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[Released] Buried Treasure

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It's done: https://pdotjpg.itch.io/buried-treasure

Hope you enjoy! Looking forward to feedback.

 

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Based on this Idle Weekend episode. I spent about 2 hours looking through titles of all the podcasts yesterday and brainstorming, and somehow I wasn't getting any interesting ideas, so I settled on this pretty straightforward title. The game's gonna be exactly what it says on the tin: the player will be dumped into a small 3D environment and look for treasure, based on vague directions and crudely drawn treasure maps. I'm basically copying the treasure hunting quest chains in Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption. Those navigational puzzles were basically my favourite parts of those games.

 

This project is also going to be as much about practicing 3D modelling and animation as it is about gamedev for me.

 

My goals for this:

  • A fully animated 3rd person character, and a camera to go along with it
  • A small and pretty 3D environment that can facilitate 5-10 different treasure locations and has solid landmarking

 

Haven't had a chance to work on this yet, but I'm hoping to have a character modelled and rigged up by tomorrow night.

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Oh, I'm looking forward to following this one! I want to create a geocaching game/puzzle game when I get some better skills, so I'll be curious to see how you approach this. Good luck!

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Thanks for the words of encouragement! Glad I'm not the only one who gets a kick out of this sort of gameplay.

 

It is almost 1AM and, after many frustrating hours of trying to come to grips with rigging in Maya LT, I managed to get my first animation up and running! Tomorrow: implementing controls and a walk cycle. Fingers crossed.

 

Rigged.gif.525be9b480606c2cfe7723dd9f89bcdf.gif

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Awesome concept :) If you haven't checked out Sea of Thieves for reference, that might give you some ideas, too!

 

 

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9 hours ago, coughlinjon said:

Awesome concept :) If you haven't checked out Sea of Thieves for reference, that might give you some ideas, too!

 

Thanks for the kind words and for the suggestion! I've seen some gameplay videos of that (and listened to the Idle Thumbs discussions). It does seem very cool, but as far as I can tell, the treasure hunting there relies on actual, accurate maps. I'm hoping to go more for sketches of landmarks, triangulation and so on.

 

Got my character fully up and running! I might refine the run animation if I have time towards the end of the jam - right now it's functional at best -, but for the time being, super satisfied with the fact that everything is working smoothly.

 

Also slapped this cel shader by Lin Reid onto the character. It's not perfect (wouldn't be surprised if that was because of modelling errors), but it nonetheless goes a long way towards improving the visuals. Gonna try to go for a sorta Wind Waker look.

 

Animated_2.gif.a0ba1c3e1c0eb4cd0f0a0c78a372ad17.gif

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Was busy for most of today, but I did start working on my environment.

 

Started out by getting a nice island shape in Photoshop with the Clouds filter. From that, this sketch was born:

Map.jpg.c920b37b58da9a941e376e516c16dd30.jpg

 

I experimented with the Unity terrain system, but wasn't really feeling it. The sculpting feels too loose and it seems kinda ugly with anything except for rolling hills. Probably works better with heightmaps sourced from the real world. Also experienced technical problems: couldn't get my heightmap to import nicely, weird lighting bugs, Moiré patterning.

 TerrainTool.thumb.jpg.a30968c49f307023f153c4ae0171b6c2.jpg

 

After struggling with that for like 2 hours, I looked up a bit of Wind Waker gameplay and was struck by the very angular, low-poly environments. So I decided to emulate that.

model.jpg.4631169bf845374c2445a02d668ac355.jpg

Ingame.jpg.1bbff2036af8f378494da17e5cc40286.jpg

 

I'll populate this environment with some placeholder props tomorrow and see if I should scale the whole thing down. Deciding to hand model the terrain might be a decision that comes back to bite me in the ass, but I think that if I have the basic geo done by the weekend, I'm well on track to finish this project up nicely.

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Nice progress! The character looks really good!

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Cool. Looking like good progress! 

 

I'm not familiar with the Skyrim treasure hunting (sounds sorta similar to Farcry: Primal to me) so looking forward to seeing how the gameplay works!

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Thanks!

 

Progress was indeed good today. I'm quite happy with the decision to hand model the terrain, though I did throw out yesterday's work and start from scratch this morning. The only annoying part is having to fix the UVs from time to time, but that's par for the course, I suppose.

 

Also sketched a placeholder skybox, added some light post-processing and pilfered another Lin Reid shader. Won't have a whole lot of time to work on this tomorrow, so I think I'll finish the skybox painting and do some placeholder texturing to see if that's going to work nicely.

 

prog.jpg.5413713c7cc106c7d397783219d06a6b.jpg

Progress.gif.70c46b727652cec937584a5b71b55a9d.gif

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Wow, this is looking really neat. Your animations are ace, and the landscape looks like it'll be great fun to explore. What are you hand-modelling in, Maya?

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7 hours ago, phill said:

Wow, this is looking really neat. Your animations are ace, and the landscape looks like it'll be great fun to explore. What are you hand-modelling in, Maya?

 

Thanks! Yep, Maya LT.

 

Didn't have any time at all to work on this yesterday, but today I basically finished the environment geo. Still on the to-do list:

1) fixing all the UVs,

2) prettying up the geo a bit - angle the 90-degree cliff faces, add some detail to the flat areas. I'll do this if I have time at the end of the jam.

