A bit green and a bit tree

Was spending most of my day yesterday on finishing up the 3D model of my landscape as far as possible in Blender and made a new “grassy” texture for my terrain (yes it looks very bright right now, but that’s gonna be fixed when it’s not just one plain texture and having more vegetation and grass etc.) on that note, today, I spend most of my time on trying to figure out how I can and want to make trees for Critters.
I wanted them to look sort of like from animes/animation background like from ghibli studios, fluffy and volumenous aswell as really showing that it’s handdrawn 🙂 but also, it needed to be simple to make, practically I used a tutorial I found for “airborne” trees :
click here
I created a basic shape from pushing around an ico sphere in blender, then I created crossed planes with a transparent leaf texture on it and distributed them along the ico sphere, by adding a particle system and use those planes as basis. (this way I can also change amount of vertices for LODs easily by simply removing particles from a mesh I store on a different layer) and I don’t need to put them in place by hand.
So I simply convert them to meshes, “join” them and then use Blend4web to transfer the normals from the icosphere on the planes, to have a smooth shading all over.
I also got a tileable leaf texture on the icosphere 🙂




I’m quite happy with the result and it works with unitys windzones 😀


very tired but got some terraining done :)

I’m glad I chose to switch to Blender to work on my terrain, there are more sculpting tools and no brush size restriction unlike in unity and it’s more direct than l3dt could ever be (honestly, the sculpting tool in l3dt is quite horrible, it’s too slow on larger terrains, so that any change I did was taking forever to show up and was freezing the program at times, not to mention quite clumsy interface to handle brushsizes and such)

I hope I can convert most of it into a heightmap after I’m done, some of it, I probably have to resculpt as meshes (overhangs and such) but I’m trying my best to not create any overhangs if possible.
I like how it’s turning out so far…the jungle area (where the steps are) feels a bit small atm and in general the scale is currently a bit missleading, those terrain features are actually quite big, but I might add more details in unity, since for that unity seems great 🙂 and then I can test those terrain features with my critters aswell for making areas passable and such 🙂

well, here is a screenshot of current progress:


A little bit insight

I know I haven’t written much recently. I’m kind of exhausted….my toddler went into the “terrible 3 phase” or “toddler puberty”, at the same time we had to clear up a missunderstanding with daycare, but now she is finally for her first day at the daycare (which I’m glad about), but we had some rough weeks….also because my husband and daughter had catched some sort of flu/cold….not sure what exactly…and while I thought I had dodged it, I got it last weekend…-.- although much less harsh, which again…I’m glad about, but I still feel extremely shitty and sort of upset, that it happened now when I finally should have the time to work…..and I am working despite feeling shitty…and having to deal with dreadful paperwork 😮 things I had pushed too far, because I simply was afraid of dealing with them….I’m really really having a bad time with calling institutions and people…I much prefer e-mail contact etc.
It might have to do with some facts that I’m having little bit of a spoken language hearing problem. Sometimes it’s like my brain just doesn’t know how to interpret words…and it doesn’t matter if it’s my mothertongue or not and it get’s worse if the environment is noisy…it’s like, language is being turned into noise…..*sighs
Well…..and most of the german bureaucracy is happening over phone or in person….go figure…. ;_; or at least the stuff I have to deal with has no e-mail contacts….

And then, since a few days, whenever I manage to find some time to do something for my game Critters, it’s mostly trying to figure out on how to sculpt the landscape and how big to make it. It’s a little more difficult than I thought, while I got the critters sizes to be about right (35cm high and about 50cm in length with tail) I wanted originally the terrain to be fairly small so i wouldn’t have to work so much for it to make every place interesting….but I slowly realized that the image I have in my head on how the terrain is supposed to look and feel like and the meant size is not matching up…I actually liked the terrain to be 4096×4096 in size, it looks pleasing with the far away mountain range, very close to how I imagined it to be, even though it’s really rough right now:


I think the translation into km would be around 4x4km?
which considering real world scale, that is actually quite large, especially when on foot or tiny paws in this case 🙂 and without roads or anything.
Also, I want to make it compressed, as I showed on that recent map concept I will have around 6 biomes, with some transition zones (tundra and steppe), so I hope despite the relatively small map, that it will feel big and interesting. And yes, that texture up there is definitely a placeholder 🙂 as is the whole landscape actually XD
I sometimes wished “doubt” wouldn’t creep up on me at random times and bash everything >.< “6 biomes! this is wayyyy too large scale” “how do you think you wanna do this in 3 months silly?” “the game is probably too boring to be interesting for anyone! I mean come on, it’s just travelling a lot, making your cubs survive and then start all over again haha!” “changing colors and genetic mutations and such? sounds nice in theory, but will it really be enough to keep players interested long enough to try out everything?”
hnnggg…I’m…just gonna go and continue working with that monster on my shoulder…..

finished my business card and temp website :D

Yay! I got some things done 😀 So I just ordered my stack of business cards and made a temporary landing page for my website 🙂

and then clicky clicky: EmberSparkz own website!

Although, sad news, in a way, is that my daughter won’t be in daycare until 22nd of may :/ which means, I won’t get any more time until then to do anything….at least no quiet and focused time …
I really didn’t expect that to be a problem, but it happened….and at least I know now when it will be and that it will likely not be full time at first, so I have to somehow manage my time around it until she gets used to the daycare.




some life sign

I was supposed to officially start working on 1st/2nd of may, but sadly, despite the daycare forms saying that they can react to urgent need for daycare in 2 weeks, I did not get any response yet (besides them having gotten the mail). So I’m feeling kind of in a limbo….anxious, because I’m not knowing at what point I will be able to work fulltime on my “projects”….also my toddler goes through a phase of really bad sleeping again, so I’m pretty much tired and anxious all day and that is really hard to deal with.
Despite all that, I managed to do a few things…like I continued working on my business card, which I had finally an idea for on what kind of motive I would want and working on some more animal concepts and a completely not relevant animation for a loading screen, as well as doing a lot of organisatory stuff, planning out which game features are core of Critters, what I need to work on first, what things are part of the polish process and should be ignored for now, what resources I can use etc.

Things are moving, but at a much slower pace than I hoped :/
Also, since it’s my first time being mom and also not so familiar with finnish custom regarding daycare over summer, I found out, that I likely have to take a “forced” break from game development in the middle of summer, because even, if I get a daycare spot (hopefully soon), they won’t be open for around a month in summer :/

And….*sighs* in general, I wished I could be more optimistic, but I’m highly stressed and having also some other more personal problems to deal with….I hope I can soon see some progress in terms of daycare….otherwise I need to find a way to make it work without, which….well…I’m trying to anyway, but it’s hard and I know I can’t keep this up for too long without running into risk of falling into a deep hole …. while I know I can get out of such stuff, it’s never easy and never fun.

I’m just gonna leave some more graphical stuff around, so it’s not entirely a negative post…: