool - i bought Substance Bitmap to Material (i THINK thats what its called, substance has kind of a confusion product naming system) - and you drop in an image and it will make it seamless, make parallax, bump, normal, specualr ext all from the image. Its probably a lot like this except outside photoshop. anyways its become the only tileable texture maker ive needed:

    Bitmap2Material
    http://www.allegorithmic.com/products/bitmap2material


    3d Coat

    Interesting! Ive been trying to make ocean rocks that rise out of the sea but are irregular. I can make some cool stuff in VUE using metablobs but you cant export them (what's up with that?). Maybe i can create something using voxels and export in 3d coat - thanks for the tip:)

    Terrain Composer

    This is my magic bullet:) It allows me to procedurally place vegetation and it produces great results, and i can re-generate procedural splat maps, details, rocks, tress etc as needed. I really recommend it.

    Terrain Composer
    http://www.terraincomposer.com/

    I am completely into world design, especially nature, and i am really impressed with what you're doing. It's nice to see creatives working on spaces and virtual nature without the overhead of neccissarily adding all kinds of combat, etc (although that can be cool too). I cant wait to walk through your world:) Thanks for all the tips.
     
  3. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Oops I missed this one. I have no plans to support VR. I haven't dabbled with a rift but from what I hear you literally have to redesign your game for it. We still don't have a consumer version and there aren't any games out that are really built for it. I'm very excited for VR but devs still haven't figured it out just yet. Hell, even the VR companies haven't figured it out yet and I've never even designed a game before so I don't think I'm going to be the one to pioneer its implementation and lead the way.
     
  4. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    Hey, i've had a year of playing with the oculus and I do have to say that I think you have the wrong impression of VR, and you don't really have to redesign your game for it unless you have large amounts of animation where the player's head is moving without control, or if the player being able to move their head in a normal range would create bugs in circumstances. It would be a crying shame if a game like yours wasn't to appear on the hardware, it seems incredibly well made and the way you describe the pacing makes it sound like a perfect fit (I'm convinced VR games will be most successful and evocative when capturing more the spirit of interactive fiction rather than boneheaded fps games).

    Dear Esther I found pretty but quite dull on a monitor, i randomly decided to 'hack in' vr with Tridef and after some adjustment of settings at the initial lighthouse I went on to have a genuinely unforgettable experience, stil looking for something like that, with that caliber of art and mood, although not necessarily the same concept

    Especially because of what seems the nature of your game, i genuinely recommend you try VR in some way, most obviously to me is your own game with an oculus rift, as the initial integration can be as simple as replacing your current camera with a sensibly arranged structure to hold the two cameras for the oculus output based on the prefab provided in the Oculus Unity SDK. The whole palaver with the two cameras stops being seen as a possible pain to experience when you find inside the experience you're not looking at the displays at all
     
  5. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Hey lazygunn I appreciate you sharing your experience with me. You've got me thinking a little more about it. Perhaps I'll purchase a dev kit, though I'm tempted to wait until they actually have a consumer version. I'm very open to the idea of doing VR, but once I saw the Unite talk on VR I started to think it would be way harder than I'd initially thought. Some concerns I have for VR in particular: What about framerate? They say you absolutely have to have it run at 60 fps to not make people sick. I was shooting for 30-40 with a single camera on ps4 hardware. I'd have to make it run at 60 with two cameras? I can certainly do it with severely lowered settings, but its just something I worry about. And GUI? I have a small hud which is important to the game. I could attempt to display this info in the world somehow but it would require some thinking and designing. I also have an inventory menu. Perhaps I could do something like what the Forest has done? Again my game is just totally not set up that way, and as a one man team that stuff will take very serious time.
     
  6. okm1123

    okm1123

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    These graphics are one of the best graphics I have seen in any game ( including AAA ) , I would love to play it .

    Also you should add a DLC or something that adds AI or if you are going to make it multiplayer will you add weapons ?
     
  7. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    @protopop thanks for checking it out, man! I haven't had your problem with AFS, and note that that texture exporter does nothing accept saves off your textures from specially named groups in your psd. Its just a handy little tool that saves some time. It probably belonged in the "other little tools" section but I wanted to give that guy a shout out.

    I hope to have some ambient creatures and NPCs to talk to. I want the world to feel alive. No plans for multiplayer, and there will certainly never be weapons. If I had 100 million dollars to make this game there would still be no weapons. I think we have enough games about killing things. I want to try to make a game about something else!
     
