Project: Infinitesimals - An Indie Game Art Development Log

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  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody polycounter
    I really like the look of the 2d concept animations. Make a mobile game that looks like that!
  • Poinball
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    Poinball polycounter lvl 4
    Wowwww ! Really Nice !!!
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Tonight I revisited a concept that I started ages ago and never got around to finishing. It'll need some more detailing and other bits and bobs added but it's come along pretty well with the latest POD in there now. I really should get rid of the fruit, it doesn't really make sense with these shape of leaves.

    Infinitesimals_branch.jpg

    lildragn: Those are some fantastic photos, thanks for sharing :)

    lotet: You are absolutely correct. Will have to push the next round of designs much further. Particularly on the translucent skin aspect.

    Thanks everyone for the kind words!
  • XilenceX
    This is so beautiful, I want to play it now! :) Some more in-engine footage would be nice. I found it really impressive what you where able to achieve still using Unity 4. Do you use some custom PBR shaders?
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Thanks XilenceX. So far I'm only using the standard Difuse/bump shaders that come with Unity. I've found that much can be accomplished with lighting and subtle post effects shaders. I tend to add some colour correction to bring out white in the specular for instance.
  • pixelherder
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    pixelherder polycounter lvl 13
    subscibed! love this thread!
  • Shanteez
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    Shanteez polycounter lvl 3
    How many people do you have working on this PROJECT? When are you gonna create a KICK STARTER? https://www.kickstarter.com/

    This is AMAZING either white and black or with color.... WOW!
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Pixelherder, thanks! :)

    Shanteez: Thanks! For about a year it's just been myself developing the concept, design, art, sound and music and there was a lot of stuff to work out in the design and planning side - and it's taken longer than I would have liked because I can only devote my spare time to it (which can be fleeting when work is busy).

    However, recently a coder has joined the project and he's been working on the POD systems so we'll hopefully have some cool stuff to show there soon and I'll be able to show the progress on that in this thread.

    Infinitesimals is not the first game I've tried to make.... the first attempt was funded via the traditional publisher route but unfortunately that didn't work out and I had to close Dry Ice Studios down after development was canned (we were a small company of about 8 developers).

    But this time around I want to go entirely indie so most of the money I have earned this past year from my day job is being put into infinitesimals.

    Having saved up some working capital I'm now aiming to be expanding the team very soon to complete a prototype and vertical slice.

    So that means Kickstarter is a very strong potential future option but I'll only consider taking that path when we have the core mechanics working and a really strong foundation to build upon. By funding it myself, I can focus on quality above all else.
  • Makkon
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    Makkon interpolator
    wwwhhhoooaaaa, that game looked awesome though. How could something like that get canned?
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    There were quite a lot of factors that came together to trouble us whilst developing that game. One big part was our lack of experience... another was trying to do too much.
    I had originally pitched the game as a single player only experience, but the publisher requested a multiplayer mode with a progression system on top of that (ie, earn XP and unlocks etc). They wanted it because it was a common way for them to sell DLC content.

    If i'd known at the start what a complete nightmare the networking code was going to be then I would have said no (even if it meant not getting the publishing deal!). But we ended up basically breaking our backs trying to get the multiplayer working in parallel to developing a full single player campaign. I don't think the publisher ever quite appreciated just what we had to do in the time we had with a small team and we just ended up falling behind schedule. Ultimately though I have to take responsibility for the failure as the lead dev.

    But I've learned so very much from the mistakes, I can tell you that ;)
  • Shanteez
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    Shanteez polycounter lvl 3
    Wow. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience. I will definitely learn from that experience and hold to keeping things simple in the launch of a first project. It's often some third party that doesn't understand the complexities of things demanding unrealistic things. I think that is the excitement that takes over them, your right, our jobs as the artist commissioned to perform the work is to BRING them down, back to reality and to explain that they have to leave the emotions at the door, and lets discuss real hard truths based on our current abilities and strengths.

    Your really talented, your day to day should be CREATING GAMES. I hope this works out soon for you!
  • Misuo
    This is so cooooooooool!!!
  • Makkon
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    Makkon interpolator
    From the sounds of it, really the publisher made an asinine request, and in direct and indirect ways shares a hefty portion of the responsibility for your company's failure. It's like them saying:

    "I know the game is near-future sci-fi military action, but orcs are really popular and are selling really well right now. You should make the game feature orcs, and justify it with your world, art, and storyline. Basically start over, because if you don't we won't pay you; we own you."

