Sunday, May 16, 2010


I got myself into troubles by opening that door. You boys (and who knows, girls)expect a new scene every week of course, so I'm modeling like mad. Luckily creating a hallway isn't that difficult. Even I can create a corridor in LightWave. But a scene is much more than that. For one instance, how to make it "scary"? It is supposed to be a horror game, so if there is one important thing...

Well, I never wet my pants while watching a static picture though. Except maybe from a shocking reality photo. A game will never carry the emotional value that real footage sometimes has. Like the naked little girl running for a napalm attack during the Vietnam war. You can see the terrible fear in her eyes, and when really thinking about it, you just hope your children will never have to run like that. Madness. But when looking at a computed image, no matter how realistic, it won't grab you to the throat like that. At least not in the next 10 years I guess. You ever felt sorry for assaulting a grandma in GTA? Ever closed a games-magazine while reading a Silent Hill review because it got too much? There is still a big difference between fiction and reality. And probably that's a good thing.

In other words, it's pretty damn difficult to spook the viewer with a few screenshots, especially without having an daunting orchestra or cinematics with some "boo!" events for backup. Include that with my lacking skills to create awesome maps, models or textures. So I'm not pretending to scare you. But at least let's try to illustrate the setting a little bit. Not that the game will be nothing but dark stinky corridors, but I just can't model a cathedral, hellish ruins or a Resident Evil mansion. And certainly not in a week!


Nah, the scenery I have in mind is a mixture between 'realistic' Soviet building architecture (which is not always necessarily cheap and ugly) and very unrealistic dreamish/nightmarish scenes. There shouldn't be much boundaries to the design, so a mapper can go completely ape(if the engine allows). Although I'm trying to keep away from military complexes and evil laboratories for a change. These are cool as well, but we already have Halflife, Resident Evil, Doom3, Farcry and countless other games for that. Been there, done that.

Choose your weapon. A working flashlight with a simple dusty sprite as lightshaft effect(for now). Got to mirror the tangents here by the way.

The hallway here falls somewhere between realistic and dreamish I suppose. Not very likely you'll see it in an ordinary building, but not impossible either. The goal of this (simple) scene is to build a climax. Just a little one. Not an easy job though. As the creator of this little piece of game universe, I know every detail (and bug) of it, tested it six thousand times, and knowing exactly what is going to happen. So how could I judge this scene? I don't think Stephen King leaps into his wife arms after reading his own books for review.

What I'm trying to do is to post a movie here once the scene is complete. And then let you judge. That would be the first tiny demo scene as well. It's always good to have stuff like that ready to show. Unless the clip will suck of course. Hopefully we'll find out within... let's say 2 months... Dammit, another promise I'll have to make true.

This hallway surely could use some cleaners. Or Quick 'n Brite. Someone smeared the whole thing with dirt. A simple trick to surprise your mom is to paste dirty decals onto the walls. But I was looking for a little bit more effect... Reflective blood, eventually some parallax effect. So I made a handcrafted layer of puke and poop, including reflectivity, normalMapping, parallax mapping and a detail texture for the tiny splatters. Let's call it "shitshader". Basically it's just simple multi-texturing, but using a "Burn" blendingmode instead of additive or multiplying:
......burnedColor = white - (white - baseLayer) / burnTexture
I was quite busy drawing those textures and adding that shader properly this week. And almost reproduced the same results within seconds on the toilet Saturday morning after that marriage party.


  1. Yep, Prey was our last title.

    I really like the atmosphere you have. You really have hit the dreamy & spooky look on the head with the soft lighting and shadows. Look forward to seeing the video.

  2. Glad people like it! I just remember I made a Prey pastel drawing years ago. There was a cool (concept?)art picture of a zombie-guy that I drew over on paper. Let's see if I can post a foto of it next week. I'll have to search the attic. Can't have bloody zombie drawings hanging around here with kids in the house!