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Deadlocked Prime - 3D Pixel art FPS - Devlog

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Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
Hello I am finally back with another project, my previous being Last Invader.

My new project is called Deadlocked Prime which is a sci-fi FPS with a 3D pixel art look, game is being developed in Unity.

Originally the game was a gamejam project done in Low Rez Jam 2016, it was called Deadlocked.
Currently me and khreathor are making the game togheter.

Full video from the gif above: 


Here are some ingame screens:
Engine Room Entrance

Forge Room

Maintence Room

Cargo Room

I have made some posts earlier in WIP thread that I might repost here later,

Comments, critics, ideas and I am open discussion, feel welcome to this thread is what I am trying to say! :D

I am personaly working on Serious Sam's Bogus Detour , this is only a side project for me :)

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  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7


    Here is a flying repair drone (enemy guy) I made for the game! A.I will be configured by khreator.

    Quite a generic design, but will do for now



    How it looks ingame!
  • Cglewis
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    Cglewis polycounter lvl 10
    oh this is really cool man! lol i want to play it!
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    thanks @Cglewis ! :)  It would be cool to share a smaller build of the game later on!


    Edit: had broken images that didn't disappear so I redid the post
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7


    Mostly testing out static electricity.

    I will probably do longer elecitricty sprites for the flying drone and other things, but it does look pretty neat on the player baton.
    (pose is just stolen from plasma pistol, just testing out before we implement things).

    I will need to make a gamobject.find for particle system whenever the electric baton is equipped, because the transformations did not inherit it when the baton moves, which makes sense. I just hate to make references for "atmosphereic"-reasons.

    Easy-to-work-with > but its pretty 
    Is something all developers should priortize
    ...

    but that electricity is just to cool and deserves that little extra load time :pleased:

    Might do more environments or maybe characters, we'll see what tomorrow brings :)

  • haZe
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    haZe greentooth
    This is looking really nice, taking me back to System Shock. Subbed, for sure.
  • Wendy de Boer
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    Wendy de Boer interpolator
    Really digging this. Love the pixelated look!
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks  @haZe and   @Wendy de Boer :) If you are wondering about anyhing go ahead and comment!

    I have finally fixed up the buttons from the gamejam, now they are more visually interactable. Hopefully I will make a lot of custom UI for different buttons, they just look so charming! Buttons will possibly be triggered with a USE button later in production. (sorry for spamming gifs, but I am a sucker for things that move)


    Gonna look into remaking jump pads and teleporter pads now, they will probably look very similar but perhaps more pixel-ey compared to gamejam-deadlocked version :)


    Ps: (Currently updating the thread a lot because its mostly visual things I work with this early in production, also I am on vaction so I have a lot of spare time :D)

    pps I have lowered the screen a little after the gif r
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7


    Jump pads and teleports! I love working with FX, will probably look more into this later.

    I wonder what I will work on tomorrow  B)
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Ending today with some glass wip from the editor. I have been struggling with this quite some time getting glass look alright. But I am sure I will figure out a way :)

    This is a little testscene I built up just to test some glass scenarios

    edit: notetoself try gradients!
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Think I like this glass material. Mostly just a gradient and then I fix the UV inside Unity.

    Also some items in the game. Keycards are the newest pickup

    I am currently using a outline shader that I am not really satisfied with. It takes out all faces from the model normal inverts to get the outline effect but it separates from the edges which causes these little fractions between edges. (which look quite bad)

    I could manually model/copy outline for all the objects, but maybe there is a cheap pixelbased shader for unity for me to use instead?
  • kohg
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    kohg polycounter lvl 6
    This looks beautifull
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @kohg  Thanks! :) 
    I have been fixing new doors and tinkering with door scripts! :)
  • MisterSande
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    MisterSande polycounter lvl 8
    Over the years I have been playing more and more older games and it made me realise that realistic aesthetics are almost non important in making a visually (immersive) good game. Level Design/atmosphere and functionality are way more important. I was surprised how well games like THIEF still play and how much immersion they still provide despite the so called "lackluster" graphics. System Shock 1/2 are also great examples of "old-modern" games.

