Freeway Fighter – 3D Development

In this assignment I had to push forward with my vehicular concepts by modelling my post-apocalyptic car and presenting it in the form of a game.

 


 

Important Links

Final Gameplay Showcase

The Evolution of Controller Interfaces

The Purpose and Components of Game Engines

Forza Horizon 3 – UI Case Study

Mad Max (Game) – UI Case Study

Using the Unity Terrain Editor (Extra Curricular)


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Evaluation

With this project I found that the most difficult part was the 3D modelling of the car. It was a challenge to keep my topology neat and because of this I struggled to UV map the model, resulting in some awkwardly stretched textures. This can be seen on my trailer – the wood grain is stretched out along the inner panels. This looks unprofessional. To improve this I would go back and dedicate more time to sorting out my UV and presenting it in a more professional way.

I spent a lot of my time creating my landscapes. I went hands on with the Unity Terrain System to try and create a natural looking desert wasteland, including sand dunes, long expansive roads and natural foliage. I enjoyed my time with the Unity Terrain System and found experimenting with different methods of creating terrain very thoroughly enjoyable. However, in some cases the landscapes appears quite empty – and although this would be expected of a desert landscape, I think that it would have been a good idea to add some more foliage, maybe even cacti of some sort to populate my desert.

I think that I could have done more to improve my HUD. Although it is clear what each element of my UI does, I believe that I could have created something of a higher quality. For example, my fuel and health bars (seen around my speedometer) should have been more distinctive, perhaps through the use of the colours red and yellow. This would be a better visual cue for the players, as red and yellow are commonly used as colours to represent health and fuel. The HUD also appears transparent in some cases. This may have been because of the use of a low opacity brush. I do think that this effect may have been an improvement to what I already had, but increasing the opacity would have been better for the most part.

Texturing my car was interesting. I used Substance Painter 2 to paint my car with extra details, including bullet holes, rust and dents. I found that this raised the quality of my car quite significantly, as the use of Normal, Metallic and Heightmaps allowed for more visual fidelity. These maps were much easier to create using Substance Painter than doing them by hand with Photoshop and the also appeared to be less flat and cel-shaded. To improve my textures I would once again say that I would improve my UV map, which would allow me to keep a consistent quality of texture across my vehicle.

Overall, I think that the combination of high quality textures, good lighting and the Unity Post Processing Stack really benefited the final quality of my project. The landscapes felt like a natural desert and because of this the game felt very tied together, as the themes matched. I could have improved elements of my HUD, and my vehicle – but in the end I am quite happy with my product.

 

 

 

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Freeway Fighter Inspired Vehicle Concepts

The Purpose of Concept Art

Concept Art is the beginning of the development process for video game art. This ranges from characters, environments and objects. Anything seen in a video game has likely been redrafted continuously until the developers settled on the final product that they liked most. These concepts are drafted by skilled artists until a final result is realised and rendered – ready for the final product. This takes a lot of work and involves the input of many game artists before the final ideas are presented to the team.

The ideas are then developed further in what is referred to as the convergent process, as different varieties of similar ideas are explored – resulting in a wide range of options for the team to work with. Once these ideas are fully developed, they are passed forward to the 3D team, ready to be fully realised and rendered.

Concept art is useful in more ways too. For example, if a team were to start a fresh project, the artists could use concept art to ensure that everybody has a similar final image for the game in mind. This is important as it ensures consistency in the final game, making it look and feel much more professional to the players.

Concept art can be used as a method of generating hype for a game. Towards the end of production, a developer may want to release concept art to build up an audience and tease fans. This not only markets the game, but it makes people excited for it’s release – which is an important factor in increasing a games sales. This concept art however, is usually not “true” concept art and has likely been modified to be more presentable and eye-catching than early concept art would look. Similar to the art seen in the image below.

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Without concept art, many development teams would struggle to reach a high quality final product. Without the pre-planning that comes naturally with the process of creating concept art, the final vision of a game will more than likely be skewered throughout the team, with everybody having a different final vision for the game. This leads to a patchy final product, in which the combination of environments, props and characters will seem out of place, and unnatural – which ruins the chance of immersion for a player as they struggle to believe in the world that has been created…

Creating a believable world, where everything that is, belongs – should be the main focus of a game designer, and that – is the purpose of concept art.

Research

I looked into the Freeway Fighter comic book. During my research, I noticed that a lot of the vehicles had been reinforced with common resources, such as wood, rope and various types of metal.

This information was useful as it presented the opportunity to extend on the core shapes of vehicles, with extra structures/modifications that significantly changed the structure of the cars.

Freeway Fighter FINAL

Divergent/Convergent Sheets

All Divergent/Convergent concepts are based off of real-life vehicles. (All listed below).

Vehicles PSDVehicle DevelopmentVehicle Development 2

Full List of used vehicles:

  • Chevelle SS
  • Ford Capri
  • Ford Bronco
  • Ford Anglia
  • Ford AUS
  • Dodge Air
  • Dodge AU Pickup
  • Dodge Station Wagon

The Blueprints for each individual vehicle were gathered from https://www.the-blueprints.com. Images from this site were used as a base for many of my divergent designs.

Final Vehicle Model Sheet

Vehicle Model Sheet

Concept Art – Evaluation

I believe that my concept art is to a near professional standard.

I have followed the industry standard process to create and develop a wide range of ideas relating to the Freeway Fighter style. Going through an evolutionary process I then explored my ideas further to reach my final concept.

This evolutionary process allowed me to pick the most interesting parts from different images, and combine them to create an interesting final product – in this case an adaptation of the Ford AUS Falcon.

To improve on my concepts, I would try to weaponise some of my vehicles so that they are better suited to the Freeway Fighter style, as found in my research on the comic books. This would include the addition of spikes to the front of my vehicles, mounted guns, and extra reinforcement of the chassis through the use of various metals/woods.

Extras

HUD Concept Sheet

 

Environment Tire Wall