THIS GAME IS CURRENTLY ON STEAM GREENLIGHT
Hi everyone, and welcome to a new Development Diary. For today's article we have a lot of things to cover, so let's get started :
3:00AM DEAD TIME NOW ON
GAMEJOLD & ITCH.IO
As we keep developing the game, we want to make it available to as many players as we can. Because of this, since earlier today, the demo of 3:00am Dead Time is available through Itch.io and Gamejolt, both websites where we will be adding updates and news as we progress with the development of the game.
You can download the demo now, for Windows and Linux, and play this Pre-Alpha version by yourself.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF EPISODE 1
CHARACTERS AND ENVIRONMENTS
During the last few days we have kept improving over the scenery for the levels of Episode 1. In the previous article we shared with you how we are developing the outdoors portion of the scene, but a lot of work is also being made to the indoors portion, mainly to the house.
Most of the pieces of furniture in the game are fully interactive, to make the investigation and exploration of the scene more complete (and for several of the key moments in the Episode)
Each one of these pieces of furniture has individual Occlusion, lighting and shadow maps to improve the quality and amount of detail. The doors and drawers are animated one by one to make sure all the movements and interactions with them are correct. There are also hundreds of props being added to decorate the scenes and to add story elements, clues and information about the story.
But besides the props and furniture models, we are also working on new human characters who will be featured in the next release as part of the 3:00am Dead Time team, and also one key witness of the events in the Prologue of the Episode, which will setup the whole investigation.
SCULPTING HUMAN CHARACTERS
All our human characters start as a concept, a drawing or draft that works as a reference for the two 3D artists of our team. We sculpt the characters using Sculptris, starting with a basic humanoid shape we have made in Blender 3D, then we paint it using Sculptris and Blender for finer details, the character then is optimized with retopology, rigged, and sent to the Unity Engine. Once there, we add the corresponding shaders and textures, and in Blender3D, we start the animation process.
Making a human character, from the draft to the point where it is ready to be animated and usable in Unity, takes around 20-25 working hours (in some characters with complex hairstyles or clothes, this can go up to 40 or 50 hours).
Here is a small timelapse of part of the sculpting process of one of the characters :
Due to the performance and polygon limits in Sculptris, making a character is a particularly long work, having to make the faces, hands, feet, upper body clothes, lower body clothes, shoes and accesories all in separate sculpted files, to preserve a high quality, and then they are reduced in polygons, joint inside Blender 3D and baked together. This process alone takes most of the development time for a character (which is one of the reasons the funds in our IndieGoGo campaign are asked for ZBrush and Substance Painter licenses, to improve greatly the speed of development by getting rid of these limits).
The characters are still works in progress at this point in the 3D part, but they are being written and well defined in our script for the upcoming releases (for which we have plans of seeking some voice acting help soon).
The game is moving forward with speed, and very soon we will start sharing with you the results of our first multiplayer tests in this Episode, as well as some first early footage for the new content.
If you like this project, please support its development by voting us on Steam Greenlight and funding our IndieGoGo campaign. Any support is very appreciated and we have perks for all pledges starting with one dollar, as well as discounted copies of the game and Early Access, to play the upcoming Prologue and Multiplayer levels.
Thank you for reading, remember to leave your feedback in the comments below, and see you all in the next development diary for 3:00am Dead Time!