    Having said that this project looks very fun to play already and I look forward seeing it progress! May I ask what texturing pipeline you are using ?
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @MisterSande  yes you are onto something there! The art is usually not that important, its mostly that it needs to be there and looks and feels good enough!
    For Deadlocked I am still currently trying to see how far I can push this art direction, I have played it quite safe currently, lots of corridors. Maybe flesh walls or outdoor parts etc for later tests? But at the same time I don't want to get out of the the corridor-box level design so I can actually finish the game

    About the pipeline:
    I model in Maya, very box-like, and draw textures in photoshop and make sure the UV's have approx same texel density (I overuse UV's being ontop of eachother). 

    The example below is a 64x64 texture

    Here is a laserrifle first pass on the art, will work like a assualt rifle :)


    Edit: overcrowded emojis in text so I removed some :pleased:
  • BucketOfNuggets
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    BucketOfNuggets polycounter lvl 6
    Dude this is really cool. I always wanted to do something like this. Something is off with the gun pick ups though, maybe it is the outline or maybe it just feels like they should be floating 2d sprites? I'm not sure. Looks really awesome so far though.
  • Wendy de Boer
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    Wendy de Boer interpolator
    I love those little animated GIFs. Makes me wish there was a zoom feature on the forum like on Pixel Joint!
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @BucketOfNuggets  I have configured the outlines now so its from the origin of the model and not vertex offset anymore! Hopefully that will make it better :proud: (pics coming soon)
    I know that I don't want to go using 2D sprites (with a billboard tech), because they don't feel like they actually exist in the world. 

    @Wendy de Boer  Yes zooming would be a nice feature!
     
    Guess this is a thread for ants 


    Weapon silhouettes are the best:


    <backstory time>
    Before we decided to go full 3D for on the pixel art we tried to make a make a "deluxe"-upgraded Deadlocked with higher resoultion with gamejam levels and with a tight deadline but neither of us felt that the end result wasn't the level we wanted, which is why we scraped the art and built from the ground up. Here are some 2D HUD (perspective is probably a bit off, working with 128x128 hud is no the best) 


    </backstory time>
    As you guys can see! Those are the weapons that will probably be available in the game. The only weapon that has been redesigned the most is the laser rifle. The melee weapon is the only new addition :)
  • kohg
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    kohg polycounter lvl 6
    I'm glad you guys went full 3d. You should always go full 3d.
  • BucketOfNuggets
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    BucketOfNuggets polycounter lvl 6
    So do you texture it higher than 64*64 than scale it down? Or do you bring the uvs in to a map that small?
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @BucketOfNuggets I don't scale the texture size. Depending on the objets size in the game I have different scaling. Walls/floor/celling with no variations are 64x64. Some pickups are 16x16-to-64x64. The repair bot is a 64x64 texture.

    @kohg  good to hear! :D
    I have already posted the pistol and flak on WAYWO thread, but here they are again:
    PlasmaPistol: (32x32)

    Flakshotgun: (32x32)

    LaserRifle: (64x64)

    GrenadeLauncher:  (64x64)


    The pixel art images in the beginning of the gifs are pickup icons from the "gamejam"-edition :)
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Several awesome things I've done today: tested out how skyboxes work in unity, configuring more about shaders and getting a new haircut.

    I must in a way always push myself posting updates, sometimes if I am not entirely sure if its quality I personally would like to share. But its always good to get second opinions etc~

    I HERE PRESENT EARLY SCREENS ON OUTDOOR WASTELAND.. PLACE?
    GIF: (because I love showing movement instead of stills)


    stills because it can be more convenient: 




    I have earlier not interested in making outdoor scenes for Deadlocked, mostly because they require much more work. But maybe during some transitions or bigger open areas there might be nice with a little bit more openness and testing out how more organic environments would look like.

    I will probably make some small weird grass things, maybe look into the wall texture more. I also need to make better pipes, or maybe start on a new character? We'll see what tomorrow brings :)
  • Jakob Gavelli
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    Jakob Gavelli interpolator
    Looks great man! Love everything except the outdoor area.. ^^ 
    I'm trying to pinpoint why. Maybe there's a difference in texel density between the boulders and the rockwall texture or something?
    The boxy interiors look great in the pixel-style, but having organic polygon shapes with pixel textures looks a bit weird to me. 
    Sorry, I'm not being that constructive, I think it's mostly the boulders that kind of take away from the style.
    Damn those VFX look juicy :O 

    Maybe the skybox would look cool with some deliberate cheesy mountains? haha
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/eeOKu-cbM6Q/maxresdefault.jpg

  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Yeah, UV map disortion isn't the nicest person to Pixel art :(


    I tried a lot of ways to get rocks. I decided to go with this. Now when I look at it again I know that they are way to messy and I will try something more plain! :)

    I have looked at Delver which has some "terrain" and caves, they don't look that good either, but I think it could be possible to make better! :) I am not giving up the organic nature just yet! ^^
    Image result for delver cave screenshot

    Thanks for that feedback @Jakob Gavelli!