  8. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    Ahh yes, with inventory screens it can be complex but there have been some quite simple but elegant answers. Initially when VR was getting in games you'd have awkward sickness inducing jolts where suddenly the camera wouldnt follow your head esp on things like inventory screens, the answer was somewhat akin to, in a VR mode, have the inventory plane inside the 3D 'space' so you look up and down and around it like a normal 3D object, and if your selection takes the form of a square around the item, this can scroll the plane along bringing the item closer to you. The HUD is a similar situation, sometimes it's helpful to 'decouple' the head from the body in concept, the HMD driving the head movement but pad etc moving the body.

    Are you aiming for only a ps4 launch? If so perhaps waiting and seeing if a Morpheus option makes sense as an update at a later date, i've read it is great technology but as yet unproven to the public, and console limits can be quite tightly defined. If you are including a PC release it's a little more intuitive as the tentative VR support can be somewhat semantically redirected with a similar take Valve make with their games and supply it as a part of their beta scheme. This is very typically pc gaming nature and makes it easy, somewhat, to explore the idea without the yoke of official support nightmare potential, might offer an ongoing development channel too, but its presumptious of me to say that's even what you'd want. All I can really say is that VR will make a deep impression on you

    I'm hardly at a level of consultant for this technology but i do stand as advocate so i you have any questions about how a system might fit in well to vr you can always ask, the answer is usually just to never have it affect the players freedom to move their head, and this can ultimately be fairly intuitive to implement - in the 'decoupling' scenario, the GUI elements would seem parented in relation to the body, with the head free to look around them

    Well worth getting a devkit i think, with the consumer model seeming set for next year and not too huge a difference from the second devkit (in comparison with the first, which is what i'm stuck with atm) you'd probably enjoy getting familiar and seeing what the fuss is about

    Kudos on your work anyways, i've rarely seen such professional and talented sense of frame and colour/shading composition in a texturing filling the entire frame in my life
     
  9. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    So your thinking I could just have a plane floating in 3d space that the player could interact with for the UI? One that follows the body but not the head? I'd actually never thought of that. I suppose its no less illusion breaking than having something pop up over your screen. It would also be pretty easy to implement because I could just use my existing inventory menu. The new uGUI can already do world space. I think you've convinced me. I'll consider having a serious go at it once I've completed my alpha vertical slice.

    I'm not aiming for PS4 at the moment at all actually, I just want it to run well on a 7870 level graphics card because I think that's a reasonable mid range card, and in case I did ever want to put it on the new consoles I know that spec would be okay.
     
  10. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    haha glad to have helped but really you'd just benefit from the new perspective it gives a gaming/being experience. That's a nice target, gives you a long leash to be pretty while still allowing for a substantial fully able high end user market, and these are typically your vr guys anyways right now while the medium remains niche (theres still plenty of room for more big vr based tech blog articles about such and such a game taking vr to new heights)
     
  11. Venryx

    Venryx

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  12. virror

    virror

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    Hurray ; )
    As lazygunn says, you probably dont have to change a lot at all to get a "good" VR experience. As long as you don't force camera movement, have strange scales and a decent UI in worldspace i think you will be pretty much there. Been experimenting as well with the Rift for a bit and mostly it "just works". Seems like some image effects can be a bit problematic though but that should not be a showstopper, and its still a work in progress and SDK gets better for each new release : )
     
  13. lmbarns

    lmbarns

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    Definitely need to reconsider VR...it's the one thing where you can just look around, absorb and experience the environment like never before, especially with good audio effects.

    I've worked on a couple VR unity projects that were 6 figures and nowhere near an entire game, 2-5 minutes long.... Just "experiences" or a simulation. Think theme park ride.....big brands are paying good money to have this stuff at key conventions/events for their businesses where they simply want the "cool" factor.
     
  14. NomadKing

    NomadKing

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    Not sure how I missed this thread - this game looks stunning!

    Guess I have some catching up to do... *off to read the blog*
     
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  15. Reanimate_L

    Reanimate_L

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    That's it..... i'm watching you........
    your thread i mean
     
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  16. Bradamante

    Bradamante

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    Hi,

    would you post screenshot-based desktop wallpapers? I.e., at oversampled screensizes, with or without a game logo? I would prefer something like 3840x2160 with a sublte, small, semi-transparent website link.
     
  17. okm1123

    okm1123

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    Did you use blender for all these assets ?
     
