Sunday, 15 September 2013

End Sequence

(Video showing the destroyed version of Stonehenge)

The last thing we wanted was for the game to just end abruptly, so we decided to include a short end sequence.  This was created in the trackview, with a bit of flowgraph to get it to play when the player reaches a certain point.

The video shows parts of the map from angles you wouldn't normally be able to see in-game.  It meant we could also showcase some of the assets in more detail.

Though the project was hard work, we all believe it was worth the effort.  Hopefully anyone who plays it will enjoy what we've produced.  A playable build may be made available on the Crydev site at some point in the future, but for now it has been entered into the competition.

Thank you.

Friday, 13 September 2013


(Example flowgraph from the second map)

To get the level running we had to use Flowgraph.  This is a way of visually scripting aspects of the game, connecting various nodes together as shown in the picture above.

There was quite a bit of Flowgraph used in this project for things like the teleporters, particle effects, playing cutscenes, layer switching, as well as hide some of the default aspects like the HUD.

Gameplay Aspects

Though we are focusing most of our attention on the visual style, we still wanted some element of gameplay. We're happy that the player can interact right away, with the menu in place, but we felt it needed more than just the ability to walk down a path from A to B.

We decided on a simplistic puzzle style so the whole map is easily accessible.  By touching crystals, the player activates platforms, allowing them to progress in the level.  The crystals have particle effects attached that, when touched, disappear to show that they have been activated.  The particle effect is present to show the player that the crystal is interactive.

Following the crystal puzzle, players need to navigate through a platforming section, leading to teleporters and a final climb up a giant root structure.  Again, particle effects signpost interactive elements.

Building a Path

(Screenshot of the path being made using grass assets)

It was important to block out where playable areas were going to be, to save putting assets where they weren't necessary.  The path was created using grass assets on a vegetation layer.  The rest of the grass was made up of standard meshes to help save on resources.

The terrain was painted green where the grass assets were so that if any models disappeared due to distance, it would still give the impression of a grassy area.

Solids were used to create collision for the path to save on draw-calls.  We thought that putting physics proxies on the grass might have been a bit too much, considering the number of instances used.

Game Assets

This post is to show some of the 3D assets that have been made for the project, including some that may not be in the final entry.

 (Low poly beetle enemy)

(Bluebell details) 

(Coltsfoot which was never used in the final entry) 

(Cowslip with yellow flowers) 

(Purple texture variant of the Cowslip)

(Blue texture variant of the Cowslip) 

(Foxglove used in level) 

 (Different variations of mushrooms)

(Work in progress shot of the wasp enemy, which was never used)

Stones and grass assets can be seen quite clearly in screenshots from other blog posts, so they're not included here.

Design Changes

(New level design with numbered references to other sketches)

Our design changed considerably from the original concept during production.  The main cause of the changes was the art style.  Because of the artistic (almost cartoon) style we decided to change the game type to an exploratory rather than one focused on combat.

The other significant change was the camera.  Originally we wanted a third person perspective, however, after the whitebox testing we decided against it.  This is due to the grass assets being 3D rather than sprites.  With a third person camera, more of these assets would have needed to be placed to cope with the higher camera angles, with a possible drop in performance, meaning lower spec computers wouldn't be able to run it at all.

(Opening area of the playable map, #1) 

(Concept showing path, #2)

(Path concept, #3) 

(Path opens up, #4) 

(Open area with overhead roots, #5) 

(Root tunnel, #6) 

(Final part of the level section, #7)

Though the original concepts didn't show specific areas of the level in detail, these ones were made to show most of the playable level, particularly the path that the player will take.  They were created to speed up the placement of assets in engine.  Following this section will be some simple puzzles and some possible platforming sections.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Second Map Underway

(Starting the destroyed Stonehenge map)

The second map was created in a similar way to the first, using the reference map to guide where most of the assets go.  We wanted the map to have some resemblance to the reconstructed map, rather than just place the stones randomly.

The second map shows Stonehenge, having been destroyed by an unknown evil force.  Giants root structures can be seen all over the map, providing players with a unique and interesting environment to explore.


(Scaleform implemented in engine)

We wanted to have a go at implementing a main menu screen in our project, so started looking into Scaleform.  This involved using Photoshop and Flash to produce suitable assets for it, as well as researching how Scaleform works with CryEngine.

The documentation on the Crydev website didn't quite cover everything we needed, so we had to look elsewhere.  We found a video covering implementing the engine side of things by bazmod.

Rather than use Flash shapes as buttons, we wanted to use our own artwork.  All of the images were made to the power of two so the engine has no problems using them.  It used ActionScript 2.0, as the engine uses a slightly older version of Scaleform.  The Start button plays a cutscene showing the reconstructed Stonehenge as described in the library map.

It works well and gives the level a more professional finish.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Project Updates

We haven't posted any updates for a little while now due to a few technical difficulties, so there will be a number of posts following in quick succession.  The content will be separated in a similar way as it has been to show how the project progressed during that time.