Hello everyone! We’ve been a little quiet as we roll with the punches. If you’ve been keeping up with the Kickstarter you could have guessed that Star Duck will be coming to an end. The demo will remain free for anyone to try indefinitely (here), but Emanate Studios will be moving on to new projects. Working on Star Duck was a great learning experience, and we are confident what is in store for the near future will be a game changer.
That being said, the content for the next projects will be kept a little closer to home. Although we cannot provide the behind the scenes and progress along the way, we will be saving those posts for when it comes closer to the release time.
If you are an animator, this next project is going to be catered to you. It is strongly suggested you follow us as it can change your life. For reals.
Thank you for your patience! We are releasing the Windows and Mac beta demo version to everyone for free! Get your download at the bottom of this linked page: https://emanatestudios.itch.io/star-duck
Thus far, no major issues with Windows release. for those with older Macs there have been a few reported hiccups, so please get in touch with us at info@emanategames if something needs fixing and we’ll work to get it resolved!
Remember to support the full 13 level release on kickstarter!
TWO posts in a day?! Unheard of… but as promised, here are some extra details of the Darwing. Shout out once more to Kendall Spraggins for high detail quality!
Out of all the characters, Alden was in desperate need of a make-over. He was rushed to push into the Alpha version, but has been made new.
There haven’t been too many changes on the visual front this round, so we’ll just list all the things that have been taken care of to keep you up to date.
The original environment was almost all cloudscape. The ships, construction, and some mountains would peek through the clouds once in a while. In practice that was not enough to bring the scene together. So more mountains and more construction elements were introduced. Then there were too many mountains that it really had an effect on the music that was originally designed for a more open sky environment. So we opened it back up a little to try and find a balance considering those details.
So what changes from Alpha to Beta? Quite a bit. And that’s what we’ll be sharing from here on out. First up, the HUD (Heads up Display) redesign. Added elegance and better feedback as to what weapon you have equipped.
As you cycle through the wheel will rotate and name updates accordingly.
Okay, not too many points on naming originality, but we wanted to be let you know right off the bat that these bad boys are made to evolve with you throughout the game. Outfit it with the weapons you earn throughout the game. Keep what you want, store what you don’t. You choose how what to take on your missions.
Big props to Kendall Spraggins for giving his loving attention to even more than you see here. Heavy attention to details in the cockpit, wings, landing gear, and engines. We’ll be showing it off in future Star Duck team shots.
Sadly this is the last behind the scenes recording for now as we need to focus our attention on the Beta Build and Kickstarter Campaign for Star Duck. But check the video below to see how the weapon systems work!
Check out our kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/emanatestudios/star-duck
And we’re live! Come check out the kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/emanatestudios/star-duck
Showing is often times easier than telling. Which is why before the next phase we needed a trailer and playable game out there.
With the Alpha Demo out, testing has begun to begin improvements for the Beta and final demo release.
At the same time the upgrades are being made, a Kickstarter will be running in pursuit of financing the complete game. Next Tuesday we’ll have a vlog going through all these details and answering questions like – where is this all going, or what’s next, or how can I try the game if I missed this past Alpha build?
Thank you all very much!
Due to wordpress followers not necessarily having an email or other form of contact we have not been able to deliver the Alpha Build to a handful of you. If you are still interested reach out to us via email or facebook message and we’ll get you squared away.
Thank you so much!
Apologies on being a day late for those deliveries. If you have subscribed by email you have been personally emailed access. If there are any issues or questions please reach out and we’ll get you playing ASAP.
UNLESS… you are a mac user. Then you’ll have to wait about another week for the mac builds. So sorrryyyy!!! Small studio problems…
Thank you so much to everyone for you patience and support! Stay tuned on how to get the next delivery!
Here’s a little screen shot of the level being developed. Now that we’re in the home stretch all the focus and attention will be going into the demo release which means a momentary hold on posting content. Posts will resume in 7 days! Thank you for your patience!
There are a lot of little pieces that go into a scene. Making those pieces is fun and it feels pretty good once they’re all put into place according to plan. Here are some of the assets you’ll see scattered throughout the Grand Mallard
Welcome to the Grand Mallard, The main ship you travel on throughout the game! Here I talk a little about how the game will play out and then you can see what it actually looks like!
