Dealing With The Difficulty

I’ve been working on my pet project for almost five months now and I must admit that some parts of the project are easier than others. I don’t actually get a choice about which parts I will try and deal with, but I do get a choice about the order in which it happens.

A long time ago I learned the value of taking on the hard tasks first, the ones you don’t want to do. There’s no secret to how you handle this, simply pick a task out of the ‘too hard’ basket and work on it till you complete it. Rinse / repeat, and when all is said and done you will have completed your goals.

Now while there is great value in following this philosophy I am a firm advocate of the middle road. In this case it means when you find yourself dragging your heels – switch to a task that you will enjoy instead and see that to completion before returning to the hard stuff.

On my project I’ve spent a lot of time on terrain and the evil learning curve that comes with it. I’ve been learning how to use World Machine and Mudbox to create a terrain that is compelling and realistic – far beyond what I can paint by hand. The negative side is that tiny little changes in one parameter can have massive effects down the line and I’ve reworked a lot of things to compensate. There are a lot of little ‘passes’ over the work too as I try and nail down the exact parameters / machine required to get me to the end game. Then there’s the joy of watching a piece of terrain I have carefully sculpted in Mudbox liquify and slough off as mud once the erosion devices have done their work.

I’ve been promising myself a break for a while now. Tonight I decided to go ahead and try and create the first object for my game world – an overlarge mushroom. It’s a complete cliche, but since I have so very few of them I am going to go ahead and indulge my child-like desire for this particular one.

Now, I’ve been using Mudbox for a while now to sculpt terrain, and hopefully those skills will help me with sculpting an organic object.

Modelling the base object in 3DS Max wasn’t too challenging – it’s really just a bunch of concentric rings. I now have it imported into Mudbox. Time to get grubby, in the words of DirtGirl!

Here’s the model in 3DS Max.

3dsmax 2013-04-10 22-07-55-521

And here it is in Mudbox, ready for sculpting.

mudbox 2013-04-10 22-06-10-616

An ambivalent, disconnected, hermit with a fine love of irony and a wit like a Scottish Terrier - currently fulfilling all the clichés of a digital citizen.

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Posted in CryEngine3, Games, Software Development, Terrain

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