Yes, we can scarcely believe it. Dave here. We are actually going to have a couple of minutes of animated CG characters to promote the game! Awesome!
City of Steam: The 2 Min CG Movie – Can we afford it?
Pffft! CG Movie? Afford? Money? Ha ha. Not a chance. Don’t believe it.Okay, okay, so it’s only going to be 2 minutes long...... Sheesh! But even that is costly for a team like ours, so how did we pull it off?
Well, last year in November I ran into a guy named Evan at GDC China in Shanghai. He was pretty interested in the game, and really impressed at the stuff we were doing with mere megabytes of download. After a chat, it turned out he was the founder of Big American Films. He showed us demos of his company’s animated CG – we were humbled.
We all left GDC Shanghai with that seedling idea...... Man, it would be cool to see our characters in high-res, high-poly CG. Wish we had the budget, grumble grumble......
Just after New Year, Evan and I bumped into each other on the internet, and his CG team was looking for a filler job between other big projects. I was saying how it would be so cool to do some CG for our game, and he just said “Why not?” And so we got talking about doing this CG video just for fun. And that’s how it started.
So I have to say a really big thanks to all the guys at Big American Films for this opportunity –if City of Steam makes some money, let’s do more cool vids and I promise to pay you back next time! Thanks guys!
City of Steam: The 2 Min CG Movie – Concepts
Well, after we talked about it, someone had to do the concept art for the characters. We started with just the heads. We wanted to do 6 characters, but that would be too labor intensive, so we trimmed the cast down to just the three characters we liked the most, Ghan, Soth and Yunk. We figured they would be living in a house, just like the characters in a player’s account –they wouldn’t normally hang out, but this odd situation brings them all together. Morwen and Jamie did some amazing stuff on these faces. We were all impressed.
Ghan Borog: He’s your typical working class Joe. He’s an every man’s orc! He likes the simple comforts –food, rest, ale, food, sport on the radio, etc. I kinda think he’s got a grumpy grandfather he has to take care of every now and then… why not?
Soth Arylethyn: Sophisticated, cheap, refined. He’s living in this cramped scenario, feels a bit sorry for himself. Manipulates the others somewhat – actually loves kittens. And he’s umm… really old, probably close to one hundred (you know, elven).
Yunk: Small, fast, scatterbrained, lovable. Likes tampering with everything and anything. Gets into all sorts of trouble –mischievous. Very specifically superstitious about numbers. And oddly… a total babe (wasn’t intended, I should have been more specific, but thank you concept artists!)
Seeing as this was more a fun project than a commercial one, we had to do a lot of the early modeling ourselves. Then we passed our low-res models over to Evan at Big American Films so they could do high res faces and special facial animation rigging… which we have no idea how to do. Anyway, I haven’t seen the high res ones yet, but here’s some small pics of the low res ones we made.
And those were the concepts that we started with. It took a few days trying to make nice models cause our 3D guys aren’t experienced in that. We can only hope they’ll look even nicer in CG!
Look forward to next week where we’ll talk about the script a bit or well the script in development, as it were.