This will be the artist devlog for a turn-based action strategy PC game scheduled to launch early access around September/November 2018.
The game has been in development for more than a year by a sole programmer/developer and is in a fully playable state (some bugs crawling around, of course), but it lacks 3d assets that 1. look current gen, and 2. are optimized.
The most important thing in this game is characters, as the primary focus for the player is to recruit characters, train them, and keep them alive (perma-death) long enough to build an experienced mercenary fighting force. However, each players experience will be unique, as both the strategy map and characters are procedural generated. So then, the mission is to strike a balance between creating good looking characters that don't seem like cookie cutter pieces, but also get enough unique characters with variations finished and polished to an acceptable degree by launch. Right now the plan is one outfit with texture variations, along with one unique face variation per week.
The player will be able to choose their characters face/body type, hair/beard, and swap head armor and outfits. To meet these demands, I've developed a system based on some archived threads from this site, although being new to 3d art, a good deal of trial and error prototyping has been necessary to work out all the kinks and develop a solid plan. So, after three weeks of prototyping, now I am beginning to build the first characters, and since a modular character system is both a complex undertaking and also something that is no doubt very interesting to indie/hobby dev's, I will record lessons learned and techincal notes here, as well as post the characters.
Critiques are of course welcome, but keep in mind I am working in turbo-mode here, and so the most useful critiques are generalized ones that I can apply to future models, or put away until after the essential production is done and it's polishing time.
Notes about the art style :
2. 10-11th century (chainmail is the highest form of armor)
3. Emphasis on the desperation of the peasant class involved in the game.
4. Three distinct body types (though all rigged to same skeleton) - "Soft" man, "Hard" man, "Great" man. AKA peasants, experienced fighters, huge motherfuckers.
First prototype character
First prototype outfit, beard, hat
second prototype outfit
With problems of rigging and in-engine performance and operation figured out, I started the first of three base characters last week. Here is the textured game model: