Hello and welcome to another behind the scenes look at the development of Air Kingdoms! Today we are talking about the third race in the game, the Golemites. We'll just talk a little about the creation of the process from concept to implementation. Let's get started!
As with all characters in development we start off with concept art. We knew we wanted a big hulking race of touch characters, we just didn't know what they looked like. So our concept artist started working on hundreds of concepts. We saw all shapes and sizes, different rock formations, types, colors and some with and without lava and fire attachments.
During development we thought it would be a good idea to add some sort of magic to the rock creatures. Sort of adding a bit of nature elemental magic. So we came up with the idea of having a creature made from different rocks held together by magic. So our artist started changing up the design and we began to see an amazing range of characters we could use which represented the vision we were looking for. We settled on a piece of concept which showed the elemental portion of the character why still keeping it's tough and ferocious demeanor.
Next we had our 3D artist sculpt and model the 3D version of the concept art for using in game. Starting off with a Z-Brush sculpt and brining it into Maya for the low poly version. Working on the mobile and tablet space we need characters to be as low poly as possible due to the fact that we are putting a large amount of them on screen at once. Once the 3D model was within the limitations of our engine the artist textured the model and finalized it before sending it over to our animation team.
The next step in implementing our Golemite character was to rig and animate him. Rigging this character in particular was tougher than the others due to the amount of movement that needed to be happening. The elemental magic that keeps the different parts of his body together needed to be moving at all times but we wanted the main portion of the character to move like a humanoid should. So our animation team needed to get a free floating bone set up while still having control over it. Think of it like a child attached to a parent with one of those kid "leashes". The child is able to run around and act however they want, but when the parent moves the child moves with it. So the rig had to be very custom fit for this particular Golemite.
After the rig was complete the animation team animated the Golemite set and implemented it into our engine for testing. Once the testing was complete the animation team was given the green light and the Golemite character was ready to go! Implementing a character is a very arduous process but is very rewarding once the team sees their work working in game.
That was just a taste of the process the team went through when creating and implementing the Golemite race. And like all the races in our game we have multiple characters, we can't wait to show you them in our upcoming posts so stay tuned for more!