[GAME] Takashi's Curse

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Takashi's Curse
This will be our final year project at the University of Hertfordshire.
The Team:

Lead Environment Artist: Jack Gathercole
Environment Artist: Benjamin Stefanyszyn
Lead Character Artist: Juraj Maruska
Character/Concept Artist: Sharon Lau

Freelance Artists:

Concept Artist/Animator: Aria Hiraishi
Animator: Mitchell Lyons
Concept Artist: Vilte Bendžiūte
Prop Artist: Luke Youngman
Lighting Artist: Harry Biggs
Concept Artist: Chloe Britchford
Texture Artist: Nicholas Wheeler
Rigging: Joshua Crew
The Pitch:
We aim to create a flythrough game trailer set within a fictional city during the era of Feudal Japan. (1185-1603). Though the project will not be playable, it aims to display our skills as artists for potential employers in the form of a play test trailer. The main character will be showcased walking through a detailed, authentic environment containing strong elements of ancient folklore and surrounding side characters.
Project Objective:
Our objective is to create a short cinematic displaying the environment followed by an in-game walk through with the character approaching a sacred temple in seek of aid.
The Story:
Our main character (Takashi) hunts with an ancient band of warriors who are gifted armour as a result of their loyalty from a young age. However… his unique, cursed attire is causing extreme torment. He explores a city very familiar to him flourishing with elements of folklore native to his origins. He seeks aid from a grand-master for his continued suffering and seeks to be released from this ghastly curse.
So that is basically an overview of the project we have planned. There is a lot of research that has been completed and I will provide images very soon. We are still in the phase of Pre-Production for this concept, so everything is subject to change.
Critique and feedback is always welcomed and appreciated!
Thank you all for reading.


  • Zakara
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    Zakara triangle
    Hey Guys!
    Some more concept stuffs from our project for now, we found an awesome concept artist via Artstation and his submissions to the "Feudal Japan Challenge". He gave us permission to use his artwork as inspiration and even proceed to model his concepts.
    All concepts below belong to "Luka Mivsek".







    Onto some NPC character stuff, we are planning to include a small variety of surrounding characters to populate the town.
    Below is a couple of paintings of a male rice farmer by one of our freelancers Sharon Lau!






    So yeah, more progress to come very soon consisting of grey box blockouts and early asset W.I.P's.
    Any and all critique is appreciated as always.
  • Zakara
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    Hey guys!
    A bit more progress in the form of an early W.I.P blockout and some character progress. We are looking into exploring the fantasy themes contained within our project and really enhancing the environment as a whole with detailed elements of folklore.

    Here is our progress:

    In terms of scale, we are deciding upon scaling up or remaining with what we have as there is a limited number of environment and prop artists working on this project.

    Character Progress:

    Asset Progress:

  • Zakara
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    Hey Guys! It's been a little while so time for a big update. A good amount of progress has been made in a few different areas for our project.


    First of all, myself and Ben have been working on a detailed blockout for our scene and then handed it over to our freelance lighting artist to experiment with different moods, we decided upon the images below.


    Lighting by the wonderful Harry Biggs, check out his thread here.


    The environment shown below is fairly accurate as to what we want the different height levels to look like. But we are always open to criticism.














    Our main character has been rigged in its proxy state. Check out our rigger Joshua Crew's work here!


    Asset production is in progress and we will post progress soon.

    Thanks dudes! :3

  • Zakara
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    Hey Guys! So today was our Vertical Slice submission.

    We are at a point now where our detailed blockout is pretty much complete and asset production is underway. So we can now begin the process of replacing placeholder primitives with our finalised, textured assets. We are having an issue with the root bone of the rig which is being resolved so please excuse the slight issues with the pelvic movement of our main character. 

    password: verticalslice

    Music is placeholder for now and is subject to change.