 

Starting on texturing this thing tomorrow. Hopefully that can be done by Sunday or Monday, at which point it's time to implement the treasure hunting gameplay. That should be trivial, code-wise. I can move on to prop and animation work after that.

 

geo.jpg.9f280f65c879a72d9af0ec028a9abb57.jpg

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Today was spent on texture alignment. Time-consuming but relaxing work.

 

I'll spend the first half of tomorrow on texture painting, after which it's time to jump back into some coding.

 

 

prog.thumb.jpg.cd30ede199463ff571ce5514055a5c1c.jpg

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Always wanted to do low poly 3d stuff but never had the courage to plunge into it. Your thing is looking great!

 

How did you do the water undulation and the border foam?

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22 hours ago, FartSatchel said:

Always wanted to do low poly 3d stuff but never had the courage to plunge into it. Your thing is looking great!

 

How did you do the water undulation and the border foam?

 

Thanks! Wish I could say I came up with a solution myself, but actually I'm just using this water shader by Lin Reid.

 

Only worked on this for a couple of hours today. I painted the textures:

 

geo.jpg.92e6fa591eeae7e932e93128196a4d77.jpg

 

And started to work on the treasure hunting logic:

 

1) Pressing a button opens the map/hint (right now a camera overlay, but I want to do an over-the-shoulder view of a physical piece of paper in the character's hands):

1.jpg.f8446f3f30796a1808a631e5e65892b9.jpg

 

2) Interacting with the treasure spot activates the next spot and changes the hint:

2.jpg.331ad147826a96c00759e699161b188e.jpg

3.jpg.a4979c1c8042253a47f30ba9c5a5c9b2.jpg

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Had some real life distractions the last few days, but I've repainted the skybox, implemented a treasure digging animation, modelled all the props and finished populating the environment with them.

 

And I finished off today by working on music. I don't really know how to write music, and I'm super strapped on time, so I just noodled on my guitar for a bit and made some little loops that'll kick in at some points in the game. Here's a taste.

 

Sunday is the summer solstice celebration - a holiday on par with Christmas here in Latvia -, which means that I'm not sure if I'll have time to work on this beyond, like, Friday afternoon. With that in mind, I'm hoping to have this totally playable by tomorrow night. That means putting in all the treasure items, adding invisible walls to the environment, a menu/title screen, sfx and music, aaand figuring out the ending (don't have enough time to implement my initial idea for this). Tomorrow's gonna be a busy day.

 

2.jpg.c43df7edd88607029e818658eb90cf78.jpg

1.jpg.d691902514f7f0b9bf15396706a98c3e.jpg

 

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Thanks, Travis!

 

I won't have time to work on this during the weekend, soooo it's done!

 

https://pdotjpg.itch.io/buried-treasure

 

I'll write some more detailed thoughts about how this project went on Monday. For now, I'm happy I managed to get this done on time - a couple of days ago I was stressing it might not happen, but the last two days were super productive.

 

For now, I hope y'all enjoy!

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Nicely done. It was a really pleasant wandering game :)

 

Spoiler

I did find myself sort of "pixel-hunting" when I knew where the next treasure was. Some kind of "bushel basket" indicator would be cool, as it would let me know "yes, this is the tree, somewhere in this smaller zone" when I got close-ish. Mario Odyssey's vibration/sparkle thing comes to mind. Just a little thing to let me know I am on the right track.

 

But I 

Spoiler

got my PS2, so I am happy! :D 

 

 

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I played a little of this game, but the extreme depth of field effect blurring the environment made it difficult for me because I started to get eye-strain anytime I wasn't just looking straight at the player character. Looking at the player character all the time isn't great since I need to be looking out at the environment for the clues in the map. I reflexively try to focus my eyes to try to reduce the blur but obviously that doesn't work, so I strained my eyes after a few minutes. 

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On 6/23/2018 at 1:00 AM, brendonsmall said:

Nicely done. It was a really pleasant wandering game :)

 

Thanks! I get what you mean about the 'pixel-hunting' aspect. It's difficult to gauge how easy it'll be to find the exact spots when you're making them - I might have fallen a bit on the difficult and obscure side and could have used some sort of hinting system.

 

Nonetheless, I'm glad that you liked it and got to the end!

 

On 6/24/2018 at 4:16 AM, eRonin said:

I played a little of this game, but the extreme depth of field effect blurring the environment made it difficult for me because I started to get eye-strain anytime I wasn't just looking straight at the player character. Looking at the player character all the time isn't great since I need to be looking out at the environment for the clues in the map. I reflexively try to focus my eyes to try to reduce the blur but obviously that doesn't work, so I strained my eyes after a few minutes. 

 

Oh, sorry to hear! I uploaded a version where you can disable the DoF effect.

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Good stuff, pdotjpg! I really liked the treasure maps in RDR, so this was a treat. :)

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Loved the WindWaker/Life is Strange vibe. Was not expecting a story at all and it turned out nice.

 

Did have to agree that the dept of field was a tad aggressive. Maybe if it started bluing further away from the player it would be nicer. The character did also bounce quite a bit going down hill.

 

The layout of the island was nice, it was easy to get to all sides of the island without much trouble, and the bridge was a really nice view. Great job!

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