Initially I was tasked with creating concept art for a city level. I began by trying to merge what gameplay was available from our initial prototype with what I thought the environment might look like. Key factors impacting my design included:
-Scale of the ball and disasters to the overall setting
-Developing a simplistic style
-Keeping things visually interesting but not cluttered
These initial concepts revealed that the setting was too similar in color palette to the jungle level which was also being developed at this time. In working to clarify what type of city to reference, we ended up deciding on a theme of neon Tokyo which would have meshed well with early Kaiju disaster concepts that we had bouncing around. With a new color palette and a focus on rooftop platforming, this is what I created.
During this time the art team was considering outlines to help give clarity to the flat colors. My 3D renders helped inform creative decisions early on as they provided a clearer idea of the environment's scale and how levels should work mechanically.
Around this time we were wrapping up initial concepting of levels. I rendered some potential hazards which were proposed but cut as we started to narrow scope toward focusing on jungle and volcanic themed levels.
Around this time I shifted focus to working on materials and skyboxes in engine.
Materials and Skyboxes
I was tasked with producing a toon shader for use in a majority of our game's assets. I used a handful of online tutorials and over the course of the project I refined it's design to incorporate shadows made by clouds, multiple source lights, alpha masks, and double sided rendering.
I spent a long time working on skyboxes before settling on a final method of application. Below are a few rendered box shaped skyboxes that ended up getting replaced in favor of my later design.
What I ended up producing is a procedural skybox which let designers set the colors of the sky, horizon, and obscured areas below the horizon. Additionally moving clouds which have their own speed and scale settings.
During this period I worked on some materials for our various environments. These were later replaced by procedural materials that I made which allowed for more flexibility in the design and use of level assets.
Asset Integration and
(Vertical Slice and on)
During vertical slice, I started working between artists and designers to create place-able objects(prefabs) using assets provided by other artists and animators. This often involved creating materials or setting up preexisting materials, setting up animation controllers, adding colliders, and setting up special effects.
I worked on environmental assets such as the large volcano caldera and large rocks which are visible around the various levels. Additionally, I made a x-ray/peephole function which lets players see through objects that the ball might be behind.
Around the start of Alpha, the need arose for a color blind filter to help us debug UI, color palettes, and improve accessibility. I reworked an open color blind filter material for use in our game which we set up to work while the game is running.
The filter is accessible through the settings menu if you'd like to try it out. It allowed us to replicate various forms of colorblindness and make changes where necessary.