Last character that will be in the demo! He’s rather quirky but he’s on the team for good reason. Up next is the Grand Mallard! Stay tuned for the reveal on Tuesday!
Developing something from scratch can be quite difficult, but totally worth it to have something that you made with your own hands. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their support so far and for being awesome people to help push this project to fruition!
Time to start introducing the main characters! First up is the main character of the game, Duck LeCloud! Below as per usual is the progression. The following character posts will include a brief bio as well.
Above are the sketches and iterations we went through final version was made by Jake Steininger, whom modeled the character. Textures were done by Emanuel Siu
Last up for the enemy list in the demo (not including the boss). Equipped with cannons and carrying Hercules ships, they’re ready to bring some heat. Bring your ‘A’ game if you expect to take one down!
This jump in quality was one of biggest. The 1st model and texture was put together very haphazardly. With a little extra love and attention it turned into a more refined carrier ship.
One of the 2 carrier ships you’ll see in the demo. The challenge here was the integration of the ships they’ll be carrying. Thanks to Unreal’s robust blueprints there is very little trickery that had to be used that many computer graphics students are taught in school. In the old days let’s say for example the Swindler is attached to this Defender carrier. Wherever the carrier moves the Swindler moves with it exactly. But when it’s time for the Swindler to detach and move on it’s own we were taught to have TWO Swindlers in the scene and when it’s time to move them you hide the visibility of the the one following the ship, then turn on the visibility of the one moving around.
That never made logical sense to me, but we did what we were taught. Unreal allows for proper relationships of using just one actor in the scene. Using what is called a ‘child actor component‘ (that link is for developers) you can simply detach the Swindler from following the carrier to allow it to move on it’s own, and re-attach if you want later.
Above are slides of the 1st pass using Quixel software
Above are slides of 2nd pass on model and textures using Substance Painter
Since most of the logistical content has been said, we will be changing Tuesdays to also be an art showcase or behind the scenes content. Especially with only about a month left until we release our demo we still have a bit left to show you!
If there is anything you’d like to see, throw some comments our way and we’ll do our best to accommodate the requests!
One of the heavy hitters in the game. You can’t have a fun game without some big titans to take down.
Not much new for those in the game industry or related field, but if you’re curious to see a quick overview of how a character is made from start to finish, this will give you a little more insight into the process.
If you are entering new territory by yourself for a skill set you do not currently have it is impossible to predict the challenges for something you know so little about. There won’t always be someone to guide you, but never give up! Expect a rough road ahead and step forward. Self-improvement is always worth it.
Making the Slipstream enemy was a bit tricky. With an animation background it’s very hard to settle for function and mechanics. It can’t just work, it has to look and feel like this machine can actually exist in real life. Unlike animation however you have to develop the AI for a machine which will move/animate in ways specific to how a player interacts with them. This is an exciting process but can often times be frustrating. Below is the visual process, but it may be more exciting for you to experience the mechanics without too much spoiler into how it works. At least for now. There will definitely be more behind the scenes for how things works under the hood after the demo is released.
You may have heard of philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato, but it’s easy to mistake the concept of philosophy as some ancient way of thinking. It is not. By definition, we are all in a sense, a philosopher. Every day of our lives we study the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence through our experiences.
The truth is, we all enjoy thinking about it. “Reality” TV, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead are just a few examples of how we enjoy becoming a part of a different world and try to imagine what life would be like in that world. We insert our current philosophies into them and extract the truths we feel to be most realistic to us.
This will play a large role in the narrative of Star Duck. The universe where the story takes place has no religion or philosophy as we know it. As you play through the game, I hope to challenge your perspective on life – no bias one way or the other. Are these “ideas” inevitable and will they always exist in some form?
Embark on a philosophical journey through the experience of Star Duck!
Unlike the single object Black Clouds, this was an immediate jump in complexity. Although the design still looks simple it had to be rigged, animated, given dynamic cloth attributes, particle simulation for steam, and react according to its situation in game.
Below you can see how the design developed.
Above is the 1st pass at texturing using Quixel Software
And then the transition to Substance Painter for the final
Above is the final version. Below is a walk through from the sketches through all the iterations this enemy went though. An extremely simple design, but it served perfectly to learn all the new tools we wanted to use for the game.