Updated: Apr 17, 2021
So, what has been happening with BOV?
Well, a ton! Although I have been relatively quiet on social media, only posting the odd picture every few weeks, I have been working nonstop over the last year and half. Progress has been quite astounding really I've been making massive leaps across all areas, in the background I've been building new models, creating AI, animation, making music, sound effects, VFX, improving environments, creating brand new character models and building tons of productivity tools.
I'm gonna talk about productivity tools and why they are the most important part of BOV's development. Some of the stuff in BOV takes a ton of time to do and when it's a task that I repeat a lot, I take time out to create a custom tool.
A good example of this is foliage placement. When I first started designing the town of Grimstead I was placing this by hand and at first this wasn't too bad because I didn't have much of it. The problem with doing it manually is that every time I tweaked the design of the level, I would then have to move all this foliage and make it look nice again.
As you can imagine this soon became pretty tiresome, so one late night I had a brainstorm to create a tool that would automatically plant foliage on the environment. So, after having yet another late night (seems to be when I do my best work) I had a procedural foliage tool. This tool actually worked out really useful and allowed me to create very complex scenes incredibly fast and so I covered Grimstead with Ivy and all sorts of debris etc, here's a simple example:
And best of all if I want to change the shape of part of the level, I don't need to redo the foliage, it just auto updates and re-conforms to the new shape. Also using a simple random seed, I was able to make the placement way more convincing than what I could do myself, so not only have I saved probably 1000's of hours with this tool, I've improvement the overall detail and look of the game significantly whilst at the same time making detailed level design much simpler.
Till next time!