Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Today I wanted to share some of the models I've been busy creating for the game's first map, Purple Planet (working name). Level design isn't my greatest strength, so the plan all along has been for dynamic map generation. My main goal here was to create enough different variations of assets that the world still feels varied and not so repetitive, even while minimizing the amount of my amateur artwork needed to pull that off. Overall, I'm happy with how everything I've made turned out.
A word on color scheme: so far, I've been able to get away with just using a color wheel website to find complements for the main purple color that I really liked. I tried to add some translucent effects as well, but I scrapped them because they didn't turn out the way I was expecting. Lastly, I of course added my outline shader to the lot. I imagine I'll need to adapt a more in-depth strategy once I move on to other planets.
First off are the mushrooms. Mushrooms are meant to be small, ground level obstacles that the cow AI will have to path around, but player UFOs should have no trouble flying right over. I created both normal and bent variants.
Next, I created some alien trees. Besides the different colors, there are three variations of these as well. The smaller and bent ones are again only meant to deter cows, with the leaves on the bent ones actually hanging low enough to change the asset's footprint on the ground. What this means is that since the cow doesn't have room to walk under those leaves, it's forced to give a wider berth than it is the normal ones, where it can just skirt the trunk.
The trunk is made up of a bunch of stacked torus primitives, welded together at the connection points. The leaves are actually just cubes with their vertices pulled out into position, including on the z-axis (that's blender's z-axis) to give the waviness. I joined four of them together for each level, and created a texture in Photoshop for the veins. The taller trees are actually tall enough to interfere with the UFOs, which is going to lead to some interesting challenges when I write the AI for them. See, the cows need to be able to path around the trunks, but the flying UFOs will need to avoid the leaves, which have a much larger radius. I'm hoping that I'll just need to add some new colliders and bake a new navmesh for the different AI...but that's a subject for another day.
The last thing I have to share today is the Purple Planet's rock feature. After creating a group of crystals, I realized that they would also be a good way to mark the absolute edges of the map. There's a little clipping in the current version, but it gets the point across how a solid crystal wall will work well to contain everything within my defined bounds.
Alright, that's all for now, but stay tuned in the coming days for a major announcement!