Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Game Art: Wow, it’s a… dead bird.

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 30, 2011

This isn’t really a Frayed Knights update so much as a sharing of what I’ve been doing, because what I’m doing tends to be so all-consuming it’s hard to come up with other ideas for posts. BTW, do you have a guest post you wanna write? Please feel free!

Anyway, the stage of development right now is focusing on replacing some stand-in content with final versions. We’ve had some stock art or stone “question marks” acting as place-holders for a long time. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending upon perspective – I am very limited on resources to contract out for additional help in this respect. So I’m having to do it myself. I keep telling myself that this is how I will actually get good at it someday — through practice.

My latest adventure is with the Storm Crow enemy (careful, they zap! And bite…). I’ve been using a bat, licensed from a content pack, as a stand-in creature for this thing for a long, long time. And it has its own model.  In just a few months, I’m sure I’m going to look back on this with embarrassment, but for now I’m kinda proud of my death animation on this guy. I especially like how his legs keep twitching. It’s totally unrealistic and cartoony and kinda corny, but so is the game. It may be amusing to no one but myself, but ah, well.

The picture a little big, so it’ll take time loading. You’ll need to be able to view GIF animations to see this in action. He’s all shiny and hard to make out details because I didn’t tune the materials for Blender when I rendered him. I don’t need to – that information is mostly lost when I export it to the game, anyway. But it should give you an idea.

Now I have to get the attack and damage animations done.  And then I have four more models to do. Incidentally, I had my daughter help out with the texturing on this guy.  She also gave me some pointers as I was modeling this guy on how to make him look more like a bird of flight and less like a mutant chicken.

Filed Under: Art - Comments: 12 Comments to Read

  • Gareth Fouche said,

    Very nice, Jay. 🙂

  • skavenhorde said,

    Looking good. You guys make a good team.

  • Chance said,

    The twitching legs make me chuckle.

    Also, after reading the last paragraph, I’m convinced you should make a mutant chicken enemy.

  • LateWhiteRabbit said,

    The twitching legs are great. I hear the old Star Fox sound byte when I watch the animation – “Do a barrel roll!”

    I know you didn’t tune the materials for the render, but as a 3D artist I have to say – less specularity! ; P

    “Default Phong and Blinn Shaders – making 3D objects look like plastic since 1985!”

    Really impressive that you’re doing all the 3D graphics for your game yourself. It says something that I am a (semi)professional 3D artist and I’m drawing and using 2D graphics for my own game! The most I am using 3D for in my own production pipeline is rendering out block-ins of the environments to get paint over to get the angles and perspective right.

  • Kimari said,

    I’m wondering why didn’t you take the easy route and just had the bird explode into a puff of black feathers. I mean, all you need to do is add some particles instead of doing a complete animation.

    Nevertheless, the extra effort is appreciated 🙂

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I’ve not done all the art myself – in fact, I’ve only done a small amount of it myself. A lot of it is licensed (which means you may see it in other games). It’s tough maintaining any semblance of consistency of style when doing that. Probably too tough for me — there are some places where it just ain’t. Hopefully that will be only a small sin.

    But since most other creatures have a death animation, I figured I should try and do the same. Exploding particles are fun and easy to do, but having something fall over and die before fading is a little more viscerally satisfying. Usually.

  • Kimari said,

    Hahahaha, true. I only asked since that would speed the process up aaaand I got the feeling that you’d be willing to make a few shortcuts on the fluff here and there just to get this game out sooner.
    But then again, it’s the little details that can make or break a game, isn’t it?
    As a perfectionist, I salute you sir.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Oh, there’s plenty of shortcuts taken here and there, I’m afraid. Sorry to disappoint you on that front.

    But this is also one of those things where I feel I might as well do it as a “learning experience,” as there’s not going to be any less work to do on this front in the sequel.

  • Kimari said,

    Heh, don’t worry, I might be perfectionist but I’ve run into many many situations were doing anything but a shortcut could be seen as a waste of time.
    When things need to get done, you have to prioritize.
    … which is something you’ve talked about before, now that I think about it.

  • Gilded said,

    A good specular map would help that out a lot.

  • xenovore said,

    I like it! =)

  • DGM said,

    For some reason I’m reminded of the birds in Gravity Bone. The ones that immediately fall off their perches and explode for no apparent reason when you take a picture of them.