    You haven't even seen me getting started on the VFX! >: O
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Been adding the rest of the weapons into the fps rig. Taking a lot of time testing and getting it right. When unity imports the animations the frames sometimes become a little different, need to clarify whats going on there.

    I have prepared separate animations for all the weapon switches, which should be a breeze to implement now :) (apart from some weird animations anomolies) (maybe its the baking? I never checked that)

    Still have some cleaning up to do. Crosshair trigger numbers don't match with HUD3D weapons and things like that, commiting that kind of code and it gets really annoying to figure out for other people and/or mess things up!

  • BucketOfNuggets
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    BucketOfNuggets polycounter lvl 6
    Looking great! I agree with Jackob about the rocks, I think they look too smooth maybe? Too round, they don't feel like rocks. Also the pipe texture doesn't have that pixel feel to it. Could you break the wall up with some sharp angles?
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @BucketOfNuggets
    Yeah, I will look into this! I might do a more "original"-pipeline approach similar to my Kappulus Rocks but with a lower the res and no normal maps...maybe? Rocks might feel more fresh

    (made back when I was a student (2013-2014 somewhere) :) )

    Not sure If I want sharp angles on the rock walls thou, but I might try!
    I also agree with the pipe texture, I might also do other pipes, smaller ones etc

    I have been doing some crosshair animations and setup the animator so it switches them


    I will be updating this thread a little slower now. My vacation is over so its back to Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, but I will ofcourse continue on this project. But not updating it daily :P
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    I have tested alot of enemy ideas, there is absolutely no shortage about that!
    Today I did some joint physics experiments for a possible floating tentacle creature, keeping it vague even for myself so I know what type of limitations I have to work with.

    Still very new to all this physics, but I have tested it out before. There are just so many components and variables to understand ( and I am more of a test-stuff and then read about it :P )



    My next step will probably to apply this to a real 3D rig with some basic animations, much intrigued!
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    I have been away for some days. Mostly because I started work my dayjob again and needed some well deserved rest.

    After testing out the physics more on characters, I've learned a lot but I also noticed that we would need to reorganise/recode some parts in its current state. In the end, I don't want to get stuck doing "eye-candy", so I will skip using physics on characters and might start doing some concepts.

    Here is a fail-faster gif of the physics:
  • samwoodart
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    samwoodart vertex
    this is looking sweet man! Gonna have to find some time to play it ;p
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    thanks! @samwoodart  but it will be quite some time before this is done! :) We still haven't decide exactly how long the experience will be. Grand plans in my experience kills of the development vibe.

    I have finally started concepting a alien character that will infest the scifi world.

    Alien concepts:


    Hopefully we will use this enemy for many different behaviors. Melee, spitting, flying, mother-bugs. Mostly depending on what khreator and Unity has to offer :)

    I know that insect creatures usually look neat in 3D and pixel art and seeing a hexapod character move is always mesmerizing. I earlier thought about adding a tail, but then I would wanted to have physics so it looked more natural, but after some short tests I didn't feel like experimenting to much and waste time, maybe another enemy will get that? So I just made the enemy more lice-like for now.

    I think the spikes might look really neat, there will probably be some distortion in the UV in the body, but I have to live with that! (I'll figure it out)
    If anyone has any color ideas or want to push ideas I already please go ahead and copy the image and paint on it, that is much appreciated!

    (the image is 4x scaled, scaling it down to 25% with nearest neighbour should get it back to regular pixel size)
    Also concepting in pixel art has been a thing I've started doing, just easier and faster for me
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Wip on the alien char, will continue working on saturday :)

  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    wip on the texturing. Gonna do some poses and possibly be adjusting textures.

