Working on the Aesthetic
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Few things get me as excited as working on Hazordhu, especially when it comes to how it looks! Todays post is all about the overall look and feel of the game!
In my last post, I mentioned that I would be keeping with the same overall style as the Classic version! It's not a small feat to try and convert a 2D artsyle into a 3D medium, but by the Aels we're doing it! Here are a few shots and gifs of some of the work so far!
One new aspect of developing in 3D is the fact we now have a more flexible point of view! It's no accident that Hazordhu has the perspective that it does. Like I said in the last post, I want to maintain the look and feel of the game, and while I tried first person and third person perspectives, the classic feel of the Bird's Eye view just feels.. right!
Keeping a bird's eye perspective lets us play around a bit more with what the camera is doing, too! In the screen-cap below you can see how the camera moves around the player and heads off in the direction that we're moving. It doesn't just sit centered on our character the entire time, so it makes the game feel a little bit more alive and responsive!
In addition to the camera, one thing I've been learning about are shaders! Oooohhh, Shaders! You can do a lot of cool effects with these guys! I don't want to get too techy techy about it, not least of all because shaders kind of make my head hurt, but I digress! Hazordhu's pixel art style has a very distinct cartoon look to it. Some people say it has a chibi feel, and I would definitely agree! Whatever you call it, it's definitely recognizable. So what does this have to do with shaders? Simply put, shaders determine how an object is rendered on your computer screen. So, we can use some cool features in Unity to achieve exactly the look we want. The look that I've started working on for Hazordhu is called Cel Shading, which has more clear transitions from one colour to the next. The most recognizable example for me are the newer Zelda games, Windwaker comes to mind!
If you look closely in the above capture, you'll notice that his head looks a little flat in some places, so I went to take care of that! I also removed the glossy shine on our character and tweaked his colour a bit. Now he's looking a little bit healthier! The Bux got the same treatment, off-camera.
Getting this working has been a lot of (frustrating!) fun! I'm happy with how it's coming together, and I'm looking forward to fine-tooning it as time goes on! You can tell in the screencap that it doesn't yet handle shadows, and there will be a darkened outline around everything at some point, too!
In the screen-cap below, you can see how the helmet has a shine to it that isn't present on our character or the matte clothing he's wearing. The models I'm using here are still very quickly assembled. There is still work to be done, as you can see with the rather strange deformations on the character and his shirt, especially around the hips!
Thank you for taking the time to get caught up on what I've been working on! Head over to the Patreon page to help keep Hazordhu Free For All Forever and support the development of the game!
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