Hi my name is Eddie Lee, founder at Funktronic Labs. The studio was founded in Japan around 2013 by a team of ex-developers from Q-Games (who developed the PixelJunk series). We are a small team of developers, designers, and artists from all over the world. Our focus is on bringing creative experiences through games, VR/AR and other interactive media. Beyond creating our own IP, we have also done creative work for companies like Google, Intel, Leap Motion, Unity, and many others.
We have a passion for VR/AR, we love the physicality and the amount of expression possible within the medium. We just recently released Starbear: Taxi, a charming VR-exclusive game where the player pilots a spaceship and races against the clock to taxi passengers around a tiny futuristic bear city.
In our 3D art piece above, we wanted to show our fuzzy hero Starbear’s charm and cuteness. It wasn’t enough to have just him though, so we also brought along his little spaceship and put it all on his taxi platform. We posed and developed the assets within Maya, textured within Photoshop and then brought into Sketchfab.
Starbear: Taxi was designed from the start to support as many VR platforms as possible, which created constraints in terms of how much detail we could provide with both polygons and texture sizes. We therefore wanted to put an emphasis on a ‘clean’ look and style – we wanted to keep it simple with textures, and only use albedo, ambient-occlusion and normal maps for the scene. Having something visually easily identifiable like a bear also meant we did not have to provide a whole lot of detail in the character to make it recognizable.
Fun Fact: we have two “full-sized” starbears in our office. You’ll see them pop up on our twitter feed from time to time.
How We Use Sketchfab
We love Sketchfab. It has allowed us to get some public input on the style of our robots for our then in-development game Cosmic Trip. The Sketchfab community was very positive. In addition, we often look at other people’s designs for inspiration for cool 3D rendering styles/techniques we can achieve in VR.
Here are some examples of really interesting rendering styles:
During the early access development of Cosmic Trip (our previous VR experience), gamers really enjoyed seeing the models of the bots online, and were able to chime in on bot design ideas, some of which actually made it into the game. We also include it on our marketing pages.
We’re always working on cool projects and trying out new ideas all the time. Follow us on Twitter and check out our newly released VR game Starbear: Taxi, explore our other VR game Cosmic Trip, or play our non VR game Nova-111. Thanks for checking us out!