Because I wasn’t totally happy with my exo-suit design I decided to look into and create a weapon that the exo-suit could use. I didn’t want it to be a gun because from what I’ve seen melee seems like it would be more common in combat. In some of the designs for the game the exo-suit is carrying a samurai sword, but I know others in the group are working on concepts for this. So I thought I’d create a samurai style axe. To start I looked online at some images of samurai swords and axe’s for reference, here are just a few:
I then designed a few samurai style axes.
I ended up going with the design in the top left which is probably the most basic design, but I thought it would be the best to create.
The most difficult part of the modelling was the wrapping, with the axe having a curve it made it difficult to get it accurate. Here are some beauty shots:
I’m quite happy with how the axe looks, with the only problem been the wrapping. With it been high poly the next step would be to bake it down which is something I may do in the future.
*Axe not correct to exo-suit scale.
Following on from my research into mech games, looking at the gameplay and mechanics, I decided to look at some images of various mechs. Even though my main reference will be Gareth’s sketches and designs on the Rabbit Heart blog I thought it could potentially give me some ideas. Here are a few I liked:
I also looked into steampunk machinery because looking at a lot of images of the exo-suit I think it looks to have some steampunk aspects to it.
I then started modelling the exo-suit:
Here are some beauty shots:
For the design I used bits and pieces from Gareth’s multiple designs of the exo-suit. initially I wanted it to look much more run down then it currently is, I wanted more loose wires, pipes and metal plates welded to it, making it look like it had been repaired multiple times. I also wanted to have it much more detailed with additional parts like extra vents, ladders, bolts, armour plating, weapon holsters etc. As for the final design that I currently have there are a lot of issues that I’m not pleased with. The main two issues are the head been too flat at the back and not the correct shape and the legs and especially the arms are too skinny. The back of the mech also looks very unprotected and would of looked better with more armour plating.
But even with all the issues, overall I am happy with the final model. There are obviously aspects of it that could be improved but it’s only a concept design to see what it’s like in 3D space, so it’s fit for purpose. Additionally It’s given me the chance to practise some high poly modelling and even though I haven’t had chance to attempt bake it down It’s still useful practise.
For the mini brief I’ve been looking into mech gameplay and combat in various games.
Titanfall is a multiplayer first person shooter with the main elements of the game been the parkour free running and the ability to call down a Titan (mech) to control in combat.
- First person inside cockpit.
- Melee = Punch.
- Guns held in arms like a human would.
- Ability to dash to dodge attacks, get two dashes then needs to recharge.
- Vortex shield catches incoming projectiles and fire them back.
- If you leave Titan it can guard a location or follow you and fight on autopilot.
- Titan picks you up and puts you into cockpit.
- Primary (Gun) and offhand weapons (Missiles)
- Shields recharge overtime, health doesn’t.
- Three different types of Titan’s with different.
Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark..
An action adventure game based on the Tranformers franchise and is a cross over with the film series.
- Third person gameplay.
- Play as different Autobot’s.
- Dash, jump dash to cross gaps.
- Can transform into vehicles.
- Shield and health.
- Primary gun and special ability (each Autobot is different)
Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3..
Is a tactical action game based on the Gundam anime series and was released in 2011.
- Third person gameplay.
- Melee combat important.
- Lots of enemies.
- Combo guns and melee for score.
- A lot of different abilities.
- Hack and Slash style gameplay.
- Health bar and ability bar.
- Boss fights.
Armoured Core V..
Armoured Core is a series of mech based games developed by From Software. This is the 5th main installment of the series.
- Third person gameplay.
- quick reflex gameplay.
- Ultimate weapons deal big damage but can only be used once per mission.
- Customization – Weapons, parts, appearance etc.
- Boost to gain elevation to climb building.
- Lots of fire power.
- Dark and post apocalypse setting.
The running theme throughout the mech based games is that they all have some sort of Boost/Dash, lots of fire power and some sort of shield.
Potential Exo-Suit Gameplay..
From what I know from the Rabbit Heart concept is that it is trying to stay away from the norm and main stream game mechanics and doesn’t seem to be combat based. This means having lots of fire power won’t be something required in the game, melee combat seems a more viable option utilizing the sword that is depicted in some of the concept imagery. If shooting gameplay was implemented it could be that the ammo is very rare and difficult to find making it important to use it wisely. The boost/dash seems something that could aid the puzzle aspects to the game, there could be jumps and hard to reach places that you can’t gain access to with Ululu but can with the Rabbit Exo-Suit. I don’t think a shield would be implemented because the Exo-Suit looks like it’s steam powered and not high tech enough to have a shield. Something extra that I thought about is that when you are travelling over long distances the Exo-Suit could travel using four legs and move like a Rabbit would.
I’m now going to start modelling the Rabbit Exo-Suit or parts of it.
For our client related practice module we have been given a mini brief of sorts to work on. This is to develop any element in consultation of the rabbit Exo-Suit design from Paul and Gareth’s game Rabbit Heart until we get an outside client. I’m pretty familiar with the game as we had a brief in a previous year to design HUD’s for Ululu (Main Character) and the Exo-Suit.
