Prototyping for Development

Over the past few weeks the Popup Asylum team have paused pre-production in order to create a vertical slice of our upcoming project, which will be announced at the beginning of April this year.

We will be presenting at Update show on the 12th of April and this quick and hectic jump from preproduction into full development has meant putting a lot of the story and character development on hold, but it has given us a platform to work from, and given us a great feeling for the project as a whole. It is without a doubt our biggest undertaking to date and we plan to do it right, and for the right reasons, because it’s fun!

The first thing we needed to get the VS up and running was a character, so we took all the pre-production concept art of our playable character Oneki and started to work him up, it’s come together quickly and now we finally have an animated character and basic controller! I want to run though the process that a small two man team has gone through to get this far in only a matter of weeks.

Firstly we brought concept to a comfortable halt and although we want to develop Oneki more through the story and universe we knew we had to draw a line and set a style for the game now before we get carried away with the details, there will be time for details later. Once the design for Oneki had been polished up we brought the model straight in to our production software and began to create the base mesh that we plan to base all of Project Shamen’s characters on, adding clothes and facial details was simple since the style of the game had been set in place during the concept stage. Finally we sculpted in the details and transferred the information into the texture maps, Our character was complete in just over two weeks of free time.

Now for the fun part. We used Mixamo to autorig Oneki, their 2 free autorigs and downloads made the process completely painless, we had Oneki in Unity in two evenings and motion capture information on to the rig dropped on instantly. We couldn’t be happier with the results.

Now we can whitebox an environment to give the players at Update show a true feeling for the kind of game we are making, but try not to speculate to much, we’ve only just gotten started!

In the next few weeks we have plans for a motion capture shoot with the guys at Rock Over Climbing in Manchester to get the missing footage that we need to give players the full range of motion that we feel this kind of game needs. Mark is working on a full body IK system (PAIK) which we mentioned during our talk @MCRUUG, the PAIK system will really bring a level of realism to the motion capture footage and once it’s all brought together I really think we will have something impressive to show off at Update.

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