It’s been a little more than 2 months of my crash course back into 3d modeling, texturing, rigging, and animation after a long hiatus. I felt like it was time to put what I’ve been learning into a practical experiment: am I good enough at this to hypothetically remake Space Food Truck as a 3d game? I picked what I felt like was my most challenging character (I’ve never done hair before) and gave it a shot. It’d be fun to rig and animate her a little later on, if I have the time. I have a feeling I won’t.
Alex is almost done developing asynchronous play for good old 2D SFT, and we’ll have an announcement on that release very soon.
Testing how malleable Blender animation and rigs can be. Blank Man is now Lizard Man! pic.twitter.com/7nESZ6pLCY
— One Man Left Studios (@OneManLeft) July 14, 2016
Testing how malleable Blender animation and rigs can be. Blank Man has become Lizard Man!
After a little more than a month of 3d re-education, I’ve finally got a decent animation to show for it. With some more experience, maybe I’ll be good enough for us to make a decent-looking 3d game.
Making progress in my 3d education. Rigged and finally animated! pic.twitter.com/3PKJBMXQ0T
— One Man Left Studios (@OneManLeft) July 11, 2016
I’d hoped to have more cool stuff to show off from my 3d training tangent, but I’ve spent the past week refining that same old Blank Man model and rig. The past two days have been devoted to this one flippin’ shoulder, which is apparently a very tricky part of the anatomy to get right. This model went from “I’ll make a formless blob in the shape of a man and move on” to “I’ll make a person with good edgeflow I can base all my people-shaped models on”. I’ve deleted his hands and shoulders 3 or 4 times each, but I’ve learned a ton buckling down and trying to get it all right.
I believe asynchronous play is coming to Space Food Truck this month, after which I think we’ll do some game design again. I think I remember how to do that.
After a month or so of major overhaul to Space Food Truck‘s networking functionality, we’ve just released a convenient rejoin feature for online games! Now if a player is disconnected mid-turn, they’ll have a full 60 seconds to pick up exactly where they left off. There’s no longer a need for anyone to exit and rehost, or to retake the beginning of your turn to catch up. A popup will appear on the main menu after you’ve disconnected, or you can click “rejoin” in the “Find Online Game” screen.
Of course, this feature is just the first big hurdle we needed to clear on our way toward full asynchronous support. Soon it’ll be much easier to find a crew for a pick-up game of SFT online, and you’ll have the option of taking your turns whenever it’s convenient for you.
It’s been a bit of a slog in 3d learning land the past week or so. My plan was to make a super simple mesh, rig it up, and try a little animation. But there was some ambition creep, my simple mesh got fingers and articulations, I experimented and improved my tutorial rig a little, and I spent all yesterday trying to figure out what the best low poly topology for fingers would look like. I have absolutely nothing cool to show for all that, but I learned a lot!
Next I’ll finally have something to animate with, and I might try scrapping this mesh to see if I can refit this rig to a character with different proportions.
I wasn’t at all excited about learning Blender at the start of all this, but it really does do everything Maya did for me. Some things worse, but a lot of things better.
Slowly getting more comfortable with the Blender 3d software. Just finished exploring their UV unwrapping tools and some bump mapping workflows. By the time Alex has asychronous play ready for Space Food Truck, I’m hoping to be pretty decent at this!
Alex is still plugging away at the asynchronous update for Space Food Truck, which gives me a few months to learn some new 3d software for future projects. My very limited 3d experience has been in Maya, but we feel like Blender might be a safer bet for us going forward, seeing as it’s free and pretty powerful. The learning curve switching over has been steep, but I’m starting to get the hang of it and its million shortcut keys.
I’ll try to get back in the habit of regular blog updates and post some screenshots of my experiments.
You may have noticed we’ve been pretty quiet here and on social media lately, and that’s because we’re concentrating. But that shouldn’t get in the way of our usual progress reports, so here’s what we’ve been up to!
Alex is squashing bugs and getting the framework up and running for Space Food Truck‘s asynchronous update, which will help users find an online match more easily and will probably take a while. And since I have a bit more time on my hands than I know what to do with, I’m taking the opportunity to bone up on my 3D art skills. You might remember back in Tilt to Live 2 we had the 3D arrow and the 3D brimstone weapon… and that was about it. I’d learned a ton about rigging and animation and stuff, but forgot most of it for never having used it. This time I’m aiming to stick with it, so we can make whatever kind of games we want going forward.
Once the async update is ready, we’ve got all kinds of new card content and gametypes we want to do for SFT. So if new content is what you’re waiting for, keep an eye on this blog!
Alex and I talk a little about what we did last week and what’s next for Space Food Truck. Then we return to the land of Dragon Sweat for our weekly SFT key giveaway.