  18. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    I'll have to do some desktop background shots!

    Indeed. Blender and the other tools I mentioned in Tools of the Shade.
     
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  19. RicardoSousa

    RicardoSousa

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    Very impressive work!! I'm wondering what you're using to make your terrain. =)
     
  20. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    hi protopop,
    just send me a pm to figure things out ;-)
    afs should not effect your terrain textures at all.

    lars
     
  21. Jither

    Jither

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    Looking forward to those too! Already have Eastshade-river2.jpg as my desktop background - to keep my programmer-playing-at-being-graphics-artist self on his toes - in terms of modelling, texturing, art design, the whole deal.

    In other words, this indeed looks absolutely amazing - and I love the game concept too - doing a (long term) adventure-y experiment these days in a somewhat similar vein.

    And on that note, I'm glad to see an experienced artist - who knows his alternatives - ending up at many of the same content creation tools I've decided on - e.g. Meshlab, 3D Coat. Although I feel about Blender the same way you (and I) do about GIMP - so I'm sticking with Maya. I'll have to look into PhotoSculpt at some point - been interested in photogrammetry-ish methods for a while, but never actually tried something out. :)
     
  22. KhinRunite

    KhinRunite

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    Seriously, this looks gorgeous, sir/ma'am. Your site is bookmarked!
     
  23. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    I use World Machine for the base, and then some modifying with the terrible Unity terrain tools for roads, rivers and general design. Note that large cliffs, spires, and rocky features aren't part of the terrain but rather separate prefabs. I could talk your ear off about authoring rocks and cliffs.

    You're too kind! I wish you well!

    Yay! I'm very flattered to hear so.
     
  24. chingwa

    chingwa

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    You know I've been needing something EXACTLY LIKE THIS in one of my projects recently and I've just been too lazy to code it myself. I'm not sure why yours would've been turned down as it sounds really useful. I don't understand the Asset Store requirements... so much of the store is full of junk... perhaps they're trying to step up their game going forward with the quality of assets but it sounds like whoever reviewed your submission was suffering from a lack of imagination that day. You could try resubmitting and send the reviewer a note to this thread :D
     
  25. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    So I just released my Warp Points asset for free here. Here's a video showing how it works:

     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
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  26. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    You are my new best friend. Also i'd love to have my ear talked off about rocks and cliffs, if you ever fancy doing a tutorial, im there
     
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  27. botumys

    botumys

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    Nice work!
    Do you have tips or tutorial links to create nice looking rocks (modeling, sculpt, uv unfolding, displacement map + normal and color) ?
    And thanks for warp point tool !
     
  28. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    As a matter of fact I have a series on rock creation (freely available on youtube) I made for Futurepoly (a world-class training school for game art). I teach an introductory course there occasionally. Incidentally, it was the school that initially trained me in environment art and got me into the industry. This is not at all the way I do rocks anymore though, and quite honestly I'm not even sure this method is still relevant. Also, since this school is a triple-A game art pipeline, I'm using Cryengine, and industry standard tools



    Nowadays my method is very different, and I'm pretty sure its the strangest, most complicated and absurd way of making game rocks the world has ever known. It involves photogrammetry.
     
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  29. NomadKing

    NomadKing

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    Does it involve licking the rocks? Or rubbing your face against them in a tender way? Meditation on what it truly means to be a rock?

    Jokes aside, interesting video! Thanks for sharing
     
  30. r8-Bit-Ape

    r8-Bit-Ape

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    Superb project and I'll be getting that Warp Points for certain! Looking forward to seeing this progress.
     
  31. botumys

    botumys

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    Thanks for the video! Based on these tutorials, finally I get rocks less ugly than before. Thanks again. Now it's time to improve :)
    rocks.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  32. nasos_333

    nasos_333

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    Thanks for the warp asset, will be very useful

    Also if you have any intention of putting the day/night system out too, i would gladly provide a copy of both my assets for free to support the move :)

    I am not 100% sure i could use it, since i use Skyshop, but providing my assets for possible use in such an amazing looking game will be great in either case :)
     
  33. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Rofl in a tender way! Yeah, a lot of people try the face rub thing but they don't do it tender enough I think.

    I hope it serves you! Most of all I'm glad you'll be watching this.

    @botumys Dude those look pretty awesome! You totally just owned that tutorial! I'm so glad it helped you. There's a ton of gems on that Futurepoly channel. Jason Stokes (the founder of the school and who is narrating most of those tutorials) is among the best artists on the planet, and he's been my greatest mentor with my career.

