Although the initial designer of the area I was not meant to be developing the 3D assets for this area as I’d moved over to animation at this point and our other 3D modelling was taking the triangle character and environment, due to milestones overrunning, the the priority of this environment was moved up the list, I moved back to create this environment. Fortunately most of the assets for this area were already created as the architecture of the buildings is the same as the Flute town, this area features ruined and abandoned buildings as our emergent narrative outlined. As all of our flute buildings were modular, all I had to do was delete geometry and change angles of the wooden planks and I had the required building assets. The floor and walls were created in a similar way to previous environments using Rock assets and I created new wooden planks models for fences and building up the rocky cliff to build Triangle man’s house. I also used this to build a scaffolding on the other rock face by simply using a local array.
What I learned
That breaking building is harder than it looks, I underestimated how long it’d take to create this environment and this oversight was a mistake, creating ruins and broken houses that look real take a lot of time and a lot of placing and moving objects over and over until them look natural. I generally enjoyed working on this environment and I learned how useful it was to reuse assets and how much time can be saved by planning ahead.
Building the rocky cliffs using pre-made rocks from earlier
Snow technique in 3ds max using intersecting planes
The snow was one of the most problematic parts of development, we outlined that the triangle town should be snowy and cold and initially I planned to use a shader to achieve the snow having it settle based on angles and tesselate the normals to create bumpy snow, I wrote a test shader but I didn’t like the results and the normals didn’t work on everything, it had undesirable effects on things such as rocks as the normals simply split and caused clipping issues, I went back to the drawing board on snow and considered possibly using flat cylinders to simulate patches of snow but this would not only take a long time to place correctly but it would still not sit entirely correctly. I then had the idea for duplicating the floor and using the same soft select tool for manipulating the ground to pull up the duplicate floor to form a second floor layer, I then textured this an off white and build it up around rocks and off road to create snow piles, the overall look was actually very good and worked with the art style.