Dominic Szablewski, @phoboslab
— Saturday, July 26th 2008

Yuckfu Dev Diary #2 – Visual Concept

I haven’t yet elaborated a complete concept of where I want to take Yuckfu visually, but after I did some quick sketches yesterday I decided against 2D graphics for obvious reasons. So, the background, the crates and the character will be drawn in 3D – that is with Polygons and stuff. I won’t change the gameplay with this – you will still see the whole scene from a fixed side view.

Yuckfu scribbles

Why not 2D graphics then? Simple: if I’d be the one doing them, they won’t look good. I feel more comfortable with doing 3D stuff. My experience with real modeling software however is at a bare minimum. So here’s another thing to learn.

Yuckfu Spaceship model in Wings3D

I did a first draft of the main “character” (the spaceship) with the open source modeling tool Wings3D, which is perfectly suited for low-poly modeling and has a short learning curve. It lacks some features like animation and rendering, but these are things I don’t need for this project anyway.

In the screenshot from Wings3D you see the model rendered with flat shading. Maybe I’ll do the complete game in this look. I always liked the raw feel of flat shaded graphics. It is something you don’t see all too much these days as it quickly became dated once computers were fast enough to display textured polygons. Interstate 76 was one of the few exceptions to show flat shading even after textured polygons where the norm. It used flat shaded characters in all it’s cutscenes. This was mainly done for stylistic purposes but was later criticized as “chunky graphics” by many reviewers. So maybe I’m betting on a dead horse here, but then again games like Metal Slug all still popular despite (or due to) their old fashioned look.

Still, the spaceship is far from finished. I’ll probably need some more tries to produce something I like – I’ll also try to look a bit closer at some concept arts. Maybe something from artist Nicolas Bouvier or the incredibly well designed Homeworld series.

Anyway, this model is good enough to serve as a dummy graphic when I program the game. So the next step will be loading and displaying it on actual hardware.

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