    I appreciate the offer, but you don't have to do that. Should I come to need those sweet particles I wouldn't hesitate to pay for them. I'd love to release my Day Cycler and my mesh combining thing for free, since it could give back to the community and raise awareness about my game at the same time (a marketing strategy where everyone wins I think). the hard part is making tutorials and documenting them so they'd even be remotely useful to someone. Also where do you guys think I should be putting these assets? My site? Here in the forums? I'm scared to try the Asset Store again because of how gut-wrenching my last experience was. Do you guys think that's still the best place for it though? Free on the asset store?
     
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  34. nasos_333

    nasos_333

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    I think the store would allow more people to see and download the assets and is nice to have everything in a centralied way.

    Other than that, anywhere you decide to put them would be fine :), thanks for sharing these cool systems
     
  35. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    It juuust so happens (haha) that i am incredibly interested in photgrammetry for modelling, and any advice you could give would be invaluable. Which software do you use for processing? Does it create UVs itself? And how many images of a single object are required? Imo its a great way to get models when you have the right kit, im just a relative newbie at it and this kind of thing would be perfect for rocks and cliffs - so i see why you chose this approach. Pointers appreciated without a doubt
     
  36. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Since I don't think I'll get around to doing a blog post on it, I'll do a rough description of how I do it. I don't have many pictures from the process unfortunately, because it was so R&D I wasn't even thinking about it.

    1. Find the perfect rock, and wait for the perfect weather. Obviously you want to choose a rock that's dynamic and "rocky" rather than some blobby rock. It has so be unobstructed from all sides so you can take pictures 360 degrees around it. This alone is hard to find. Then the lighting has to be as flat and soft as possible. A very gloomy day is perfect, but it has to be dry! You don't want any wetness because that will be glossy and mess up your scan. Here's the rock I found in a park near where I live in Bellevue, Washington state:


    2. For my rocks I took one tier of about 30 photos, then a second tier (from a higher angle) of about 10. That's 40 photos total. The first time I tried I thought "eh, 10 will be enough". Nope. The difference in angle between photos should be tiny. I literally took a tiny baby step in between shots and scrolling through my photos looks like the matrix or something. You need to be certain to lock your exposure. Have your aperture small enough to get the entire object in focus (this won't be a problem for cameras with small sensors, as their depth of field is already extremely deep).

    3. I used 123D Catch to generate the mesh. Obviously do the highest resolution possible. It generates a nasty millions-of-triangle mesh, the world's most fragmented and inefficient UV map, a monstrous 4096 texture, but it looked totally rad and perfect in the view port.

    4. This is where 3d Coat shows its coolness. I drop this horrible mesh into 3d Coat (no uvs or texture) and it voxelizes it perfectly. Since voxels have no concept of topology, it get's rid of all the manifold faces, holes, rats nest, and other garbage. Now I sculpt any parts that the scan didn't catch, like the bottom of the rock (where the ground was). I try to match the language of the photo scanned rock. Once we're done we can use 3d Coat to export a new, nicely decimated mesh. It will have no concept of the old mesh, and its algorithm is awesome at determining where the model needs more resolution, so it ends up pretty lean.

    5. I use 3d Coat again to mark the seams for unwrapping, and get my own very clean UV map.

    6. Finally I bring our new mesh that's been nicely hand-unwrapped back to our 3d package. This is where it gets really weird. We the original scan as a high poly, and back its full diffuse (that looks amazing because its pulled from the actual photo) down to our low poly mesh, through the UVs we've made our self. We also bake the normals from our original scan, and any other fancy maps we want.

    7. We're not done, because we have parts of our mesh that don't have baked information (like the bottom of the rock). I go back into 3d Coat and use its 3d painting features to fill in the gaps in my diffuse texture. We can use this newly painted stuff and crazy bump to generate some normal map information to fill in the gaps on that as well.

    8. We can use this lovely rock at different scales and rotations to make clusters or rocks. Then make cluster variations as well. Here's a screenshot I took of the first clusters from a reaaally long time ago:



    Some notes: I did 5 rocks I scanned all at once and packed them onto the same texture. Its a 2048 but I get so much mileage out of it with color variation and detail shaders, it was well worth it. I made my initial rocks very high poly, and use MeshLab's UV preserving decimation for different sizes of rocks and lods. I even made massive boulders out of them. Since there's only a handful of shaders, my combining system ends up consolidating a ton of draw calls. The initial batch of rocks took me 1.5 work weeks. It might seem like a big time investment but I think rocks are an extremely important bread and butter asset for the visuals. It was a small price to pay for the mileage I'm getting out of them.
     