    Asset/Other Progress:

    Below is some finished elements from us and our freelancers and some W.I.P pieces too:

    Farmer NPC by Sharon Lau:


    Japanese Junk Ship by Benjamin Stefanyszyn:


    Wooden Cart by Jack Gathercole: [W.I.P]


    Textures by Nicholas Wheeler: (Damp and Wet Mud Variants)


    Flagstone Texture: (Cracked/Mossy Variants)


    Proxy Rig by Joshua Crew:


    Thank you for reading, as always any critique is welcomed and appreciated.


  • littleclaude
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    littleclaude polycounter
    Great looking project, you can do it :) 
  • Benstef12
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    Benstef12 polycounter lvl 3

    I have started on our modular building system, the plan is to have lots of assets that easily fit together to create a variety of buildings.
    This first building is split into 4 different segments.

    WIP Images from Zbrush:

    Some Reference Images:

    All Crit is helpful so any comments are appreciated :) 


  • Zakara
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    Along with Ben, I've been working on the architecture for our low wealth section, specifically a building that will feature types of fish for sale. For now I have been heavily reliant on reference but plan to add features that highlight elements of fantasy to create a more unique outcome.




    I'm currently in the progress of adding some wear and edge detail in ZBrush along with some wood alphas.





    Planning to finish this one off within the next week along with some smaller assets.


    Any critique is appreciated as always. Thanks guys!

  • Zakara
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    :: Environment/Asset Update ::
    So I've been working on implementing some of the freelanced assets in along a couple of my smaller models into the scene. I felt like posting so this is a relatively small update but a larger one will be posted tomorrow including some blueprint progress.
    The addition of a Cherry Blossom Tree has added a lot to our low wealth district and after importing the model I whipped up a quick falling petal particle system and added some petal decals on the floor for some extra details.


    - Cherry Blossom Tree made by Clarence Munji.





    Below are some wooden planks I have made in an early state. I've tried to get some variation in with some being more damaged than others. Going to texture these tomorrow and get them in engine.


    Any critique is welcome and greatly appreciated. Will post again soon!

    Cheers guys.

  • Benstef12
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    Benstef12 polycounter lvl 3
    :: Environment/Asset Update ::

    I have been working inside UE4 and creating assets, mainly I was focusing on getting the assets for our modular house blueprint completed. We spent some time placing these various designs but were happy with the result we got for this district.

    We needed a way to seal off the environment so having a set of fences and a gate will come in handy later on as well as now. I also managed to fit another couple of assets in too, once modeled I placed them into the scene to start building the world.

    UE4 Renders:

    Any crit is great, thanks :smile:
  • Zakara
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    :: Alpha Submission Update ::

    Hey Guys! So today was our Alpha Submission where we got some great crit from Lewis and Neil regarding camera shots, animation and a variety of other things. We are happy with the current state of the project though we would have loved to get some more elements implemented such as asset textures and character textures etc.

    But moving forward we will be polishing/completing the assets without textures and working on the high wealth area a lot more.


    pass: takashi

    Below are some screenshots featuring some implementations such as NPC's and further asset creation:





    And we also got our rig working in engine as seen in the video above but below is the animation cycle working! Partnered with our first attempt which was quite entertaining so thought it was worth a share.


    Broken Rig Meme:


    Animation by: Marco Privitera

    All in all, a productive alpha submission and we all cant wait to keep working on it. As always, and and all critique is welcomed and appreciated. Cheers dudes :3 

  • Jack M.
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    Jack M. greentooth
    Good looking project. I think the AO is a bit too heavy and the overall brightness of the scene is too dark, but I'm excited to see where you all take this.
  • Zakara
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    Jack M. said:
    Good looking project. I think the AO is a bit too heavy and the overall brightness of the scene is too dark, but I'm excited to see where you all take this.
    Thanks man! Appreciate the crit on the scene, I completely agree with the comments on darkness and AO. We are going for an early morning sunrise so its tricky right now to get that brightness due to the harsh shadows casted from the buildings but we will add more lights to brighten up areas. Cheers!
  • Benstef12
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    Benstef12 polycounter lvl 3
    Hey dudes, so I have been working on a modular building pack for our Low Wealth district in the scene. This way we can get lots of different variants of houses for the town. It also gives up the opportunity to place houses next to each other to create larger buildings.

