Step by Step #1 the Engineer

Moving on with our new blog sections, this time we decided to tease you with some new eye-candy. Down to the real talk, we’re taking you step by step through the process of implementing an asset, from conception to in-game integration.
To inaugurate this section, Michel the engineer bot is going to be our guinea pig.
A few months ago, this is how Michel used to look:

Miche Insane Unity Win That War RTS

Since Nico has recently joined the team, Michel got a little face lift. We kept the same feel but made him a little more bulky for some additional #galacticswag  (please, be sure to use this hashtag in strict moderation and keep it away from children).
If you’re in the process of creating game assets yourself, feel free to share and compare your own workflow down there in the comments. Here is our usual pipeline:

Research.

michel-recherche

Concept.

michel-concept

Model sheet.

michel-model-sheet

3D model.

MICHEL_TURNABLE_FINAL

Well, now we’ll just have to put it in the game, and the good old Michel won’t exist anymore. Don’t be sad, on the inside, he’s still the same!

 

Stand Up! #1

As we were spring cleaning the blog, we’ve decided to bring a few changes and to create new article categories so that we could write more often about various topics related to WinThatWar! and Insane Unity.

This article is kind of a crash test.

As you may know, we’re working using the SCRUM method, which consists in dividing the tasks into “sprints” that we chose to last two weeks to help us we can redefine the priorities as we go along.

Actually, if you’re a SCRUM’s enlightened, you know that it mostly consists in a gigantic white board covered with dozens of sticky notes and a “stand-up meeting” every morning to let everybody in the team know which task is completed or in progress. In our case, every two weeks, we take stock and build a new release of WinThatWar! so we can all test the new features.

From now on, we will be able to write this kind of articles and update you in (almost) real time.

Dev

We know that it’s really frustrating to have to suddenly leave a game for any reason. So we figured we could create the save/load system and it is now perfectly functional, but on solo mode only.

We’re currently setting up the planetary view. Well, for now, it’s still a prototype. A few days ago it was just a spherical skeleton drawn by some neon green laser on Doom’s computer, who may explain how he did it in an article further ahead. By then, we should reveal quite a few enhancements right after the next “sprint”.

vue planétaire

Gameplay

A brand new building will soon appear in the game: the relay antenna. What is this thing? Well, as the name suggests, it will be used to relay the “network” on a given zone. Without this wonderful invention, you’ll be able to build factories, but you won’t be able to switch it on which could be an issue, right? I only can suggest to do your best to protect your antennas.

Arts

As you know (or you will know by reading this article), we’ll be present at the London EGX Rezzed on 7-8-9 April. We already have published the poster and here is the flyer! Hope you’ll like it as much as we do.

flyer winthatwar

Regarding the artistic production for the game itself, no less than a dozen units and buildings have been designed the last couple months (left to right: buggy, tank, diplomat).

conceptsweb

By the way, we’re working on the buggy’s 3D model and you’ll soon be able to create herds of them. They go just so fast!

buggyweb

Sound design isn’t outdone neither. We found a band, that’s now working with us on WinThatWar! original soundtrack, and we’re really excited about it. Plus, most of the sound effects have been reworked and the ambience sounds have been enriched, especially the “Space Ship” theme which, if you wear headphones, gives you more and more the feeling that you actually are in a cock-pit, guiding your robots armies.

To finish this article, remember that if you’re in London the next couple of days, we’ll be present at the EGX Rezzed where you could play a short demo or ask anything you want about the game to Etham and Perik! See you there (in the “Indie Room” area).

egx-map

London, here we come!

For the very first time, WinThatWar! travels!

The EGX Rezzed, will take place in London on April 7, 8 & 9, and we’ll be there! If ever you plan on spending a weekend in London, this is the time. You could come by and say hello!

In the meantime, here is a sneak peek at the poster we made for the event.

WinthatWar-Poster-resize2

I love splines!

 

A curve

In Mathematics, a Spline is a numeric Function that is Piecewise-defined by Polynomial function, and which possesses a high degree of smoothness at the places where the polynomial pieces connect (which are known as knots)“. Thank you dear Wikipedia, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

“But, what link can there possibly be between Splines and Polygons?” you may ask yourself. And that’s a legitimate question, since I usually write about polygons and cake (made from polygons too).

Well, you have to know you can actually create 3D models by using these famous splines. That’s right!

A basic spline

As you may know, I mainly use 3DS Max to model my vehicles, buildings, etc. 3DS  taught me to use the word “spline” to define a 3D Bezier curve when it comes to design.

Actually, It’s a commonly used technique in automotive design. Seeing as I mostly model vehicles, it makes perfect sense for me to be working with curves.

However, I apologize in advance, because somehow, I have the feeling this post will feel like a tutorial.

