Oh no, a month is too long to go without updating!! I had been waiting until I had something more substantial to show, but I can at least talk about what we're up to.
I've been spending the last month learning ZBrush. I learned the whole 3D pipeline in school (not just animation), but sadly I missed learning ZBrush by a year or two. I played with it a little when people started to learn it at my former job, but I didn't put a lot of time into it and it sort of passed me by. :) My thought was always that we wouldn't be making something visually complicated enough to warrant its use, but the more I try to nail down some sort of art style for this game, the more I realize we're probably going to want something a bit more detailed. Especially since I'm using Sri Lankan architecture as a reference point.
Here are some images of some tutorials I've done. I've been mostly using the ZClassroom (free tutorials!)
(A lot of things went wrong here... but, learning!)
After a couple of tutorials, I tried to sculpt these elephants using some techniques I learned. I ran into road blocks in the way I'd set up the file, and didn't end up finishing it.
After that, I tried to sculpt this Buddha:
It's not perfect, but I feel like I started to get a hang of things:
Here he is in chrome - because it looks awesome. ;D
So now I'm taking what I've learned and I'm starting to dig into some sort of art direction for the game. The initial concept was more Mayan (sort of?) inspired, with a lot of clean lines:
But I don't think that will work with the new overall idea of what the the temple is for, so I'm revising it quite a bit. I had really liked the idea of squares - but it seems at odds with my reference.
I'm feeling a bit of anxiety working so much on the art when there are still so many questions about the design, but our idea is to really create a space that feels like an actual place you can explore, as opposed to a series of abstract levels. Right now the layout in our prototype is extremely gamey - you find yourself wondering what these rooms could possibly be used for. It's important to me that we are able to tell a story through the environment - and since the main gameplay mechanic is also visual, I think it's ok for us to spend some time here right now.
In the meantime, Issam is working on a contract, and in his free time he's working on character and camera movement, since those are so vital in a 3rd person game.