Transmutaion — Art Bible

Through this blog I will be talking about the ideas we had for player characters and what kind of animator assets we ended up with.

Through the start of the project, we thought of having character models that were a medium to high poly and wanted to make a game which would look aesthetically good. Our original scope for the visual aspects were completely out of scope.

We wanted character models that looked somewhat like this. Soon we found out that doing such things without the proper knowledge of what the animators can do was a bad idea. We had a vision for the visuals but didn’t question us at the time that would it practically possible or not!

The problem was we didn’t have the skill to make such assets by ourselves. We got our collaborators only half way through the project and our explanation of what we needed from them was just through images. Therefore we later shifted our Art Bible to become our Asset List which contained all the things we definitely needed for our game to work.

For the most part of our project we were using androids as our place holder models for the characters present in the game.

Player Characters

We started focusing on how to make the game run smoothly rather than making the game look pretty. We wanted to make sure that all the systems in the game worked cohesively with each other and provided the feedback that was required to.

How they looked with animator assets

With the design of the restaurant, we were over-scoping as well. We thought that we could make the design of the level a multi-story level with offices and vaults and various other things. We soon found out that we were not capable of doing such things because of the constraint of time and also it was beyond our reach to make an extremely high quality level.

Kind of level we thought we could build
Kind of level we then developed

Future Lessons:

For the future, I would be looking to start small for the models for the different characters that could be present in the game. I would be looking to have simple models that work with good animations rather than trying to make high concept models which usually will go out of scope given the limited time frame we have. Also with the level design one needs to think small and simple that would be just enough for the game to work and then later expand upon it if the time permits.

I have also learnt that the art bible should be a vision that one particular person in the team should direct. If too many people start trying to pitch in the ideas they have in their minds, it would be a giant over-scoped mess and the end product will be nowhere close to what you would have imagined or the worst case scenario, that particular object doesn’t exist at all.

I also think the art bible should contain detailed descriptions of every asset you want to build. The descriptions could include, how much screen-space, the color-palette that can be used, if character models — what kind of animations required, what kind of alternatives can be used for the models that need to be created, are there any post-effects that would happen as the game progresses. This would not only help all the existing members of the team but also would be the easiest way to fill new people in with the per-existing information.