    Glad you're going indie, man. No more execs breathing down your necks requesting "simple features" that throw a duck into the turbines.
  • tobbeo
    Really great work and I wish you the best of luck and will be following your posts here and on Vimeo. Really love the animation of the pod for the new game, if you can translate that into 3D I think you'll have a very unique feel. Your previous game looked great but a little bit unoriginal. Art is not your problem that's for sure. The most intriguing aspects to your old game and this new one are the tentacles and how you can move around with them. That makes it stand out as something original. Plus I am sure you have lots of ideas that you're not ready to share yet.

    I'm in the same boat as you, although I am attempting a different genre. I might release my first game as a mini game for free or a very small price if I feel it won't tarnish my name for my future game :).

    Again, great stuff and keep it up. I wish you the best in making your passion come true.

    Tobbe
  • zetheros
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    zetheros polycounter lvl 4
    Wowwww... this game (and the video you just posted of the side-scrolling shooter) is amazing. I've always wanted to make something like this, and have been making a first-person mystery/puzzle game on my own in UE4. I noticed you had a posting on freelance work, but I don't think I'm skilled enough.

    I've studied and built 15th-16th century plate armour and plate armour articulations for 6 years (that could possibly translate into armoured, sci-fi monster types, or character suits) but that's probably the only thing I could bring to the table.

    Good luck on your game! It's incredible, and I'd definitely get it if it were on steam.
  • fab-camp
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    fab-camp polycounter lvl 6
    the artwork in your older gameproject is just amazing!
    these landscapes, that dropship, these animations!
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Ok, so next up... pilots! Or at least, one of them.

    I wanted to push the style of the characters anatomy a bit and get a nice silhouette. Here's the current work in progress on that front.

    This guy is actually more of a soldier than a pilot but circumstances dictate he becomes a POD pilot/gunner. There is a female pilot too and her clothing will probably be somewhat different to this guys to reflect her specialization as a POD pilot.

    Infinitesimal_pilot_wip.jpg
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Thanks Shanteez, Misuo and Fab-camp :) Sorry for the AWOL period guys... it's been hectic!

    Tobbeo: Thanks! It was different in a few ways really... although it looks at face value like a plain sidescrolling shooter, it was meant to be a much slower paced and tactical/stealth game with heavy another world/flashback vibes (I suppose Deadlight tried to do that recently too). We never got along far enough with it to truly do that justice though. Some of that stuff will probably end up in Infinitesimals though!

    Zetheros: Thank you! Well I'm always open to feedback so any knowledge you have to critique any of this stuff would be welcome.
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Last night I also made the start of a track for when the POD pilots discover the world they find themselves in... Still needs a bit more work but you can hear the 'epic' reveal at about 40 seconds in...
  • amartinez
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    amartinez polycounter lvl 2
    Whoah... alright, this game with it's music and all it's set-up on the right track for an insanely epic experience.

    I remember to have seen the other game video at some point, but can't seem to find it... any chance to get the link? wanted to show it to some friends the epicness.
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Thanks amartinez :) Regarding that video; I was respectfully asked by the publisher to remove that footage for the time being, which I have done so. In any case - there no need to dwell on past projects and it's time to move on and upwards with Infinitesimals :thumbup:
  • xalener
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    xalener polycounter lvl 4
    This game looks like it's gonna be the best game. I'm so severely hyped right now by this project.



    that being said I think these concept animations of the pod and enemy locomotion all look waaaayyy to heavy for the scale it looks like you're shooting for. I'd expect legs to almost snap from point A to point B because there's so little mass for them to overcome.

    kinda like this

    In the OP you say the planet is huge, but idk. It still rubs me the wrong way.
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Thanks Xalener. I'm glad you bring this up and you are right of course. It's something I've thought a lot about and the approach I decided on was that the aliens perception of time is slower than ours. So for example, if a human were looking at the pod it would appear to be scurrying around very quickly (just like a fast bug). But from the aliens perspective, the POD is actually a decent sized vehicle.

    While doing a bit of research I looked at slomotion footage of insects moving aswell as filming my own and I discovered that when you slow things down the sense of weight does begin to return and there are a lot of little secondary motion bits that are too fast for us to see with the naked eye.