    [Credit] Modular Building Blueprints in UE4 done by Ben Ashcroft

    Any crit always helps

    Thanks! :smile:
  • Zakara
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    :: Beta Submission Update ::
    Hey Guys! The last month has lead to our Beta submission which we are all really happy with. We tried to blend the beauty shots with a good amount of character walkthrough game-play as we inevitably create our UI and transfer to a fully playable game. There are several assets that are still in progress/incomplete and we will aim to focus mainly on on the road towards the final Gold submission.
    Added several elements such as in-game sound, mainly foley. Along with a selection of modular assets and lighting overhaul.
    Any critique is always appreciated and will be applied after the feedback in class tomorrow from our tutors.
    Hope you enjoy! Cheers!



     Password: "TC"










  • Benstef12
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    Benstef12 polycounter lvl 3
    :: WIP Takashi's Curse Environment Work ::

    Some more screenshots of the environment work I helped to create alongside Jack.

    We have reeled in the size of the project slightly to help us refine on existing areas.

    [Credit: Blueprint work done by Ben Ashcroft]
    [Credit: Lighting done by Harry Biggs]
    [Credit: Foliage by Epic Games]

    Our project completion date is closing in so any crit that will help us take this to the next level will be really appreciated!
    Thanks! :smiley:
  • Zakara
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    :: NPC Character Update ::

     Had to take a bit of a break from asset creation to implement the NPC global rig for the female peasant pack made by Sharon Lau.

     With the help of one of our riggers Katherine Padley, and after tweaking some issues with some parts disappearing relative to distance, we now have some Mixamo animations implemented and working in UE4.


    ** Sorry for the dark lighting, will brighten this one up before Gold submission. (cries)




    A smaller, but quite significant update that adds a lot of life to our project.

    Will follow up shortly with progress regarding the incomplete hero assets in our scene.


  • Zakara
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    :: Environment/NPC Update ::

    Working on completing level design in different areas over the past few days along with customising our NPC's to be engaged with one and other in a believable fashion.

    I think the level design for the low wealth section is complete now and with Gold submission coming up fast it has to be called 'final' at some point. The walk cycles will hopefully loop to create a seamless, breathing world.

    So yeah, not too much of an update.. but not too much to finish now and its all over.

    Thanks for looking dudes :3






    Some lovely waterfall FX by Kidman Lee.



    Decided to use it for our small fountains too!


  • Zakara
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    :: Gold Submission Environment Update ::


    Hey Guys! So with everything completed in the environment and a lighting overhaul by Harry Biggs... we are done!!
    (For Gold Submission anyway).

    I'm just finishing up the edit for our submission tomorrow but here are some nice stills from the final version of our environment. There are some bits and pieces I would like to change but time restrictions has impacted how much could be completed. It's been hard graft getting this completed and setup in UE4, especially when deciding to create a new section with less than 4 days left.

    Thanks for looking and enjoy dudes :3













  • Escio
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    Escio polycounter lvl 2
    Hey guys, I was responsible for the main character in this project. So here is the ortographic rendered in marmoset.

    Any feedback is appreciated. cheers :)

  • Benstef12
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    Benstef12 polycounter lvl 3
    Hey Guys! So we have now called the project complete and have created a video showing everything we have worked towards, this project has been so much fun and a lot of hard work! 

    Big thanks to the core team and all the freelancers that helped bring our vision to life!

    Hope you enjoy and if you have any crit for us in the future, be sure to drop us a comment :smile:



  • Zakara
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    Just a quick note to let anyone viewing this thread that our project has since been completed. We appreciate everyone's kind words on the forum and are pleased with the outcome.

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