In Inside Gaming, we invite Sketchfab game developers to talk about their work. We asked Team OL to talk about their upcoming project, with the working title “Project OL” Today’s insights are from Lussy, 3D artist at Team OL.
We are Team OL, a small video game developer team working on a project that I would like to introduce to you.
About The Game
We want our project to deviate from existing games. Our idea has lots of elements mixed in, which makes the game resemble many genres. First and foremost, the game plays like a side-scrolling beat-em-up from the 8- and 16-bit era – moving in 3 dimensions with a fixed camera.
Around that time, weapons in beat-em-ups were mostly power-ups, not equipable, permanent items. We would like to bring back that feel by making weapons disposable. Of course, there will be a few special weapons you can keep and bring home, but for the most part, you will have to struggle not to ruin or drop your weapon when a huge enemy jumps on you. This means that you will be able to pick up parts of the environment, like sticks and poles (and bigger things) to replace your weapons, so you will always have something to fight with. This places more emphasis on playing the game, instead of grinding for better equipment.
Even though weapons aren’t as meaningful as in other games, you can still enhance them, or craft entirely new ones if you like a specific weapon style or prefer a certain sword edge. But you have to remember that you can’t rely on these lasting forever. Basically, you have to get good at controlling your character to survive and adapt to new situations, instead of relying on your gear to absorb hits.
We are aiming at creating a quick and satisfying combat system with some platforming mixed in. It is also 4-player co-op with four different characters, where players will have to work together to take down big foes. But besides that, we want to place emphasis on storytelling, too. One of our challenges is making the story meaningful, but also making it somewhat optional, in case someone only wants to experience the gameplay. But the people interested can find out a lot about the game’s universe – we are creating a custom writing system that will play a big role in figuring out the mysteries and hidden secrets of the story.
Our Team, Our Goals
We are a three-man team. The man who came up with the initial idea was Geril. He is an ambitious young 3D artist who has experience in many things related to game development. Our programmer, Alex, is a professional but he’s still new to the engine we’re using, Unreal Engine 4 (previously Unreal Engine 3).
I, Lussy, am a graphic designer student who is a lot more interested in 3D art / textures than actual graphic design. I had no experience prior to this project, so I’m learning everything as we go. I’m also the one writing all of our text, as English is not our primary language. We also have a lot of other helping hands (thanks, guys – you know who you are).
We see a lot of people making indie games stopping at very simple games. Obviously there’s no problem with that, there is a market for it. But we’d like to go against this stereotype and make our game as high quality and big as it is possible with few people.
It is kind of a challenge we set to ourselves to see what we can do with free tools only. We’re using Blender and GIMP to make our art, and Unreal 4 is free now as well. It doesn’t cost anything but time, so there is no excuse not to give it our all. I think we’re doing pretty well so far. This way, most of what we do is by hand, not by using software to calculate special textures. We think this style of work is viable, and shouldn’t be looked down upon as being unprofessional.
Thanks to Sketchfab…
Before we found Sketchfab, we were having trouble showing our progress to the public, because screenshots and videos can’t show all the details of a model. Sketchfab is a great solution to this problem, not to mention how much more comfortable and faster it is.
It also gave us a new idea. We were making 2D comics for a while, but realised that it took too much time from the development of the game. If only we could use our existing assets. So we tried creating the comics in a three-dimensional environment. We used one-sided planes for speech bubbles, so that when viewed from the right angle, it would look just like a comic panel. Using annotations, we could organize and save our view angles (panels) and make it easy for the viewers to navigate. Of course, it requires a lot of explanation to get inexperienced users to read them properly, and we’re still having trouble with that, but hopefully as Sketchfab gets more widespread it’s going to become easier.
So this is us in a nutshell. Thank you for reading all the way through! If you have any questions or you’re interested in finding out more, check out our blog and contact us there. Keep on creating!