Dear Future (WIP, Team of 5)

Team Members: Kevin Wong, Allen Zhang, Sihao Zhou, and Ruonan Chen 

Dear Future is a second year thesis project that I have been volunteering to help with. The concept was proposed by Kevin Wong in spring of 2020, and I joined the team this fall. The game is about exploration and photography in a post apocalyptic world that was destroyed by it's own corruption. Each player explores for one session before passing the camera on to the next player and then following the progress of the story through the games community. I was particularly interested in helping with this project for its ambitious attempt to create social connections between players in a unique way and the importance that architectural design would play in its development.

  • Created concept sketches and mood boards

  • Created layout documents using AutoCAD to show needed placement of assets on procedural generation

  • Worked with procedural generation engineer to develop assets

  • 3D modeled assets for procedurally generated and manually designed areas using Maya

  • Modeled landmark assets to provide unique areas for players to explore

This is a screenshot from the game in its current state. Our level designers, Kevin Wong and Sihao Zhou, designed basic layouts for the cities that will allow procedural generation to add variety to the world. Our procedural generation engineer, Ruonan Chen, developed a system that will randomly place these layouts for this city as well as placing buildings.  Currently these are premade buildings I created but eventually they will be procedurally generated from the tile sets I have been working on. 

Procedural Generation Building Pieces

Ruonan and I have been working together develop these procedurally generated building types.  I have been building the tilesets in Maya while she has been writing the code that will assemble those pieces in game.

Landmarks

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Most recently, I have been working with our level designers, Sihao and Kevin, to create landmarks that will appear throughout the procedurally generated cities.  These locations are where players will have to navigate through the area to discover story items.  The three of developed a workflow that allowed me to propose a basic initial design and then pass on the gray box model for them to add a critical path for the player to follow.  After, I would be able to create the final asset.  Throughout the process, we continually tested the metrics of the model to make sure gameplay was working as intended.

  • Top Left - Temple: This was first landmark we developed before we had completely developed our process.  It went through many iterations which helped us figure out what would be most important for our landmark development process

  • Top Right - Pantheon: This landmark was based on the Pantheon in Rome. 

  • Bottom Left - Water Tower: In the story, water was an important resource to this society, and control of water was corrupted, making a water tower a natural inspiration for a landmark

  • Bottom Right - The Pillar: This is the last landmark that players will be able to explore.  While they can visit at any point throughout the game, they will need to unlock all other story items before being able to explore The Pillar.  It is intended to be other worldly and hostile as a symbol of all that was wrong with this society.

Early Design

Layout of Bases v2.jpg
City Block Arrangements v2 updated.jpg

These are some drawings I created towards the beginning of the time on project as a proposal for what kind of base models I could make that could be procedurally arranged into a variety of ways to help make exploring this world more interesting.  Kevin Wong and Sihao Zhou developed a system that can work on top of these bases to create more interesting city layouts that include more than just square city blocks.

Hexagon City Layout.jpg
Square City Layout.jpg
the layers.jpg
Roman Architecture Mood Board.jpg
Neo-Classical Mood Board.jpg

These are some sketches and mood boards a created when I first joined the team based on goals and intent for the game provided by Kevin Wong.  These sketches were useful to help us all feel on the same page as we started out and start getting out ideas that we could continue to develop.

© 2020 by Ana Love