Duck LeCloud

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.

Duck Bio

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

3/4 View
Back View

Punisher

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.

Silhouettes provided a quick iteration process. These designs came from Gerardo Navarro you’ll notice how the following images look very similar to the silhouette in the left column, 3rd up from the bottom.
1st pass in Quixel
2nd pass in Quixel
Final Pass in Substance Painter
One more for your viewing pleasure

Defenders

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

Double up

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!

Hercules

One of the heavy hitters in the game. You can’t have a fun game without some big titans to take down.

Concept design for how ship will behave
1st pass in Quixel software
2nd pass at textures in Quixel
Final model and texture update with switch to Substance
Top view of final version of Hercules

Behind The Scenes – Black Clouds

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.

Getting an asset into a game.

Slipstream

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.

Sketch for mechanic concepts
First texture design with Quixel Software
Final texture design with Substance software (Not bashing on Quixel on these posts, just found Substance a better fit for our team)
Just another render for your viewing pleasure.

That’s My Philosophy

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!

The Swindler

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.

3d sketch for overall look and actions of the ship

Above is the 1st pass at texturing using Quixel Software

And then the transition to Substance Painter for the final

Black Clouds

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.

Quick concept of Black Clouds – the 1st enemy created for Star Duck.
First texture used Quixel software and was quick and dirty
Refined a little more to have more of a steam punk look
Switched from Quixel to Substance
Refined model slightly and now has 2 hatches instead of 4 to shoot from.