Now begins a shot series of simple projects, on the path to my first full game.
This was the first: based on the intro to Game of Thrones, specifically the Kings Landing clockwork model that builds up. The aim here was to have a project I would feel passionate about enough to see it through to the end. Game of Thrones is pretty damn awesome, so how could I resist?
- References were taken from the intro video (which at youtube quality is not the best). The plan was to ensure that everything was as close to accurate as possible.
- This was then modelled in 3DS max, taking time to ensure it matched the reference. Difficult when the far side of the keep is never in sight!
- Modelling was happily very basic for this, however I discovered quite quickly how limited my skills were in this regard, and vowed to learn more for the next project.
- 3DS max was then used to animate it all, with basic keyframing, and always double checking the reference video to ensure the timings for each element remained the same. My reasoning was that I could control it all and then simply import the animation to Unity.
- Originally I was going to animate this to match the actual intro – cutting at the right time to the music etc – however I discovered that Unity was not liking the way I had set up the scene in 3DS. Scales were messed up and performance was awful. The ‘globe’ sun from the start of the intro can be seen just below. The sheer scale I was working at was messing with Unity and causing it to crash repeatedly. I also discovered that my keyframed camera movement was causing a quick ‘movement’ to be visible when changing angles in Unity, and so in the end this plan was scrapped and I went for a more interactive option.
- I also only later discovered that animating a setup like this in 3DS and then bringing the whole shebang to Unity was a plain stupid way of doing things. All the little buildings should have been prefabs in Unity dropped into place, rather than individually animated. However, the models themselves were very low poly and so general performance is not so bad.
- I added some basic colours (no real texture work) and then a large, basic texture for the wider Westeros around Kings landing. This was just after Unity Free allowed for real-time shadows from a direction light, which added a great deal to the look of the thing.
- The only real Unity work here was in adding control for the user/camera and a small bit of code to ensure when the user clicked the mouse it began to animate (or reversed animation). This took some time to get right, as the default controls did not give the right control I wanted – which was a sort of flying-around movement. In the end I went for arrow keys to translate the camera around, mouse to free-look and separate keys for elevation.
- Modelling for games is far more complicated and requires more craft than I imagined. The models here, while low poly, are not set up best for unity (or games in general) and the animation setup is appallingly in-efficient.
- Textures are non-existent. I have since moved on a LONG way with this.
- I actually started by replicating the intro itself, set to music and matching it shot for shot, but the ‘sun’ object did not work out and due to my inexperience with Unity I could not stop it crashing. An ‘interactive’ version like this here seemed to work out better.
- Controls are very important and I want to ensure each project from now on is less clunky to use than this one.
- My dream of an interacting map of westeros remains a distant one!
- This plays slower for me than the stand alone PC version. I suspect I made a lot of mistakes with the setup and it does not surprise me it runs poorly.
- Right click brings up the player menu currently, so you can’t ‘rewind’ or reset the animation.
This is a PC download only: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/26496233/GoTTest4-PC-Int.zip
- Left Mouse Button – Start Animation
- Right Mouse Button – Reverse/reset animation
- Mouse free-look
- Mouse wheel for zoom
- ‘WASD’ or arrows to move
- E – go higher
- C – go lower