un rêve d’amour

During Spring 2013, I devoted all my energies in both the grad courses I took to developing assets for the fourth level, with the working title “un rêve d’amour”, of my first video game Blimps’n’Torsos.

Considerable time was spent developing the main character, Blimp Bugger Ultra (‘BB’), as well as the game environment, including a sculpture courtyard, a maze, and a series of ramps and platforms (The Path of Suffering) leading to the level’s goal (the Orb-Egg).  Additional assets were created for the sculpture courtyard, although they are not as fully developed as the main character (ExtroodDood™ sculpture, Tri-Light Barrels, and the CloudSphere).

BB is the most developed character in the entire game, and was created as a high-poly sculpt in ZBrush. A low-poly mesh was created, with hi-poly mesh transferred to a normal map. The bug was UV’d, and color, specular, and transparency maps are included in a .psd network. It was rigged, and a rudimentary walking animation was created.

In order to create a rich environment for the character, an arena was built that includes a sculpture courtyard adjacent to a simple maze. The entire arena was UV’d, and a simple normal map created in Crazy Bump was also applied. Its texture is based on a photo of a wall outside the church at Cluny, France, with black marble detailing.

The Path of Suffering went through a number of transformations before settling in to its final form. The overarching frame of reference was ‘digital detritus’, so I turned to the page-borders of much of my artist’s book Experimental Media Voodoo™ (print version, 2011: Lambert Academic Press). I developed both color maps and normal maps from the Illustrator files of the background, and created a series of plane elements, arranging them into a set of ramps and platforms, leading to the Orb-Egg altar, bathed in warm light. In the process of creating Path, I discarded earlier ideas for encasing the entire area with graffiti, and including a 3D version of an early Illustrator work (“Sapp Chart” from 1994).

I created a machinima film “un rêve d’amour” from gameplay, and added soundtrack elements developed during the semester (a set of sonic ‘bookends’ were borrowed from my 1984 work Thunder, Perfect Mind). The opening shot is reminiscent of the beginning of Lynch’s Eraserhead, where we simply fly through a dark planet; and for that, I substituted my CloudSphere—of course, I didn’t realize this until after I edited everything!

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