Archives For VR project

cyrillepewpew

Hi everyone,

I present myself, Cyrille Jean. I just joined the Fated team as a brand manager. When I realised I was going to work on a virtual reality video game, I was really excited. Fated is an amazing project, of course because it is virtual reality, but also because it is set in the mythical age of Vikings. The world of Fated is filled with documented Norse mythology and it adds so much to experience. Viking, gods and giants, what’s not to like?

All I can say for the moment is that I see the team working really hard to make this VR game an immersive experience where you will feel a roller coaster ride of emotions ranging from surprise, fright and tears. So far, they’re succeeding and it is going to continue. Honestly, I tried it and it was one of the best video game experiences of my life. So intense! I am really proud to be part of Fated adventure.

My job in the team will be to make sure this game is known by every gamer who possess a Virtual Reality headset in the world and make sure that they have no difficulty finding it when it will be for sale. I am sure you’re wondering what will I talk about in this blog… Generally, through this blog, I will share my opinion on the VR market and VR marketing initiatives.

So, if you are interested by privileged information, stay up to date via our Facebook and Twitter. The next months will overflow with amazing news and tips and tricks.

Looking forward to share with you soon.

Cyrille / Brand manager / @cyrillejean

Hello everyone,

This week, the team is a little bit swamped so we can’t go into the details of what we’re working on. On the programming side, we’re working on finalizing the demo we will be presenting to medias and potential partners at the SVVR Conference & Expo (Silicon Valley Virtual Reality) in May.


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Our upcoming demo will feature a complete chunk of the story, new animations as well as amazing new visual effects. We’re eager to find out what the VR savvy community at SVVR will think of FATED.

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On the art side, we’re working on several props that will come into play in the puzzle-solving part of the game.

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Please let us know if there are topics you would like us to cover in future entries.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter to catch all the updates on the development of FATED.

See you later!

Laurent Mercure / Community Manager / @laurentmercure

Étienne

Hi! Étienne Carrier, here. I’m the Technical Artist on FATED.

Developing graphics for VR is an awesome challenge! It’s an all new playing field with whole new constraints and rules. I’m learning new tricks every day, and through this blog I aim to share them with you.

ART STYLE

When we started developing the graphic pipeline, it was clear that we needed a visual style that would help us reach our performance target. In VR, there’s no slacking off. If the framerate drops even for a second, you get a hefty dose of simulation sickness. It was therefore a lot more natural to go with a stylized art style that would not only help us with performance, but also look good in VR. Smooth and non-noisy texture feels great in virtual reality, and it helped the 3D stay faithful to the awesome artwork that Marianne Martin (Art Director) and Marie-Hélène Morin-Fafard (Concept Artist) created.

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VIEW DISTANCE & NORMAL MAPS

Applying tricks learned while developing mobile games can turn out to be a lifesaver when you have to run at 75+ fps. The art really needs to be planned accordingly. We built our environments in a way that limits the view distance and allows the occlusion culling to work for us. Normal maps only work well for micro details or from far away. We actually want to fade details out with distance, as it tends to get noisy due to the pixels density on VR headsets. The micro details go against our soft texture style, and the distant normal maps go against the fade of details in the distance. So we decided to never use normal maps, which also helps us get more performance.

GAME ENGINE

We chose Unreal Engine 4 to develop our game. We began by setting up our basic scenes, because even the default template scene was not reaching 75 fps on some PCs. We removed most of the post-process, screen space reflection, and anti-aliasing. We also used static directional lights, then built from there while profiling every step of the way.

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UNREAL TOOLS

Unreal has a great many tools to help us build our environments efficiently. Here is a video showing how we used some of these tools together. Along with Unreal’s landscape and foliage, we built a material that projects a texture on top of props like rocks to help them blend with the terrain. The blueprints allow us to dynamically create a material instance for each static mesh, so they can all have their specific settings. Using the same texture as the landscape helps to blend them seamlessly.

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That’s it for now, we’ll have more tips & tricks coming up later!

Cheers

Etienne Carrier
Technical Artist

 

Marianne

Hello, my name is Marianne Martin, Art Director on FATED.

I was thrilled when I learned we were going to work on a VR project – and Norse-themed at that! Like many, I wondered if virtual reality was a fad until I tried a few different demos and realized the fantastic potential for immersion. Here was an opportunity to build the most tangible game world ever! With VR able to fool our brains into the truest feeling of presence yet (to the point of vertigo!), visual development is entering a new age.

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During the initial concept phases, we were all excited about the epic narrative. This was VR: our Midgard and our characters had to be so… real! Character bios in hand, I started sketching detailed, documented designs. When concept artist Marie-Hélène Morin-Fafard joined the project, she drew some spectacular, moody environments that we hoped would be the perfect grounds on which to stage the FATED adventure. We did what pre-production is intended for: we went big.

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When we started getting more specs and technical info, we realized our strategy wasn’t quite right. With the unexpected technical limitations and a small team, we needed to change our academic, too-realistic approach. I took a step back and toyed with the idea of exploiting the limitations as if they were fully intended, rather than produce something that couldn’t be simulated believably on our platform.

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The games and animated movies that made a lasting impression on me are not impaired by stylization – they are probably better for being stylized. I thought: if we stylize FATED, focus on expression, create a meaningful color script, and give it distinctive visuals to enhance the experience that makes VR so special, we’ll have something extremely solid. We can make the player believe they are an emotionally and physically-involved part of that universe, and this became our focus.

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So, back to basics we went, designing simpler characters and environments with more striking and memorable silhouettes. We got our 3D pipeline into gear to achieve the vision, and our technical artist, Étienne Carrier, developed clever systems to fully exploit our visuals and create environment variety in Unreal. Before long, we had a successful test scene, a new sense of wonder, and a few of the building blocks for the world of FATED.

We’re not out of the woods yet, so stay tuned…

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