The 3DS Max “Lathe” tool works just like an actual shaping tool and allows to easily sculpt an object  with a very smooth shape.
So, as an example, I’ve made a pretty bowl for you:

The process to use Lathe modifier.

I’ve got another little trick for you : You also can do what is called a “Sweep”. This is actually a  standard shape that you’ll select and with which you’ll “sweep” the previously drawn curve.  The shape is then multiplied to create the desired object.
Here is another example for you, and be prepared, I went a bit crazy and I’m now modeling…a mug!

The process to use Sweep modifier.

Anyway, now that you see how it works, let’s get serious and I’ll show you how you can apply it to your 3D modeling.

Once, in my student days, I was looking for a tool to model by using Splines, and I finally found a tool called SURFACE. At the beginning, Surface was a third party plugin, then Kinetix eventually bought the licence and included the tool in 3DS Max 3.0. I don’t know who this third-party is, but I owe him a big “thanks”.

Digging through my archives, I found the following model. That’s what it looked like the first time I tried to use this tool, based on three pieces of circles intersecting with each other.

The use of a Surface modifier

How did the software turn this into that? I don’t have a clue. Voodoo magic?
Well, and so… how do you put this technique into practice? Among other things, you can  use these tricks to model a vehicle. An airplane, for example.

Use of spline in modeling

It can also be used for specific organic creations.
Like for this wonderful purple…marshmallow.
I could probably have made something sexier, but you get the idea.

Chantilly

In short, I love modeling using Splines . The tool “Surface modifier ” is probably my favorite, it’s part of the workflow for all my vehicles .

I also think it’s a good starting point to model an object with a lot of rounded surfaces .

However , be aware that Splines, alone, are difficult to comprehend in 3D for our poor humanoid eyes that can’t decide whether a form is curved or hollow. So we will have to get used to the tool and rotate around your model, regularly move the camera angle to visualize the form , and then use the Surface modifier.

If you’re not using this technique already, I can only recommend you try it asap!

Cheers

Philemon

New year, new team, new trailer

Ok, I admit this title is not the most original I could find.
But, you know, the video is speaking for itself:

 

 

Putting aside logos and the lost territories map made from hexagons, everything you see in this video was captured in-game. As you may have noticed, there is a lot of changes concerning the Sound Design. Hey, we told you there was a reason for Jpeg hurting his car.

Next week, the post will be proposed by Philemon, so you can guess it will be a bit artistic one!

One year already

So, yesterday was Insane Unity first anniversary.

illu-birthday

When we first started the project, two and a half years ago, I already knew we would have a lot of work to do, I knew that would take time, and I knew it would be hard to make it real. But, well, we did it: now, Insane Unity team has grown, we’re 10 members, and when I think about all we got through from the start, I admit I’m kind of proud of us, and I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled because I realize that if you’re persevering enough, you actually can make your project comes true.

Yet, we must confess we don’t really have much good reasons to boast: we’re progressing on the game development but it’s not ready to be available on Steam…. yet.
Just one year. It makes me feel like Insane Unity is just a baby, thinking he has already did a lot since he born, but he still has everything to learn about life. And we still have lots of things to learn about being a “company”. Everyday we learn, everyday we do some self-analysis: are we going the right way?

Moving from a 2 members team to a 10 members team actually involves to do self-analysis often: you must be able to accept criticism, from outside and from inside the team, to justify every choice you make puting your ego aside, to trust others and just hand down a lot of all these things you were used to be in charge of. By joining the team, every single new member brings with him some new ideas, as consistent as your own, and as “founders” we have to connect all these ideas, let everybody in the team knows they’re important and necessary, and to make the good choices for the game. We attempt to take this way, and trust me, that’s not that easy everyday. But, after all, designing and developing a game is mostly about humans relationships, isn’t it?

So, in the months to come, I swear you’ll see what this new team is able to do!

Etham

 

Goodbye, silence

Once upon a time, we were a small and quiet team sharing a tiny office, then it was 2016. This new year brings us some noise ! No, no, I’m not talking about those 10 team members in a fenzy of brain activity, no, I’m talking about the 20.000-sounds-man, Jpeg, our sound designer who’s now working with us at the studio.

After some days plinking on his keyboard (you know, the one made of long black and white keys) he’s just gone into an exile by himself, entered the solo mode in his own room. But, it hasn’t put a stop to his silent-breaker skill. At the contrary, since he’s working in his very own “sounds cavern”, he’s testing and testing again, creating and making again the sounds of explosion, circulation… We even surprised him hitting his own car to record a base to create an impact sound.

Well, you can listen at these new sounds by watching these short videos right below.