As the brief is quite open ended and we to some extent have free rein over what we do I was unsure what element I wanted to focus on. Initially I was thinking about creating an environment either the cave area in which the Exo-Suit is stored and initially found or a laboratory in which the scientists would experiment. I was more interested in doing the latter but there isn’t much imagery or details on what a laboratory would look like so would be difficult to create.
Instead I have decided against doing an environment and actually focus on the Exo-Suit, Initially I want to explore how it would be in combat for example what weapons it has, how it uses them, is ammo needed, shields, abilities etc. I’ll do this through research and inputting my own ideas and then posting what mechanics I think would work well. But the main part of what I want to do is to model the full Exo-Suit or just parts of it depending on time, I plan to do it high poly if I have time to improve my own modelling skills. If I do manage to complete the full Exo-Suit I would like to look into how to rig a character to create some animations for it but again this all depends on if I have the time.
- Explore how the suit would perform in combat and what mechanics it could have (design weapons?).
- Model the Rabbit Exo-Suit (or parts of it).
- Rig and animate some movements.
I’ve started by going through the Rabbit Heart blog reading some of it and collecting all the concept art and images of the Exo-Suit I could find, I created the collage below so I could easily view them all..
I’ve saved all the original images so I can look at them in more detail if need be.
From here I’m going to research some games with Mech Suits in them looking at combat, movement and their designs, off the top of my head I’m thinking Transformers, Iron Man, Gundam Series, Armoured Core Series and Titanfall. This will give me a better understanding of how they work in other games and hopefully give me some inspiration.
So I completed my user feedback forms over the Easter holiday and when I got back I got some of my peers (Thanks guys) to user test my GUI/HUD for Ululu and the rabbit exo-suit. In the end I got 7 user feedback forms filled out and I felt that was enough to move on and develop my designs further.
I received a lot of positive comments and constructive criticism which is always very useful, and these are the designs I had user tested:
Heart goes gradually grey to black as Ululu gets damaged, will be same for stamina (Ears):
When you hover over the bag this appears, 2 quick selection slots and a bar to show how much space is left in your bag:
Full bag opens when you click it:
When you hover over the compass in the bottom left more detailed one appears:
(Ignore green circle that’s to trigger damage) Screens to display Ululu portrait and ammo:
Health bar and power cell for rabbit ‘stamina’:
I’ve read all the feedback from the user feedback forms now and these are the main points that I could think about and change or improve.
- More detail behind the bag?
- Incorporate more together, health and compass near each other?
- More detailed compass
- Smaller compass
- Opacity lower on bag and compass?
- Bag on click too intrusive?
- Make everything feel more apart of the game.
- Mini map?
- Too many bag slots?
Some of the feedback I expected, especially with the compass which was just a place holder really, but has given me some things to think about when I improve my design.
- View too small? Claustrophobic?
- Ululu’s health too small? is it needed?
- Make the health bar look better.
- Cross-hair too thick.
- More colour?
- More robot looking things, circuits, cables, monitors etc.
- Make it look overrun
- Animations to screens?
- Add way to shoot and lose bullets.
Again a lot of what i expected, the main thing was that the colour was too grey and boring so that is something I am defiantly going to change. Another idea I like and will be using is to have it very overrun will cables and monitors.
Now that Ive got all my main points I can improve on I will start redesigning my GUI/HUD’s.
To start thinking about the GUI for Rabbit Heart i started to jot down a few notes alongside some drawings to help me think of what i might want to include in it..
Rabbit Exo-Suit Ideas:
I also drew some different types of hearts and rabbit ears..
I will be coming up with some prototypes this week both for Ululu and the rabbit exo-suit.
Rabbit Heart is a game concept being developed by Paul and Gareth for educational purposes, it’s to show students concept work and what is needed when developing a game. From what i have researched it is a free roaming open world puzzle game with action elements to it. You play as lead protagonist Ululu who is a young girl that has crashed her spaceship on a strange unexplored planet, armed only with her laser pistol she goes exploring. Whilst exploring she finds a giant rabbit exo-suit that reminds her of her toy rabbit that she has lost, she somehow activates it and it comes with her. Ululu can go into the rabbit exo-suit and control it, the cockpit is located in the chest and that’s why the game is called rabbit heart.
There are two different player modes, one is where you are playing as Ululu in third person. The other is when you are inside the rabbit exo-suit which is a first person pilot view. The inventory system is a key aspect of the game, Ululu has a rucksack that can only carry so many items, so the player will have to swap out items and leave certain items that they deem less important. Some other notes i wrote down are as followed:
- Ululu is a bad shot
- No combat experience
- Rabbit suit is a good shot
- Different HUD’s for each player mode
- When in rabbit suit see Ululu’s reflection and emotions/reactions *DOOM*
From my research i will design some HUD’s for each player mode and maybe design a menu system.
*Rabbit Heart Blog*