    So this will mean that insects will be shown moving a bit slower than we see them and larger creatures such as birds will move like huge monsters!
  • Shanteez
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    Shanteez polycounter lvl 3
    I agree... I like the depiction of the mass. A DADDY LONG LEGS equipped with an alien, rockets and other weaponry and mechanics should display weight and control.

    The characters are awesome I just don't like THE exaggerated chest region. I see them slender nimble and intelligent. The character illustrated looks like a soldier, not a pilot.
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Hey Shanteez, yeh this guy is definitely a soldier. There will be two occupants inside the POD but only one is an actual POD pilot (who will have a different suit and accessories).

    This guy has to learn his way as the second crew member of the POD at the start of the game, which I hope allows us to introduce POD mechanics to the player in the narrative in a way that also doesn't break immersion (I don't want an explicit tutorial section at all).

    He's going to be pretty adept at running around on foot which will also form a large part of the gameplay. I'd love to offer a co-op mode where both POD and jet packed soldier can work together for certain tasks in addition to both players operating the POD. But that's something I'm leaving way off the table for now because it's very important to keep the scope under control.

    I am however planning for some different upgrades to the suit itself, for instance - helmet optics:

    SuitAddons1.jpg
  • DiegoBAQ
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    DiegoBAQ polycounter lvl 4
    Wow! this looks so good! I'd love to play it. An incredibly well done concept.
    If you need some extra hands with the game art don't hesitate to give us a call. We are an experienced 3D game art team with more than 5 years of experience. Feel free to check out our portfolio. http://quarantineinteractive.com/

    Good luck with the game!
  • djoexe
    this is absolutely phenomenal ! Love that shet :D
  • Shanteez
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    Shanteez polycounter lvl 3
    I would love to hear about your progress on this one. That character looks really creative.
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Hey DiegoBAQ, thanks!

    djoexe: thank you :)

    Shanteez: I'll be back in a couple of weeks or so with more updates and will try and make them more frequent from then! ;)
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Hello everyone.

    So it's been a while since any updates... firstly, apologies to anyone who has messaged me regarding the work for hire ad and I haven't replied to yet. I think I've gotten through more than half of the mails but there are still some to go. I've held off on hiring help yet because the direction of Infinitesimals has been changing somewhat for a bunch of reasons but I'll go into that in another update.

    In the mean time, I'll share some real-time screenshots: I've spent far too much time inspecting blades of grass recently but I really want to make the environments are authentic as possible and constructed in a modular and scalable way. I hope you like grass as much as I do (disclaimer, the DOF bokeh is causing some distortion/artifacts in these).

    Wip_4.jpg

    Wip_5.jpg

    Wip_7.jpg

    Wip_8.jpg
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    More real-time shenanigans last night and this evening as quickly created a stress tests scene.

    This is a pretty dense arrangement of the modular grass meshes without LODs and I have quite an old GPU (about 4 years old, mid range), I get between 25-30 fps in the editor at full quality settings - except when I get very close to certain meshes with DOF/bokeh enabled.

    With a bit of optimization things should hopefully be nice and slick, even in these worst case type examples, most of these grass blades can be reduced to very simple shapes as they recede.

    Not that I'd necessarily opt for levels with dense tangles of grass and vegetation like this without a good deal of forethought it's nice to have the option!...

    Infinitesimals_realtime1.jpg

    Infinitesimals_realtime3.jpg

    Infinitesimals_realtime4.jpg

    Infinitesimals_realtime5.jpg
  • skodone
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    skodone polycounter lvl 2
    nice to see this progress!
  • Nuclear Angel
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    Nuclear Angel polycounter lvl 6
    This is crazy good! ^^ This work is super inspirational, good luck with your game man.
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Thanks Skodone and Nuclear! :)
  • Nekhro
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    Nekhro polycounter lvl 3
    Love the idea and whole design!
    Fantastic work!
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Nekhro: Thanks!

    Next up is the cockpit internals concept:

    Cockpit_wip.jpg

    And a leg addon concept:
    BW_wheels.jpg
  • Hitjones
    Hi! Awesome work, it's great inspiration for me :))
    Have you made any technical demo in engine ?

    Legs of POD is very beautiful and i puzzle over how to realize similar animation in Game Engine. Because, if i not mistaken, is a some kind of procedural animation?
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Hello Hitjones,

    I hand animated the leg animation from those early videos, they were concepts - but I always planned for the final system to be procedural.

    At first though, I had spoken to a few different coders who mostly suggested a non procedural approach because they felt matching the leg motion from the concepts would be a problem.

