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[WIP] Banjo-Kazooie Fan Art - Treasure Trove Cove:Re-jiggy'd

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John_B polycounter lvl 9
Hi all, here's the start of a personal fan art project to take a level from the Rare classic Banjo-Kazooie and attempt my own take on it. My aim is to take inspiration from the recent slew of remastered classic games to have come out over the last few years, Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, Medievil, Ratchet and Clank PS4 and the awesome Spyro Reignited Trilogy. The aim is to have an environment that feels familiar but very much updated and refreshed.

For me it was fairly easy picking which level i wanted to remake and that is Treasure Trove Cove. Its always the first level that pops into my head when i think back to the original game. I'm hoping that in making this thread will give me the drive and motivation to push forward on this and make regular progress on it. It is by far the largest personal project I've ever done which is both daunting and exciting in equal measure!

Trying to break down what is needed to achieve that 'remastered' look and feel and i think the following is a good start;
  • More detailed higher res textures (That echo the originals enough to seem familiar).
  • Added areas of detail across the whole map as well as on key landmarks (Salty Hippo ship, Lighthouse etc).
  • Coherent stylized art style.
Currently blocking it out in Maya. Once i'm happy with this i'll then take it into Unity as this is the engine i'm most familiar with. Its super rough as i really just want something i can use for scale purposes and to start the thought process in my head of what changes i want to make to push the level and give it that 'Remastered' feel! 

So here's the start of level as it stands. 









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  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Started to think about one of the key landmarks of the level today which is the Salty Hippo ship that sits right in the middle of the level. In the original game Captain Blubber talks about the fact his ship crashed on the island when Banjo speaks with him. Keeping this in mind i thought it'd be cool to try and show some of that damage on the new version. Other added details include a wheel, a Captains quarters doorway on deck along with windows around the back sides of the boat. Another overall update is giving the boat a sense of how its been constructed, so giving beams and supports actual geometry rather than just a 2D texture. Dont feel like its there just yet though, open to suggestions of improvements to the design. Thanks



    Oh and heres a shot of the original model for comparison.


  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Small update with the block out mesh in Maya. Added palm tree placements/crates as well as more detail around the rock pools. Looking forward to getting stuck into the next stage which will be taking the starting pier area and creating some concepts for what that could look like. Thanks for looking.




  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Hi all, heres a few shots of the level mockup in Unity. Added a single directional light for now as well as a tictac Banjo in there so give the level a sense of scale with the character. Currently the layout doesnt stray too far from the original at the moment. Would love to get some feedback on what i have so far in terms of whether i should be pushing the block mesh further in layout and/or details? 



  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Hi all, I've begun to update the starting pier area with a more detailed blockout mesh. I want to give the many wooden structures in the level some character as well as making them read well from a construction point of view. So looking to have skewed angles on things like the planks that make up the floor of the pier as well as some tilts in the side posts. Firstly heres the original pier for reference...

       
    ...and heres the new blockout mesh in progress. Thanks for looking.

     
  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Hi, more progress on the pier blockout. I'm liking the feel of it so far but feel i can push this even further somehow. Open to suggestions, thanks for looking.


  • gastrop0d
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    gastrop0d polycounter lvl 3
    Really loving this project you've got going on. Quite ambitious, but will be an absolute joy to see this level revitalised!

    Regarding the pier, I think you could exaggerate the warping of the planks quite a lot more to really push their character. Maybe make the planks less densely packed together (maybe not as extremely spaced out as they are in the original, but some space). The extra space would give you plenty of room for kinky/bent planks.

    Maybe also reduce the density of the railing pillars and vary their size and silhouettes more. I think when it comes to cartoonish stylisation its best to push/exaggerate to extremes and then dial it back until you hit the sweet spot.

    I often relate it to the question of "if children had built this, what would it look like?" Odds are solid, uniform elements would not be very common. :)

    Keep going! Really looking forward to updates!
  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Hi gastrop0d, thanks for the feedback. Some really great points you made, I was considering the reduction of the railing pillars but was torn between keeping it closer to the original or breaking away from it. I think you're right though i could definitely push the stylisation further. One of my main points of reference is the Spyro Reignited trilogy and to see the differences between the original levels and how far they pushed the new designs whilst still evoking the old ones is just so great.
  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Small update based on some previous feedback from @gastrop0d . Reduced pillar numbers varied up the silhouettes a bit. Planks have more shape to them as well as some upward bend to them which is offset from plank to plank to give that nice stylised wonky feel to it all! Still needs a bit more work before i consider this first asset blockout done. Thanks for looking.




  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Hi all, Ok so i think certainly for now i'm calling the start pier blockout model done. I'm a lot happier with this iteration, feels like it has more character to it. Not sure which asset i'm tackling next for blockout, its either the salty hippo pirate ship or the lighthouse that sits atop of the cove. Both hold a ton of room to expand on their original designs. Thanks for looking.


  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Hi all, heres a quick sketch for my initial pass on the lighthouse. I figured that as a larger asset that commands more attention than the pier, it would be best to start with sketches before the blockout to really push the design of it. The original has a few key features that i want to try and translate over. Firstly is the criss-cross mesh on the top portion. Secondly theres the posts and rope barrier (similar to the pier) and thirdly theres the diagonal supports underneath the platform. Would love to get some feedback on it at this early stage though as i know theres plenty of room to improve this. Thanks.


  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Started the lighthouse blockout mesh. About 2/3 the way through it so far i reckon. Trying to find that nice balance between old and new and pushing the silhouette as much as possible. Feedback always welcome, thanks.


  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Another quick update on the lighthouse. Still need to work out exactly how the window panels will look around the top structure. The original has what looks like a wire mesh texture. Did a quick test of that here but something about it felt off, so need to experiment a little bit with that area i think. Also starting to think about how i'm going to texture the final asset. Its too large i feel for a single 2048 so maybe a combination of unique UV'd areas and a tiled texture to cover the main part of the tower?? Any tips out there for texturing large assets like this i'd be all ears for. Thanks for again for looking.



  • Olingova
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    Olingova greentooth
    Really like these kind of cartoony modelling! I look forward to see the texturing
  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks Olingova, me too lol. Next step is to break the model into parts that need sculpted detail adding and get them into zbrush.
  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Small update on the lighthouse. Blockout is now ready for some zbrush love! Still undecided as to what to do with the spaces at the top where the original design had the diamond patterned texture applied. Figure i can start sculpting detail into other parts of the asset though whilst i work that part out. Thanks for looking.


  • John_B
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    John_B polycounter lvl 9
    Quick update before bed. I decided to stick with the diamond lattice at the top, i'm thinking its a wrought iron grill that fills each space. Also something that's missing from the original design is that this is a lighthouse without a light! So with that in mind i've been playing around with the idea of adding a light source but to add a bit of humor (which is a big staple of the IP) i've gone for a typical (scaled up) light fitting that you'd find in most homes. Now to fit a massive over-sized lightbulb into it! 



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