Thursday, 14 February 2013

Cry Engines sky

So while working on the layout of the map I found an annoying issue which bugged me. When you create a level Cry  engine gives you this default 24 time of day which really strong colours and moves really fast and can often make things hard to read in level. Like in midday the sun would be so bright the ground would be pure white and had no shadows and was just really horrible to work with.

Looking at the Time Of Day options there is tonnes of things you can do to with to make your own custom sky the way you want. I'm aiming for a foggy morning sort of look in the mountains. But anyways here is the time of day window and the list of customizations you can do to it.

I love how much you can change this at first I thought I'd get lost in all them but they are pretty easy to follow. First of though was the get rid of the time of day changing. I want my level to be consistent and not change to lunch time in the when I want a foggy morning.

On the tasks tab there is a tool that says reset to default. So i click that and it gave me a pretty plan white shadows snowy looking type of sky. Which is fine I can build on that. Also I set the time of day to 07:00 and set the play speed to 0 so it kept the sun in the morning sunrises position. The sun's position I can also change too on the lighting tab on the main screen. I changed it so the sun was in the right place to look over the lake and mountains when you look out of the tree house. Seemed liked a nice way to end the level. I can change this if need be though.

Using google for reference I searched for google mountains and the get the right sort of sky effect. The colours I was finding really stood out for me they seemed to fit what I wanted. I wanted to  try get something in between these two photos with orange sky and violet fog colour.
I'm pretty happy with the way this looks but  when you look up the sky dome is pure orange and looks horrible   I feel like I almost want to pure  a sign saying "Do not look up." But I need to change it. So I've played around with more reference and tried to go for a more bluey sky to keep the sky more realistic looking and Also trying to keep the colours too like the orange that reflects of the mountains from the sun and the purples lower down to make it seem cold. I'm pretty pleased with it I've saved the settings for both skys so I can switch back if I change my mind lately on.


Been working on the layout lately and what the map would look like so I've modeled a few maps and i quiet like the last ones everything seems to be in the right place ish. Like the river is in a suitable place to cross.
Marking out where I want features has been tricky as I want to keep the player interested. I tried to walk across the last map and it took 2 mins which is kinda long if there isn't many features.
Here is a rough guide of what where points of interests will be placed. I'm going to shorten the path from the last house to the tree house though because its a long distance and it might be a little boring wondering through woods for that long. Also thinking about splitting the path in to three routes up to it as would give some sort of player choice.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Just wanted to update so far on what I have had in mind for my forest and the type of view I want for the tree houses.

Interesting photos of Forests

So for my level i said i was adding a forest for the player to  explore and i've search alot for images i've found  and there they are.

What am I aiming for?

After my presentation I got the feedback to work on one of the images I had shown (on the right) and develop the tree house from it. I'm pretty happy with this, it was one of my favorite images I had shown because of the style of the spiral stair cases and the silhouettes of them.

So I'm going to model the tree houses and the interior  to explore. I was planning on using UDK engine for this but I need to model and environment around it for the player to see to bring them in to this world with these tree houses. I've had terrible experience with the foliage brushes on UDK in my past rooftop project with it crashing my scene a lot. So I've been looking on Cry Engine and playing around on And I have to see I really love the engine and the features it gives me. Its so simple and easy to create terrain. And it seems perfect for what I want it for.

Back to the title then... What am I aiming for?

A realistic/semi stylized forest with cabins and a free house at the end with a view from the windows.
I want the player to be able to see from the start their goal and work their way through the forest to the tree houses. On their way I want the player to explorer interesting scenery like a rivers, path ways multiply roots to get to the end goal. Also to try keep it linear so the player doesn't get lost in the woods. I don't want no slender man to find them...