1 week of polish time down. It’s been a very productive week working on the finalisations of The Fool’s Room, and it’s really starting to come together now. Here’s how it looks in-game;
All I have left to do now is a new asset I want to put in for storytelling; a jester’s sceptre, and some sound tweaks.
A lot of the changes I’ve made have been quite subtle. I’ve had to deal with a high volume of little finicky things as opposed to full assets and such. On the Monday I lit the candles, added supporting stones to the roof beams and some new ivy, added wood frames to the windows, cut into the chimney breast so it’s not perfectly straight, and changed the height of some of the floor tiles. The white stones supporting the roof beams and the ivy add some nice variation to the brownness of the walls/wood, and the subtle changes to the chimney breast and floor tiles just help add to the immersion of the scene.
The blue/green curtain has also had some loops added so it looks less… polygonal. Jonah had a look at the level and found that really distracting, along with some texture stretching which is also now fixed.
On Tuesday I; made some dirt alphas for the corners, put handles on the windows (no-one noticed but I sure as hell did), added a tapestry to the wall, painted some colour variation into the floor, modified the large central window so it doesn’t look weird, and re-did the basket of threads so it matches the style better. The tapestry is in a position that isn’t visible until you enter the diorama, which rewards the viewer for exploring a little and also breaks up the brownness of the wall.
I managed to bring myself to texture the porcelain doll asset on Wednesday, which I had been putting off for a while. It’s not perfect, and the blankets are supposed to be embroidered with pansies, but I didn’t want to spend ages fussing over such a small detail, especially when the rest of the textiles are very simplistic. On Wednesday I also took a break from the Fool’s Room and had a go at improving the Dragon Garden diorama. It’s been the big problem diorama for this project as it is so different to my other two. The textures appeared too noisy, and the composition just wasn’t working.
It’s still probably the weakest diorama, but after quickly moving around some assets I found I had a set-up that worked much better; the dragon really stood out finally, the colours seemed to pull together for a lovely palette, and the composition is less confusing. With the addition of some shrubbery, a new larger tree for the top diorama section, and some more tweaking, everything will feel much better hopefully.
Back to the Fool’s Room, I started to make some much more final tweaks to the level. I made sure everything in the content browser had it’s materials applied, and I checked that all the textures were sized correctly. Sound went in next- I tried adding seagull sounds and such, because the tower is by the sea, but it was just weird and distracting. I decided to keep it simple with just wind, and the creaking of the window opening and closing. It’s nice to play a game that isn’t silent, even if the sound is the simplest thing. I’m definitely not much of a sound designer though!
A big problem I’d been avoiding was the edges of the diorama, where the tilable wall texture breaks away. Where this happens, I have to try and make the main face of the wall and the broken edges match, or there are some very obvious seams and texture stretches. I spent some time trying to fix this to the best of my ability, but it’s by no means perfect; the normal map on the wall means that even if the albedo matched perfectly, I still get some normal map seams. It’s improved vastly, but if you look closely you can still see some problem areas.
Ben Keeling from CA has kindly been helping me again, teaching me some awesome new stuff and doing paintovers. He helped me improve the wall texture a bit, which had been a problem for a while. The albedo is now more of a flat colour as it should be in PBR, and I have parallax on there, which makes the wall appear more three dimensional than just a normal map allows. He also brought up the lighting as a concern, and since I hadn’t edited the lighting for weeks, I was happy to have some crit.
I liked the softness of my original lighting, but it made for quite a flat scene especially when viewed in greyscale. I may continue to play with the lighting a little, but apart from the final asset I want to make, I’m considering this diorama pretty much done. Looking forward to getting the final renders and stuff sorted.
Next week I’ll be continuing my work on the Dragon Garden, creating a nice tree to finalise the scene and making a lot of tweaks!