Where we’re going, we don’t need UV maps!

So, after getting a decent level generator working, I shifted my attention back to modelling. I need to populate my levels with 3D stuff, and that stuff doesn’t just come from nowhere.

I spent a good chunk of time over the past week learning about UV mapping in Blender. I learned how to mark seams and unwrap that way, I learned about the smart unwrapping feature, and I learned about the various projection methods as well.

I have a decent understanding of the very basics. I am the farthest thing from a professional aside from people who have never used Blender before, but I get the general idea.

Case in point, something extremely simple:

column

So this column has some very basic geometry, making it pretty easy to unwrap and texture. Even still, I spent a ton of time on it. Granted, the majority of that time was spent learning and playing around with things until I understood how it worked, but a ton of time none the less.

Even if I got my skills up to a reasonably skilled point, UV mapping and texturing are no joke. They take a ton of work, and I have serious respect for people who can do it well.

So… I don’t want to spend all of my time texturing, so I’m going to sidestep the issue as much as humanly possible using vertex color shaders!

Vertex color shaders are often used in games that use simple “flat” looking 3D art. It basically looks like very early 3D models looked before computers had tons of memory for textures. Vertex color shaders have other uses, but I’ll be using them to drive the overall style of my game.

This will enable me to create simple models, do almost no UV mapping. It’ll also keep my game from looking like total garbage due to limited artistic talent.

So, with all of that out of the way. I’ve started creating some simple assets I can start building the game with, this includes our first enemy type!

imps

 

These enemies are tentatively called “Rainbow Imps”. They spawn in with random colors, and will charge at the player in massive hordes. They’ll be easy to kill, and will explode in a gush of goo that matches their skin color. The goo will leave colored chunks and splat decals all over the place. Basically once you’ve wiped out a horde of these guys, it’ll look like the most intense game of Splatoon ever just took place.

They’re obviously pretty basic looking (just a sphere that has extrusions), but they should be pretty cool looking in motion, and when huge swaths of them get destroyed. Once I get further along, I’ll have to go back and alter their design, but what I have now is usable.

Now that I have the models, I need to create some basic animations, and then work on getting their AI working as intended.

(Also worth noting: I have some basic level geometry in the shot, but expect it to get brighter and more lively once I start doing music visualization.)

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