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Join our project leader Justin as he conducts and Q&A with lead artist and 3D modeller, Matt, about "the Tubes," which are a major addition to INT's clever level design!

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Hey all,

I am back for my second blog entry. If you missed the first it was about randomized companions. Here is the link. Also, last month’s INT progress report is here. We have been hard at work since then, and our senior 3D artist Matt Parkin has been building the building blocks for our first dungeon experience in INT called "the Tubes."

If you missed the enemies that are present in the Tubes, please check out the March progress report. In it, I shared concept art and other material about this level. Essentially, this is the sewer system on the planet Bastion, where the game demo takes place. In this level, you will be shooting and slashing your way through hordes of cutthroats and other malcontents to obtain riches and glory in the slime beneath your feet.

For this month’s entry I decided to sit down with Matt and a do a Q&A about the level. We have also shared other video and information about the level if you want to know more.

Q1: For the Tubes project, explain your thought process while setting up for the project. What did you need for the project?

For the Sewer Kit I knew right away that I would need multiple sub-kits that were all modular in design and could be used and reused in a multitude of ways. These kits would be used to both build and decorate the levels.

Q2: For our readers who do not know, can you explain what the Tubes is and how you constructed it? (For example, it's a kit, amount of pieces, how it is constructed)?

The "Tubes" as we call them are the series of sewer levels. They are made up of interchangeable and reusable parts, commonly referred to as a "modular kit." The idea is that these parts can be put right next to each other and can repeat seamlessly. Additionally these parts (if designed well) can be reused in different ways in order to increase the usefulness of the object without having to create another version. Basically, make the most out of the least possible. For a sewer (like in the Tubes) I first broke down the total level into areas. For this we ended up with the Tunnels and the Rooms. Next, I further broke down each area into the parts I would need. The Tunnels, for example, I knew I would need: a straight section, a turn section, an intersection, and a straight section with an entrance to a room. After creating each of these parts, I then created variations of these parts. An example would be the straight section. I created a 12 foot long, 24 foot long, and 48 foot long section. This way, in theory, I could create a very short or very long tunnel by repeating these sections.

Q3: What did you want to accomplish for this project and was your process successful?

My goal for this project was to create as all encompassing a modular kit as I could as quickly as possible. I do believe that I was very successful in doing so and I am very happy with the end result.

Q4: For the FIST Gatling Gun can, you explain what was needed before you could model the weapon?

Before I began work on the FIST Gattling Laser, I needed to do a little prep work. First, I did some research to find out how big it should be. Modeling in real world scale ensures that you don't end up with a soda can being larger than a house! Next I made sure to import the concept art orthographic images (front, side, top, back) into 3ds Max. This allowed me to model directly against the design as shown in the concept. At this point, modeling can begin.

Q5: For the FIRST Gatling Gun, can you explain how long it takes to make such a model and your modeling process?

A model of this complexity usually takes me a little over a week (at about 2-5 hours a day that is roughly 30-35 hours total). For this model I broke it down by section. By tackling one section at a time, I made sure that everything lined up and each part flowed nicely into each other part.

Q6: Was your vision for this weapon accomplished and was the process successful?

I think this model was very successful. I am quite happy with how it turned out.

Q7: Where can I find out more about your modeling techniques and more information about the INT project?

If you are interested in learning more about 3D modeling, texturing, and really all things game art related I would recommend checking out The Polygon Pilgrimage. The Pilgrimage is my personal journey towards becoming a better artist every day. I produce a small YouTube video tutorial each week showcasing the things that I have learned and answering any questions my fellow Polygon Pilgrims have.
Link: www.polygonpilgrimage.com

To keep up with the latest exciting happenings with INT I would highly recommend checking out our page on the indieDB, where I am happy to say we frequently crack the top 20!
Link: Indiedb.com

If you would like to see these awesome weapons be created in real time head on over to my twitch channel and hit the follow button. It is free and you will be notified via email whenever I go live. This is also a great opportunity to have your 3d modeling questions answered and hangout with m. I hope you'll consider checking it out.
Link: Twitch.tv

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at what it takes to design and build an interactive dungeon like the Tubes. Also I hope you enjoyed a sneak peak at Matt’s current project, the FIST Heavy Gatling Gun a weapon of true terror that if you are lucky you will wield in your campaign against the vapor fiends in the Tubes.

Thanks,
Justin

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