    Need to try out the wings also. Hopefully I get them into the same texture

  • BucketOfNuggets
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    BucketOfNuggets polycounter lvl 6
    Looking really good dude, could you post up a texture? Still trying to wrap my head around how its done. 
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7

    @BucketOfNuggets Here is this enemy texture! a 64x64. Could probably be optimized more. But I feel that I am using 64x64 textures, so I should be fine either way


    just started rigging, really looking forward posing this guy. Will it be a hit or a miss? I got high hopes!


  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Finally got this bastard rigged and made a little short test animation! I will try to apply the best animations I cna do into this guy so I will be able to reuse him a lot for different types of units.



    Some animations I have in mind: 
    -Idle
    -Walk
    -Melee attack
    -Spit
    -fly idle

    And we will see about the rest, the jump to-air might be a later thing if I have time! :)
    Everything about air movement is still a questionmark because we don't have a AI for that yet
  • kaptainkernals
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    kaptainkernals polycounter lvl 10
    Awesome visual style you have going! Loving everything about it.

    For your latest creature, you could have the jump and hover (flying) form part of the spit attack, especially if the spit attack is particularly powerful. Because the creature forms a nice targettable silhouette when in the air.
  • DeadPixelLives
    When is this coming out?
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @kaptainkernals
     Thank you!  I agree with your points, they are solid ideas! The flying enemy will probably always be airborne, but all this matters with what type of AI I will be working with! :)

    @DeadPixelLives Nothing has been decided yet! We are still experimenting what type of game this will be, but it will involve shooting, jumping and this visual artstyle! But one thing is sure, this won't be a eternity project!

    Just another test environment I made, trying out random ideas, still need to experiment more here.



    But I wanted to showcase the enemies in action for now. Also added a flashlight impulsively, might be nice for some sections :)
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Frank the alien got this new circular shadow which made him the coolest alien in the station

  • DeadPixelLives
    What software do you use for map development? I'm interested as I'm a bit of a mapper myself.
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @DeadPixelLives

    Probuilder, you can get the basic version for free but have to buy the advanced to use custom textures (bläh). But it is a very solid mapmaking tool :)

    http://www.protoolsforunity3d.com/probuilder/
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Played around using dithering fx's on playercamera. I want that dither fx on all steam/smoke/dust but I don't want to dither the whole game just so my FX hubris gets pleased.

    I have been studying on quite a few shaders but I think I need to dwelve more if I am to achieve that effect. If anyone has ideas how I am open to suggestion.



    The dither shader need to work for particle systems (shuriken).
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    I have been mostly testing ideas for levels and environments. There is still a lot to experiment.

    I want to be able to make levels quickly but still feel like they are not to cheap. These will mostly be testing areas of what is nice before making the real game.

    This is just the latest wip I screenshoted



    If people have ideas for what more a desert-cave-space-ship themes can offer I am absolutely ears to hear what you would want to see.
  • BucketOfNuggets
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    BucketOfNuggets polycounter lvl 6
    What sort of cave is it supposed to be? A research facility or a space prison?
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @BucketOfNuggets : Nothing is really set in stone, I don't have a grand plan of anything yet. I need more gameplay and then I will find out during the development! :)


    More weird ideas: Some sort of nuclear-goo-facility, maybe?



    Maybe gonna do a few more props now! :) 
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Okay so I been making "a" prop. The canister is currently set as a enemy, I just want the behavior to be there to be replaced later! :)


    I really just wanna do FX all day because its more interesting. The explosions are quite basic but the general look is there.

    Gonna look into a material that ignores Z for the flare, but for now I need more environment, enemies with AI and more level concepts! :)
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    Scripted this emission pulse thing that can be custom made for every object with randomtimer. Gonna use this here and there!



    highlevel code aw yeah
  • BucketOfNuggets
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    BucketOfNuggets polycounter lvl 6
    That barrel explosion is bitchin. Good job!
  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    @BucketOfNuggets
    Thanks! Hopefully there will be more! :smiley:

    Here are a bunch of test screens of environment ideas:
    Might continue making outside environments or maybe more characters!
    Lab:

    Generator:

    Industrial:

    Industrial_2:

  • Christian Nordgren
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    Christian Nordgren polycounter lvl 7
    A enemy ghoul character for the game that I have made a few weeks ago.

    Its not the best screencap, but I wanted to show where the direction of the game is going! The general idea is to attach different equipment and re-texture it for different units, trying to reuse animations and models as much as possible :)
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