(WIP) Metroid - Brinstar Environment

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Recker polycounter lvl 5

Hello everyone, I’ve been wanting to create something Metroid for a while now, so I’m just jumping in a going for it.

I’ve been really interested in the cave like environments for a while now and the Metroid games are typically abundant with caves, so I felt this was a great opportunity to get more practice.

For this environment I’ve decided that recreating a portion of Super Metroid, specifically the pink sections of Brinstar would be great. Not only will it allow me to create some hard surface assets, but also blend it in with organic shapes and designs, like intricate mushrooms, vines, and so on.

My main goal with this environment is to really push a bright a vivid scene, similar to how Metroid Prime visually looks. I really want to push and expand my creative process while also creating an environment that has gameplay elements considered. The end result will hopefully be an environment that looks nice, but also looks like it could be fun to play through.

Enough ramble however, here is some concepts I created, along with the first whitebox pass.




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  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Long time coming, I've been super busy as of late, but I've finally gotten some further progress down on the environment. It took a while to find an aesthetic that I liked, and in the end I went with the basalt pillar look, however I wanted to merge that with a pyrite cubic crystal formations.

    Anyways, here is the update image :)

    It's still very much a work in progress, however I'm finally getting the base shapes down, I have a couple more primary assets to shape out, and then it's down to the high poly sculpts and the rest of the process following.

  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Another update, took a while, but I finally got some solid work done, including the main block piece. I also managed to get a tiling texture created, the scene is finally coming together, but enough of that, the pictures will show more than I can say...

    Firstly is my reference
    Secondly is the block itself, taken from substance

    Thirdly is it all in place in engine.


    I'm happy with the results and it's finally coming together slowly, the other areas should now go a lot faster hopefully.
  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis interpolator
    That ground looks absolutely gross to walk on! Your environment is coming together well!
  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Haha, Thank you :) It still has a long way to go, but its slooowly getting there...
  • Verts
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    Verts null
    That looks very nice already! That spongy floor looks awesome ! The violet Stones look a little off though. Id would be cool if the sponge maybe grows a little bit around it. Just something that connects those two elements. Overall it looks already fucking cool ! well done
  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Verts said:
    That looks very nice already! That spongy floor looks awesome ! The violet Stones look a little off though. Id would be cool if the sponge maybe grows a little bit around it. Just something that connects those two elements. Overall it looks already fucking cool ! well done
    Thank you, It's definitely a work in progress but I appreciate your comments, those pink rocks you see are just a different mesh that will eventually be the same as the others I have done, they are just there as placeholders at the moment, left from the whitebox phase. I will mix it up with some solid green assets, big twirling vines that push through the pink rocks, my aim is to have a nice vivid environment, that hopefully is faithful to the original.
  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Small progress update: Taking a short break from the main block rock pieces, I decided it would be good to quickly create one of the key flora elements that will be used as secondary sources of light.

    I have done the high and low poly, as well as unwrap and a rough texture, it looks alright in engine, however I haven't yet rigged it, so it doesn't really represent how I want it to look.

    I'm happy with the progress on this but I now have to get back into the time consuming assets :)

    Below is a screenshot from substance painter.




  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Finally got the roof piece done and tweaked the lighting some more, now it all looks slightly wet which I feel looks good.


  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    I have one more primary asset to complete, and then it's onto the secondary assets, it's definitely coming together now... :)


  • Apocrs1980
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    Apocrs1980 polycounter lvl 2
    Looks awesome! Nice work :smiley:
  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks!

    Small update: I've finished all of the primary building assets, now I am moving onto the conceptualization of the secondary assets, I don't have that many to create which is good, about 6 which is nice and small. From that point I will work on the small detail assets, and after that I can call the scene done.

    The following image is my rough paint over of the secondary elements.


    The next image is just some concepts of the secondary assets, not all of them however.


  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G triangle
    Material looks cool on those shapes :)
    I think would look even nicer if you broke the repetition of the ground-pattern a little. You could tweak your material to achieve this or add a variation-mesh.
  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Fabi_G said:
    Material looks cool on those shapes :)
    I think would look even nicer if you broke the repetition of the ground-pattern a little. You could tweak your material to achieve this or add a variation-mesh.
    Thanks :smile:

    Thank you for the feedback, I will definitely break it up with further meshes, the secondary meshes will help with this followed by the tertiary assets, things like small flora, other fungi elements, and so on...

  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    The scene is still slowly coming together. I've finally gotten some base flora shapes that I not only like aesthetically, but also like due to the fact that they can be joined together to make more interesting shapes. I've also made a simple spline blueprint for the vines that can generate thorns randomly along the length. This is great as it allows me to get more natural vine designs in without having to make a load of mesh variations.

    After some more tweaking and placements I will move onto the refinement of those secondary meshes and then move onto the placements of placeholder tertiary meshes to really break up the scene and put lots of little nice details into it to make it more 'natural'.

  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Progress has been slow recently due to external factors, however I have managed to make the material for the vines and the vine spikes. I have a nice emissive texture that pans through the creases in the vine which is subtle, but adds some nice movement to the scene. I have also added a load more vines around. Outside of that I have refined the high poly meshes for the blue elements, and begun the creation of the low polys for those meshes. I will have those fully done over the next few days if time permits. From that point it's working on the mechanical pieces such as the pipe and force-field gate towards the far end of the map.




  • Lucas Annunziata
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    Lucas Annunziata polycounter lvl 8
    Are you planning on making the blocks look a bit more organic? Right now everything looks very cube-y and I'd love to see this pushed more towards undulating almost intestinal shapes.

    I'm having a hard time reading the scene because of the lack of depth in lighting/fog/atmospherics. I think you need to sepperate the floor from walls more with a different material on vertical and horizontal surfaces. You can do that with a Z-up shader to make things easier to creation, and have a nice blend between the two.

    I'm really excited to see how this progresses. Super metroid is one of my faves
  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5

    Hey Lucas, thank you so much for your feedback.

    I definitely appreciate where you are coming from with this. I wonder where you think I could change things to make it more like you say with the undulating and intestinal look?

    I only ask because my intention with the environment was to retain that blocky look to be relatively in line with the reference screenshot below and my subsequent interpretation of it.

     

    I do intend to create more assets that will assist in that process, especially with more detail pieces. However, at the present time I am still working on the secondary detail assets.

    Although I am wanting to retain the blocky aesthetic, I am open to further suggestions in regards to the space and how to make it more organic, but alien.

    I will definitely look into how I can break up those horizontal and vertical surfaces Perhaps some spline based netting to blend between those planes?

    Thanks again for pointing those areas out, every little bit helps.


  • Shadowstep
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    Shadowstep polycounter lvl 5
    Most of pink Brinstar is blocky, but I think what Lucas is referring to by 'intestinal/undulating' is the first tunnel seen when entering the area:

    As far as differing wall materials go, there are a few background types used throughout both pink and green Brinstar:

  • Recker
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    Recker polycounter lvl 5
    Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it and see where you and Lucas are coming from. Following this advice as well as some other critiques I have been given outside of this forum, I have decided that I will rework the core assets to that there is a clearer distinction with the assets and not such a 'blocky' appearance. I will rework the scene based on a paint-over I will create and share over the coming weeks following a personal plan of areas for improvement. Thanks again.
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