Splash image composition!
Hello everyone! This is your favourite rambler, Mr. Slate. This week I'll share our splash image composition process. You may have seen a couple videos already out on our social media.
If you haven't that's also ok! Here's the latest one:
Not the best name I know. That's a bit of a theme for today. We have a separate unity application which is used to create and scrub 3D environments. In terms of gameplay we wanted to produce unique area (evergreen forest) and dwelling (lumber village) images and generate them at runtime so we can have appropriate splash screens for adventures (who are also procedurally generated). Early on we established the layers necessary to create the final image compositions.
These layers ended up being sky, area background, dwelling and area foreground as you can see in the video above. Every layer has a predetermined location and footprint in our main scrubbing scene. For example the foreground and background are always in the same 3D space because the foreground image might have to overlay on top of the background image. Once we are done building the sets we use scripts that scrub through the 3D environments and produce output in the form of transparent screenshots. Those images are then copied over to the game where they can be loaded as resources at runtime.
In the main unity application we use a system I called "Theater". I know, kind of weird but hear me out - you have a theater stage and the layers are your sets. Just like in theater your sets can be layered. Yeah, a bit tenuous, I know, but it does make it easier to explain. In our case the theater is a prefab which can be freely dropped in scenes and contains the sets where the images will fit and the logic to set the stage with a simple function call. We had plans of using this in several places in the game but quickly realised that it would be extremely difficult to fit the images in the UI with certain aspect ratios. Regardless, I think we've picked a good few places in the game where the image compositions look good and fits well in the UI.
I think this'll have to do it for today!
See you next Monday for more game insights!