Milhazes Command Dev Diary #3: 2D or not 2D?

The brief we were given indicated a necessity for 3d assets to be used within the game. However, due to the nature of the motif elements used by Milhazes in her work, in order for me to accurately reproduce those elements,  would need to create a bunch of custom shaders for many many spheres or try to revert them back to a 2d render. Blegh. The point here is that I decided early on that it would be far simpler to create a 2d, flash style game that uses sprite rendering rather than 3d which would require a large amount of working around the 3d aspect, or even having to create extra steps to simulate a 2d environment.

SO I first went ahead and found some of the common artistic flourishes Milhazes uses in some of her work and decided which ones I most liked, after all, this game is for me too. There are the concentric and dot circles which I feel create the focal points throughout her artworks, with the use of parallel lines and overlapping parts leading the viewers eye around her images. The nature of the game should in theory do this kind of story telling but in reverse, as the game is a forward progression of the building layers, the naturally leading lines ought to be able to convey the decisions of the player and how their creation came to be

Here’s the main pieces of Mihazes’s work that i used as influence on the final assets I designed and intend to use in-game.

MILHAZES_Popeye_2008_JCG3887_large0.jpg

ed-04-jun-2009-beatriz-milhazes-1160x770.jpg

Summer Night_2006-thumb-800x383-51154.jpg

the important part for me to capture the same sorts of feelings as the originals is to isolate the different elements major shapes and have them occur in game under very different events or with different properties to each other.

To kick this off I put together the mock-up used in the pitch video (Below) where I gave thought ot the regularity of certain elements across Milhazes’s works. I noticed, for instance. that the flower motif was relatively rare and also quite detailed, creating a very immediate focal point for the viewer. It seemed obvious to me that this would be the best element to use in place of the cities in the original game.

Screen concept.jpg

The lines will be generated by the moving elements in the scene which are the incoming “missiles” and the defensive projectiles. The missiles will generate the general wavy lines seen in Milhazes’s works while the defensive projectiles will create straight stripes (as seen above). The different styles both serve a purpose and a feeling. The primary and most obvious reason is to create an obvious visual difference between the different forces at work, originally represented as the player and the enemy. The second purpose is to create a more diverse  is because I feel that the textured lines of the missiles give a greater variation in the elements as they are generated over the game’s canvas. The intended feelings that are inferred by the specific styles designated to each is that the rippling lines of the missiles suggest chaos and are slightly more aggressive as opposed to the hard, straight, orderly lines generated by the defensive projectiles. This should create an almost subconscious sense of “Vs” to the player even though it is not the focus of the project. It should still press the player to interact with the game elements in a confrontational way. Literally, to make them try to hit one with the other.

Screen conceptsmall.jpg

Once the mock-up was complete I felt comfortable to proceed with the more difficult part of putting the pieces together in Unity.

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