Archive for the ‘WIP’ Category

Mud House Model 4   Leave a comment

Here is a finalized version of the exterior:

I had a little fun with the graphite effect in the viewport render in Max, as you can see. The chimney will be an option/separate add-on for level designers to play with. I’ll model that later on.

Fountain 1   Leave a comment

In addition to the mud-brick house I’m working on, I also have a fountain for a public square nearby. The original sketch I made called for a statue that pours water from a large jar into the basin at the top of the fountain you see below. The water flows down toward another small container (not built yet) and into the channels that take it back into the main part of the fountain. The idea is that there will be a continuous flow of water at about waist height to make it easier for residents to get their water. I still need to add supports for the upper portion, a midpoint basin (as I mentioned), and some sort of fountain works in the center of the main fountain.

Below, you can see a closer view of the return channels. Where the smaller streams of water on the sides fall directly into the channels, I put in some geometry to indicate that erosion has been taking place over the many years the fountain has been in use.

Mud House Model 3   Leave a comment

The next step was to model out the interior roof structure. Using cylinders, I roughed out how large I wanted each beam and joist to be and how many I would need. From there I began to edit one of the many clones and unwrapped it. I welded the sides of 5 joists together, end to end. After deleting a few faces, I extruded the top edges of the joists to create a ceiling. I unwrapped the new faces and found ways to group them logically to get the most out of a seamless tiling texture later on. I simply cloned a set of these models and welded them together.

Here, you can see how little texture space is used. There will be a lot of repeating, so it will be important to create a texture that doesn’t have too many eye-catching details to give it away.

Mud House Model 2   Leave a comment

I used the bridge tool to stitch up the roof and ceiling. I also added in a door, as you can see below. It definitely needs more detail but I like the sense of depth that it has right now. It shows off the thickness of the walls and provides a bit of shade at the doorway. I’ll probably keep this shadow in mind as I model out the protective arch of the doorway.

Mud House Model 1   Leave a comment

Here is the very beginning of the exterior of the model. It is a very simple shape. I need to cut in some doors and start to add detail and interest. The brown shape is there to represent the ground plane without obscuring the view. [The base of the model needs to extend into the ground to allow for placement on uneven terrain.] The green shape is a 2m tall stand-in for a typical game character, for scale. It’s quite a humble dwelling.

The interior is similarly basic right now. I highlighted the exterior in red to better show the geometry of the interior. I’ll be bridging the ceiling and roof before I continue adding details. For now, there is just a gap where the thickness of the ceiling would be.

Concept Sketches   Leave a comment

Here are a few sketches I’ve done for my new modeling project:


I started by designing in section to get an idea for how the wall would be constructed. To give the main walls mass and interest, they are slanted on the outside to take advantage of the compressive strength of the mud-bricks. Foundations are relatively shallow in the hard-packed desert floor. The protruding ridge near the base of the wall will allow for some embellishment and decorative details in the design.


I then did a detail drawing of how the ceiling would be built. In this case, there are a few large beams that carry smaller beams between them that are staggered and tied together. Above that rests a layer of special reeds, which distribute the weight of the floor or roof above. This ceiling is also held up along the outer edges by a course of protruding adobe bricks. I may do multiple variations of the model for different societal classes. The poorest version would show the bare mud bricks while more wealthy homes would have stucco wall coverings or even sculpted detail.


I designed a special fireplace that would be suitable for a hot, desert environment. It is an enclosed oven so that most of the heat can be kept out of the living space during the day. There is a ventilation shaft at the base of the wall to keep the fuel well-supplied with oxygen. The design is also an attempt to allow a level designer to move the fireplace to any place along the wall and have an exterior piece to match. The player should be able to see the fire (and possibly food) inside but the interior is dark and covered with ash and burn marks. The fireplace model should intersect the building models without clipping issues and without breaking immersion.

New Modeling Project   Leave a comment

I’m starting a new project, that I’d like to document over the next few weeks. The idea is to create a few game-ready models. In order to make sure that they’re truly “game-ready”, I’m going to attempt to match the style of an existing game, in this case Skyrim. I’m going to create buildings for a city in the desert. I’ll draw some of my design inspiration from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean Islamic architecture. The forms will also be partially based on adobe brick construction from around the ancient world.

Below are some initial references I’m using to inspire the overall design.

Posted 28 October 2012 by Gameitect in Video Game Design, WIP

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