    However, I knew that it would be definitely be possible to do it all procedurally but that I really needed to design the procedural system myself (at least at the high level) in order to ensure we replicated the little details from the concepts. I will show all of that once it's ready to see in this thread of course :)

    James
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Ok, I'll be starting to update this log more frequently soon, promise!

    In the mean time, a concept for the female POD pilot...
    Pilot_female_jm.jpg

    The aliens will come in a variety of colours, some of them quite bright. As they age however, the colour of their skin desaturates.

    And the final combat engineer:

    CombatEngineer.jpg

    I've neglected to mention that I've moved away from the sidescroller genre. I felt that the setting/concept really would work better in a 3rd/1st person viewpoint.

    Cockpit_in_shot1.jpg

    More on all of that in the next update however...
  • Bolovorix
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    Bolovorix polycounter lvl 4
    This is really awesome! Thanks for sharing this.
  • amirabd2130
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    amirabd2130 polycounter lvl 4
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Thanks Bolovorix and Amirabd2130 :)

    Next up is a tiny update on the POD. Firstly I added the airlock/entry door mechanism. Important for getting in and out of the thing I suppose ;)

    I also realised that I didn't like the original work I did for the internal chassis frame the first time around.

    So the shots below show what the POD now looks like when it's side plating is stripped off (or blown away!)

    Ignore the absent legs and other hidden geometry of course.

    28_07_abc.jpg
  • skodone
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    skodone polycounter lvl 2
    omg oO
    if this works well in 3rd person the feeling of moving that pod will be incredible!
  • deohboeh
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    deohboeh polycounter lvl 5
    This looks amazing man! Beautiful concept! Can't wait to see more!
  • MephistonX
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    MephistonX polycounter lvl 8
    This is great, i cant wait to see a video showing you running through the undergrowth in first person - it'll be awesome !
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Thanks Skodone, Deohboeh.
    MephistonX, yep I hope so! :)

    Ok, so although I had completed the concepts for the two main POD occupants, I don't really consider myself a character artist and I wanted to be able to focus myself on the environment/POD art + general game design. So I employed the help of the excellent artist Gennaro Grazioso to take on modelling of the first prototype character.

    Here are a couple of WIP shots of his excellent hi poly sculpt. For the costume design details, I was open to Gennaro diverging a little from the concept and I'm really pleased with what he came up with:

    OrkneySculpt2_900.jpg

    OrkneySculpt1.jpg
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    I was toying with the idea of having some alien bugs in addition to all the earthly invertebrates. I did a quick speed sculpt concept:

    Hiver_quicksculpt.jpg

    Frankly though, I'm shelving the alien bugs. It wouldn't make sense for them to be out in the earth garden environment and circulating with the local insects. That's not to say they wouldn't exist in the closed off alien habitats of course but I'm not convinced enough to pursue the idea for now.
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    I'm toying with the idea that the POD can plug itself into "frames"... vehicular extensions in a sense.

    Below are some very quick little solid brush sketches for helicopter-ish frames.

    Heliframes_roughs.jpg
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    Ok, so I took a bit of a break from design work and decided to tackle a shader I was dreading for a while.

    As you all know, real-time transparency is never as simple as we'd like and my previous water droplets just didn't look right.

    These still have a way to go and there are inherent issues with them taht must be resolved but for now I feel they are a reasonable water droplet. I tried to fake some kind of light refraction illumination too, which you may see on the surface some of the water beads are resting upon. The idea being that some light is getting refracted down onto the surface through the water bead. They also refract/distort the environment of course but that's not really as good as I'd like yet and there are screen space reflections on the surface.

    Another next step is to align the rim light to the suns actual position, rather than Z up.

    Please excuse the placeholder/bodge BG scene too!...

    WaterDropletShader1.jpg
    WaterDropletShader2.jpg
    WaterDropletShader3.jpg
    WaterDropletShader4.jpg
    WaterDropletShader5.jpg
  • cubitstudios
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    cubitstudios greentooth
    I was going to start a video devlog series but frankly I decided against it for now and have shelved it.

    The effort to produce these videos would just take away from actual development, irrespective of any promotional gains (which will come later).

    I thought I'd post up the incomplete segment of the video. So with that in mind, I must note that this is *very* incomplete and contains placeholder assets, but you can at-least learn something about the POD via some made up sci-fi techno-mumbo jumbo!


    Ajoxian2gif

    Orbitalgif
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