Devblog 04 – Izimu 01: Ibamba-Khulu

Today we are finally ready to show one of the core features of our game: The Izimu.
This isn’t the first boss we designed, as you can see from previous trailers, but the older one had too many technical problems to be used, even if it will always remain in our hearts.
But right now let’s talk about the elephant (or the giant boss) in the room: Ibamba-Khulu, or as we call it in the studio, codename Atlas.




The most difficult part in modeling was making the model as similar as the concept. Animations took a very important part in thinking about it (compenetration problems, coherence, etc.) and the fact that Ibamba-Khulu is an enormous climbable skinned mesh is itself is a lot of work, and every time we try it on the engine we come up with a different ad hoc mesh change.
Another issue was maintaining a good texture quality, by generating the best and most compressed textures and atlases, since you can clearly see bad textures when they are standing 20 meters tall in front of you.
Regarding the poligonal count, unity lets a maximum of 50000 polygons per skinned mesh, so a lot of optimization, cleaning and decimations had to be made for every part of the colossus.
But even after all the optimizations Ibamba-Khulu remains very heavy render side. So to contain framedrops we decided to put the colossi in specific areas closed by mountains and meshes, so to not render other objects thanks to occlusion.




After countless hours of research (aka pissing off different colossi in Shadow of the Colossus), we discovered that every attack that one boss does usually has a common beginning, but a different ending. For example, for Ibamba Khulu we animated one beginning of the kick, but we made several different endings depending on which zone the target character will be.



Adding on that, right now we are doing some researches on an ik system to give more realism to the walking cycle in-game, letting us change the direction even in mid animation without letting the izimu slide on the ground, but this is for the next devlog.
Here is the walking cycle animation:



and now, the juiciest part (brace yourselves because it’s pretty technical)




Our programmers worked on a vertex based climbing system, and here’s how that works (more or less).
With the mapping we managed to know which vertices are adjacent to each other. Basically the code finds the nearby vertices by selecting all other vertices that are sharing the same face, and then, by using the face’s normal, it deterines which vertex is over, under, left, or right. If the automatic mapping goes wrong, you can still select manually wich vertex is over, under, left, or right, and the code corrects itself.
Here’s a video of the code in action:



And, last but not least, we added bow and arrows.


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Devblog 03 – Beating and Rocks

Hello everyone!
In this month, while programmers rewrote networking, tested servers, reworked PVP and put silly names on the players, the 3D department made some tweaks in animation and modeling.



We decided to do a more animation-based combat, and here’s some examples of different moves, with the spear and one handed weapons like hatchets and swords.






Animators also redid older animations, to give more personality to the character:





Modelers used a different approach on rock and terrain composition, and here’s some results:



We also decided to implement different skins for our character to give more variety and to make it more colourful.


We also added hand made blood particles and the low health vignetting:


Stay tuned for the next coloss.. erm, update!

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Devblog 02 – The Map part I

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Hi there!
Today we are going to show you some developments about the creation of Voodoo’s map, and some of the 9 different biomes that you are going to find in the early access version.



This is the first version of the jungle, with the first underbrush. There are 18 different species of plants, comprehending Kapoks, Kompassias, Eucalyptus and Mangrovies. Here is a first glimpse. Soon we will be adding even more species of plants to create an always more alive and colourful environment.





The savannah is the environment on which we worked the most, made by open spaces with singular rocks. we focused the most on the combination of colours and on the most beautiful way to render the grass.





We focused on particles in the desert to give the impression of wind and flying sand and to give that sense of death and desolation that every desert gives.




…Oh, yes, we also started working on the gazzelle’s AI


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Devblog 01 – The Beginning

Hello folks!
We decided to take the good habit to keep you updated on the status of the development of Voodoo.

From now on we are going to almost-regularly publish updates of new features, bug fixes, lives!

For start enjoy this wonderful screenshot of the african prehistoric landscape and some webms of us fooling around and testing combat and building.


The situation is heating up


Epic trickshot


Heat of the fight


Here is some early base building


Just fooling around


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