My first game
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From a templated made in unreal engine I created some concept art for the main menu, each button will highlight from black to white and display a particle effect when the player scans over it with the controls. The city future scene in the background will be a live video built and animated in Unreal engine and will span across all menus with transitions to the different UI. in the top right corner will display what music track is being played and is skippable between tracks by the sponsor artist (IAM) Warfare.
I wanted to keep the menu very simple and to the point of the art style of the game
Art work created in Clip studio
The store menu
Here we have the UI for the Store, on the left is a list of items the player can purchase under a scroll bar style, now because its going to be an Xbox game the scroll bar will work where players simply press down through the items available to buy instead of click and drag the scroll bar. The bar is simply to show the player there is more to look through, above this menu you can see the available currency the player has, this can be from in game collection or from buying more currency from the (BUY CREDITS) tab to add more to their account. At this stage I am unsure what the currency will be in terms of Cash, Credits or some other form like Deck coins but I will get to this later.
On the right we have the preview window with the players chosen Boarder, when players scroll through the items available the preview window will show what their boarder looks like on this Board.
My stuff menu
My stuff menu
Here we have the (MY STUFF) menu, this is the place where players will be able to kit out there boarder. with customizable options. The player is given two options to scroll through, MY Deck and My Sponsors. With these two option the player will be able to customize their rider, My Deck is a way for players to chose through decks available to use and also ones they have purchase vin the store. Upon selecting a deck the preview window will show what the rider looks like on the chosen deck. My Sponsors scroll bar is a way for the player to choose a sponsors to represent, this option is a way for the player to customize the clothing of their rider, each company sponsor logo comes with a custom colour set for the rider.
This whole UI is deigned to give the player some freedom to how their character will look in game, also giving them a push to buy more from the store because as a start point the menu will only give them a few options pushing them to visit the store for more outfits and better looking hoverboards.
Here we see the Options and Credits menu, both will be simple fade to transition menu, there is nothing complicated just nice and simple. some scroll bars for sound and a quick click to change the game play from easy to hard. POver time i would like to add some more difficulty options, beginner, expert and Insane.
In any world of sport comes the sponsors, all major sport has sponsors and in the exciting world of Hoverboarding is no exception. The sponsors I designed for my games have two purposes, one being billboards, through the levels obstacles will be in the way of the player and some of these are represented in the way of sponsor billboards. The other thing they will be used for is to add custom colour and style to the players character as mentioned in the (MYSTUFF) menu.
All of my artwork is created using Clip studio paint XL on a XP-PEN pro22
I wanted to show how I create the art for Darkside Underflip and felt the best way was to see it for yourself so, I created a speed video of me creating the SOUL sponsors outfit in Clip Studio paint XL. The only part of this video that was complete before hand was the basic design of the character outline from which I have created all the previous outfits.
Starting with this blank canvas of an out fit and only my logo design as a reference you can see how I start to build ideas as I design, the outcome was far different to what I had in mind when looking at the logo but feel with the vibrant purples and pink glows this outfit will really stand out on the player during there course runs.
I am not doing anything complicated here mainly Photoshop basics except I find the platform of Clip Studio more faster and easy to navigate as I draw, you can see me , drawing, shading, blending, mixing levels, transforming text, using pre made brushes I have installed and playing with the layers. All basic stuff, I didn't want to over complicate or over do any of the concept art at this stage as it could possibly change later in production depending on time.
With Darkside Underflip being a very bight and colourful game, I wanted to create a bunch of different style skins that will glow in the dark and give off a nice neon blur look as players progress through the course, There wont be any difference between the skin apart from the colours used for player reference. I would like each one to be an unlock as players progress maybe or even buyable in the store or maybe even customizable with each brand used.
The players are not good or bad in this world but each is a competitor against each other that's why the over all shaped build is uniform across them all.
A few variation designs for the money collection icon in game, I started off very simple and just want a basic icon for this action but with more development I decided to add more detail and go for a holographic dollar logo with binary running throughout the logo, This is what I hope to achieve along the way but at the start I will create the basic design of floating money to get the pick up correct then later add a more detailed holographic one.
Here is a very simple State machine of how the animation will work inside blue prints in Unreal engine, as long as I can archive this basic animation I will then be able to add on to this graph with different tricks and styles of animation and creating a much more complex state machine, so for now this is a nice and simple way to start with an opportunity later on to add to this starting point.
Starting some concept artwork for the environment of the game, I am looking to have the tracks the players hoverboard on winded through a futuristic city scape.
Here are some samples from the script recordings session with Ty Anderson, clipped in Audacity.
Intro to the game as the main menu loads.
Some in menu voice overs.
So far into this production we are starting to get a feel for what the game is going to look like, the over all theme and even some look into game play, But what about the sound?
Game sound design is extremely important and getting it right will help immerse the player into the game even more and create that perfect harmony of gameplay and story telling.
Now for Darkslide Overflip, I am going to need some really elegant mix of fast paced music with a techno feel and a glimpse into a futuristic sound with out being to in your face over the top.
For the overall music and sound design the game will feature music from the band (IAM) WAREFACE from their remix album..
"REMIXES OF VARIOUS TRACKS FROM OUR DEBUT ALBUM "YEAR OF THE DRAGON" BY ROB SAVAGE, PAUL PARSONS, SHAPE OF SPACE, ATOMIK JEFFERSON, CNTRL+FREAK, RAEBURN, X-FLOW AND PARIS ALEXANDER."
I feel this artist work is a perfect match for the cool outline of gameplay I am going for and keeping to that TRON/BEAT SAUBER style I am looking for.
I have included a few example tracks here to listen to and get a feel for what I am creating.
Now aside from the band being very kind and allowing me to use their music, I was able to get professional voice actor Ty Anderson to create all the voice over work for the game in as a commentators style to match American NFL, bringing that enthusiasm and hype into the overall atmosphere.
I believe with a professional voice actor and pro music artist I am giving my game a really good chance and sounding superb and something to really pull in the player into the futuristic world I am building.
So starting of production on Darkside Underflip I decided to begin with the city back drop to the game.
Ok so, I wanted to start some work on what this futuristic city environment was going to look like and how I was going to create it. Sticking with very simple process and using what I have learnt so far this year I created low-ish poly building shapes in 3DSMAX, exported them as .FBX files and imported them into unreal engine and just started randomly placing them along with a few blue lights. After this I added a shiny metal material from a free material pack from the marketplace on unreal and played around with the light settings to get a feel for a very rough concept at what I want to archive in this environment.
With just some quick 3DSMAX builds and changes to materials nothing complicated I was able to create some basic concept art for the world.
Building a low poly city
After my creation of the concept art for the environment I decided to take it a few steps further as at this point i still had no idea how I was going to create a full vast city while still keeping it simple, because after all this is just a back drop to the game I am building.
This time I decided to work out the math and scale of what the city needed to be to fit a level in, Then I created The idea of city block tiles. Each tile would be 800x800cm and contain a few random buildings, each tile would then be placed with thought out randomness. I just had to make sure each building I modelled was as low poly as possible due to the size of the city I needed to build, other wise load times would be just a little crazy and pointless as i can get all the effect of the buildings through materials.
Here is the creation of my first tile, each shape is attached to each other and then exported as one FBX file.
Here is two tiles placed side by side after imported into unreal engine, just keeping very simple shapes at various sizes to create a city setting.
After placing a nice white material onto the assets I added in some vibrant blue static lights to give it more of a future astatic.
Adding a metal variant material from the unreal free collection and playing around with the skylight, post process volume I was able to create a much more in depth concept city environment.
By using my tile concept the process to create this image was very simple and easy to recreate and easy to randomize and I now have a much better idea of how I am going to create such a vast in depth environment for my game with out over complicating anything and keeping it low poly.
Creating a low poly city part 2
Using the same process of creating tiles I decided to have another go but this time go a little further and create a full city. I did this as more of a time challenge thing, this took my just over two hours and that included this write up. Now as happy with the results as I am I wont be able to make a judgement until I have created some concept track
Here is all my tiles created in 3DSMAX and imported into unreal engine, all ready as assets to drop into the level.
I feel that this concept is really the way to go. with the right lighting and materials I think this could really work, maybe some hills and things for the distance.
Here we have a two short video run throughs for what could be used for the back ground of the game, although after getting this far and talking with Alex about changing track direction and even hills with in my game wasn't really possible at this time and to keep the game to a single direction which really wont work for a the idea I have for the track, so for now I will leave this as it may just become a background image for the game.
After my change of Idea with the city I moved forward and wanted to start creating the level with the purpose of a single direction track, I modelled a low poly track part in 3DsMax, unwrapped and exported as an FBX which I then imported into My runner game frame work and replaced the main tile of the framework with the track piece as you can see below
At this stage I feel the track is to thin and needs widening a small amount, to create more space for the hoover boarder to move about the allocated playing space.
Creating a simple money token for collecting during game, quick simple model in 3DsMax from a cube, unwrapped and edited in photoshop for an asset in UE4
Using the design I did during pre-production and the music and vocals provided by my sponsors I was able to put together the basic UI menus. At this stage the play button isn't connected to the level its self and the store hasn't been created but its all starting to come together, I really wanted a video for the background but after messing around for hours The video would just go black when I played the widget menu. so for now it will stay as an Image.
Production update, how's the game looks so far (narrated)
So the above video we have the loading in screen, the main menus and the game its self in its current state. Now for the life of me I cannot figure out why MY STUFF menu keeps breaking, by this I mean the clickable customizations keep shifting to the left, but you can see in the menu video I posted a little bit above this video the menu was fine, seems how its launched is how its displayed which is wired.
so there is a few bugs to work out already,
1- The player starts off facing the wrong way
2- The MY STUFF menu keeps shifting about
3- the game speed is set crazy high