Weekly Dev Diary #12 - environment skybox

Hi, my name is Martin Kocisek (Myers) and I’m responsible for the environments of Deicides. 
I saw the post from guys at Hardwired on their facebook gamedev group about them looking for help, and since I’m a simple guy I hit reply as soon as I saw a project as exciting as this one. 


My first task on the project is to create an Asteroid Mine environment and the focus of this blog post will be on the making-of of skybox for this environment. 


"Skybox for top down camera action RPG?" – you may ask. Well let's call it background then. 
Because this particular level will take place on mining platforms built at the opening of a large surface mine of a small asteroid, the player will be able to see a background environment under those platforms.
In the spirit of the old saying: you’re only as good as your references are, I spent fair bit of time collecting references of the largest strip /surface mines. The scale of those are breath taking, you can barely see huge CAT machinery if you are to zoom out. So i had nice references for scale and overall mood, next step was to find some photos of asteroids and comets to get a better idea of materials and textures.

ON WITH THE MODELING (and texturing)

   The whole processes uses a standard workflow:

  • basic mesh
  • high resolution sculpt
  • re-topology of low poly mesh 
  • unwrapping 
  • baking of normal maps

Once I was happy with with normal maps bake and overall model work, I've start with the texturing.You can choose many tools these days but for me its Substance painter.It gives you flexibility and speed enough workflow to get great results in decent amount of time.



All work on the model is done, so its time to test it in the engine. Testing of geometry, lights, performance or simply just see how Unreal translates your previous work in to the engine. To enhance the result I decided to create an additional detail normal map that I blended in to get some more details from the surface. 

But this was only a false summit. More work is on the horizon. What we need  now is to introduce some human build structures that would add more depth to the story of this place.


With the little peek into this next phase I’d like to thank you all for your interest and support. If you have any questions you can find me (and our team) at Discord channel.


See you next time.