 

That’s still not the final version for everything you’re listening here. Anyway, for the ones interested to know what changed from december 15th, we made a small list right here:

  • Artillery
  • Airknocker
  • Laser
  • Shooting impact
  • Explosion
  • Missile
  • Ship background sound
  • In-game sounds polishing

A large part of those sound effets are created from “noises” recorded outside, in the real world. That’s why this strange creature who is the sound designer sometimes hits his own car or to bring back to the office some plastic bags full of  gravels. Well, of course, for some sound effects, it’s a bit more complicated: I don’t imagin Jpeg standing behind a plane which is taking off. That’s why he also uses online sound banks potential. And after that, come the time to mix, brutalise and twist all these sounds with the help of a sound processing software, then it’s integrated in the game with the help of Wwise.

And here is a present for you, you little snoop, a picture of the lair. Hope you’ll be back on next Friday for a bit special post !

jpegwinthatwarweb

Happy new year 2016!!

The Insane Unity team wishes you the best for 2016!

card-Style-realiste2

Airknocker is coming!

… and Winter is already there. That’s old, that’s a shitty joke and I’m sorry for that. Please Stay.

Today, let me introduce… “The Gun-Nut”!!

Well, actually, it’s just a AirKnocker and I’m not that sure naming it “The Gun Nut” would help to sell the concept.

AirKnocker_WinThatWar_02

As the name suggests, the AirKnocker is used to attack (and destroy) the air units. Our bombers don’t appreciate that much when they spot them on the ground, right before they disappeared in a puff of smoke.

So, the AirKnocker is a quite light ground unit an it makes it a very mobile vehicle, at least much faster than those lumbering tanks. Hey, no, we’re not judging the tanks, we’re happy to have them in our troups when we need some units to act tough !

Not content with its brand new nuclear fission engine which makes it that swift, the “Gun-Nut” (oh I have to stop with this name…) didn’t choose between wheels or catepillar, it chose both. And did I tell you that it has a 5000miles + autonomy? For sure, it won’t let you down soon.

But let’s go to the part that really interest you. We know it, speed and stuffs, that’s cool, but what you do want is to finally get down with your neighbor’s bombers that invaded your territory! Don’t you? That’s not a problem, our AirKnocker is here for that very reason. Thanks to its full 360° fast rotative cupola, which also lean to aim at the sky right above, assembled on an ultra-fast electric motor, it can deploy all of its four cannons in any direction in less than a second. Pulsed laser, high frequency shots and extremly short reload time… I wonder what you’re waiting for to make it your fav units in WinThatWar!? (Well, the second favorite, I hope Michel will always have the first place).

All of this to tell you that Philemon offer you this Concept Art, and we can’t wait him to make the 3D asset and replace the place holder which is in the game for now.

We wish a merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, and happy holidays. Next blog post in 2016!

AirKncocker-preconcept-winthatwar

Utopiales and Art to Play: November fairs

Putting aside our recent penchant for recruitment and furnitures assembly, we are still (yes, we do!) collecting all your feedbacks to improve the game. And game fairs, show, conventions are the best for us. Really, it’s amazing to meet you all, watch your reactions while you’re playing WinThatWar! and talk about it with you. And, in November, we were kinda lucky since we were present at the Utopiales and Art to Play, both of these fairs taking place in Nantes.

Just like last year, the Utopiales public was really… young. Anyway, he also was very enthusiastic, and from the beginning of the afternoon, the kids were just there, staying at our stand, helping out and teaching the new comers how to play WinThatWar! That was really great for us to see the youngers able to understand the game and how to play it. Sometimes, at the expense of the elders! Hold on, don’t get mad, “elders”, we know most of you will become some really badass strategists as soon as the game will offer more features and options.

Utopiales Insane Unity

We neither regret the Art to Play weekend. At the contrary! You were so many to stop by our stand, 14yo young women to 60yo grown men, testing the game and tormenting us with your countless and unusual questions (Actually we love that, it makes us look deeper into the game mechanics, so please don’t stop!), and also encouraging us. Well, we won’t lie, this weekend was exhausting (like really, it killed us. 5 days later we’re sleeping on the tables at the studio. I barely exaggerate, promise) but still, it was really rewarding. We wrote a lot of your feedbacks and ideas on our notepads. Plus, that was a good opportunity to see if you’d like the tokens/strategy icons, as it was a brand new feature in the game. Unless I’m mistaken, i think you liked it, and the map general view have seduced many (mini-map “are so 2014” anyway.).

In short, if we should summarize those 2 weekends:

  • The younger are the players, the rougher they play. They just spend their time building turrets.
  • We can easily welcome 13 players at the same time on our stand, even if it’s only 2 computers.
  • Trying to give some explanations about our game when Matthieu Sommet (SLG – a french famous youtuber) or Ganglion (J-rock band) are standing on the stage, about 10 meters far from you, can be a quite difficult excercise. That’s why we just gave up our vocal cords there.

Art to Play Insane Unity

Again, thank you to every single player who came to these conventions.

Return top