Since Project Pulse’s environment is procedurally generated, we had to set-dress the city block by block. Our focus here was to make our awesome code come to life with our environment assets.
Up to this point, our Lead Programmer, Alex Croom, has worked on procedurally creating the city. We had roads and sidewalks, but the spaces between these were blank. Alex has allowed the spaces in between to be filled with block blueprints of various sizes. Our Art Director, Naomi Masterson, created blueprints for our building pieces. She allowed us to quickly change the amount of floors a building has, the style of roof, windows, doors, and colors. Finally, our Lead Designer, ZeWei Malota, created many blueprints to automatically change environment asset colors and positions. Together, they made a guide on how to effectively use their tools for environment art.
Us environment artists were able to use all of these pre-existing products from our team to create beautiful buildings and city blocks to populate our game. We worked in blueprints of pre-existing sizes (such as 2,000 by 1,000 meters) that were delegated as either being part of residential or city scapes. This is so we can allow the players to move from less to more populated areas, like a real city. We had to be aware of how these pieces would spawn related to roads, sidewalks and gameplay. Within these limits, we had our artistic freedom!
For this part of the environment design, we focused on sections that would make sense in a city, but cannot be distinguished as having any particular function. They can look like small stores, apartments, etc., but not like schools or police centers for example. These will come later.
We wanted the city to look well worn and live in. There’s evidence of life everywhere, from toys in front yards to terrible parking jobs. Our assets have a “wonky” personality (talked about in ZeWei’s blog, “Making the Project Pulse Style Guide”) and we wanted to reflect this in the environment storytelling. Our first and main priority was to make our city ooze personality and fun for the player!
- Christina Spicer