  37. NomadKing

    NomadKing

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    Thanks for sharing that @djweinbaum - it sounds like a lot of work for rocks, but you do seem to get a lot of use out of them, and the results do look pretty damn good!

    I can't shake the image of someone out walking their dog in a park, discovering you with a bullet-time rig set up around a rock screaming "Cut! We'll have to go again... can you try to be less shiny this time?!?" :p
     
  38. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    Ha i love that process description, it could sound crazy but that kind of obsession with detail is why great looking stuff looks so good. I've been playing around with 123catch, your process to improve the capture seems very sound, i'll look into that, thankyou
     
  39. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    I am now one year into the development of Eastshade, and something very important has happened. For the past three months, I’ve been focused on a small section of the game, determined to bring that one area up to a quality that is representative of what the final game might be like. In the games industry this is known as a vertical slice. Though the slice I have is not yet fully worthy of the name, within the last month, it has reached an important milestone nonetheless…

    I now have a roughly playable piece of Eastshade.

    Three months ago, Eastshade was a muddle of tech demos and disjointed systems. Many indie games are playable after the first two days of development. It seems mostly unanimous amongst game designers that the sooner one can produce a playable prototype the better, and I’m certainly past due on this. I could attribute my tardiness on this to the nature of the game I’m making, but my greenness as a game designer is more likely the culprit. As I’m careful to use wisely my stock of truly fresh eyes, only a few friends and collaborators have actually played through the slice, but from these few play tests, there is a general consensus that the game doesn’t suck! It came as a total surprise to me. My spirits are high and things are going well.



    Because of how focused I’ve been, I feel I’ve targeted the essence of what I want Eastshade to be, and as a result the game has gone through massive mechanical changes. The addition of NPCs is a notable change. I’m currently working on an AI system for making the people of the world go about their daily business.
     
  40. protopop

    protopop

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    you're not just a genius, you're a showman (that Ramen bit). That'll help when you're selling the game:) It looks great - the NPCs are nice quality - i was really hoping to see what was just beyond that Beach. Keep up the great work.
     
  41. virror

    virror

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    Really nice with an update on this one, was getting afraid it had died of like many games do!
    Very nice timelaps video, looking forward to seeing more of the game : )
     
  42. Izitmee

    Izitmee

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    I applaude you and your ramen, this looks awesome as expected! You're almost ready for a Kickstarter, are you? :)
     
  43. Whiteleaf

    Whiteleaf

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    Honestly--I frankly have no words for how amazing this looks. Like everyone else said, this is(literally) the best Unity game I have seen in a long time. We need more games that are plain survival with no horror(like zombies), and you sir, have conquered that. This has the best visual looks that I've seen in any Unity project; simply stunning. I cannot wait for a release!
     
  44. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Thanks protopop! I'm no genius, but I'm flattered nonetheless. I anxiously await the pc release of Brightridge!

    Still working on it every day! The inspiration hasn't dwindled.

    I totally agree. I'm quite done with the zombie thing! Eastshade has gone through a lot of changes. I'm not sure it can be called a survival game anymore.
     
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  45. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Posts:
    523
    Haha, Thanks! I don't have any plans for kickstarter. I don't feel bottle-necked by cash at the moment. Ramen is cheap :)
     
  46. SteveJ

    SteveJ

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Posts:
    3,038
    Wow - this thing looks crazy beautiful. Can't wait to play the finished product.

    Bit of a left-field question - what's that font you're using in MonoDevelop?
     
  47. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Posts:
    523
    Isn't it gorgeous? Its Lao UI.
     
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  48. Izitmee

    Izitmee

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Posts:
    3,228
    You... are... craaaaazy... I was fascinated by your font choice and installed Lao UI, only to discover that... it's not fixed-width! The horror! I cried a little and went beck to Consolas :D
     
  49. NomadKing

    NomadKing

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Posts:
    1,462
    Congrats on the playable milestone - its an awesome feeling :)
     
  50. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Posts:
    523
    Haha, ah I see. I'll have to try out a fixed width font. @SteveJ was probably asking because of how flabbergasted he was!

    Thanks Nomad! It definitely is. Hopefully next time I'll can get there quicker.
     
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