Making low-poly models for games...

Making low-poly models for games...

Postby djm » June 25th, 2015, 8:50 am hard work! I would almost go as far aso to say that I have bigger issues making my low-poly models look and feel right than I do with my high-poly models, and scenes even. Can't explain why but that's how it is.

Why this topic all of a sudden though? - Well, in short: I bought a game which I have completely fallen in love with, mostly because of the possibilities within it. I am not a fan of mods, and have never been a fan of mods. However.. When it comes to games like "Sim City" or "Cities XL", modding is like a must in order to make what you want. Sadly, neither of these titles allow this. So, hidden beneath the shadows of it's competition is this game, that just came out of nowehere as an answer to the players' prayers: "Cities: Skylines"!

The graphics from Sim City x10, the gameplay from Cities: XL but improved and the modding community from both games combined = probably the best simulator experience I have had in quite some time. And I can't stop watching videos about it, downloading new assets and buildings to it which are all player made and best of all: I can't stop making my own.

As a CG-artist I have the tools and knowledge needed to create my very own assets for games like this and use them as I please, no copyright BS. So, I make my own buildings, vehicles, trains, parks, props etc. and I am having such a fun time doing it because I know that these models and textures will be used in MY city.. And if I so desire I can share my creations with the world over the Steam Workshop, so others can use my assets in their cities too. This does not only feel super rewarding, but it is so much fun too, no matter the rating.

So, I don't like modding yet I want to add my own models to the game? Why?
The answer is simple: I can recreate reality, basically.

In this game you get plots, just like in sim city, and they share the same size (2x2km). However, in Cities: Skylines you actually get 9 of these - within the same city. And with the right mods (yes, mods) you can have all 25 of these plots and just go bonkers with your imagination or recreation.

As a first try at making something semi-real (or recreated from reality) I decided to make my 'very soon to be called home': Tokyo.

I began by using google maps to create a replica of Tokyo's landmass, rivers, islands and mountains in the map editor. This was all made in the game so it was quick and easy. After this I took to the workshop to see which japanese-esque assets I could find.. Turns out, Tokyo, or Japan even is not that high on the list of asset-making (stupid Europe.. why do we have to be so special!?). So, what else could I do to get the assets I need to recreate Tokyo?? - I make the myself.

As you may already know, Tokyo is one of the worlds most high-tech cities and where ever you go there are bilboards upon bilboards cramped up together with unique looking high-rise structures and low-rise appartments, all of which have a distinct feeling to them.. The architecture is very different. And since it is so different I decided to make something slightly less fiddly to start of with.. So I made the world's fastest train: The Hayabusa, Shinkansen (Bullet train).


As you can see in the image, the Hayabusa looks quite nice (even with my own home-made Paint.NET texture). However, when imported to the game, I made sure to make a spec map that would make the train overly glossy, because of reasons (the train is actually VERY glossy IRL).

Buuut, I went overboard with the spec-map..

Now, keep in mind that the game itself is not the witcher 3. The graphics are god awful close-up, but it gets the job done of being what it is: a city building simulator, and a good looking one at that.

Since this was my very first try at making assets for this game I also went with a structure, duuh, and it is very basic. A tall cube basically, with some textures..

It looks OKAY at best, and it took a great deal of effort from my part to make this :lol:
But, with time it will get easier, I will get better and my assets will starts to look much MUCH better. But for now, this will do.. - and the same goes for anyone else digging into this.

Happy blending!

(Yes, I will keep working on the train, because having a bullet train this game would be great!) :Dance:
Regards, DJM aka Sheldin!

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Re: Making low-poly models for games...

Postby IrascibleOne » June 26th, 2015, 8:26 pm

Awesome! That skyscraper certainly looks nicer than the other buildings, IMO. :thumbup:

I've also been one to generally avoid mods but SimCity 4 and Minecraft have been the exception. Never got around to making any mods myself though. I've always been interested in getting Cities, but I have yet to buy a computer that can handle decent games made in the last decade...sometime soon though. Just got to mentally prepare myself for dropping a ton of money for a nice computer.

Maybe when I get around to doing that, I might buy Cities. Looks like the type of game I really like to play, especially if it allows for that kind of customizability. :D
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Re: Making low-poly models for games...

Postby jobel » July 26th, 2015, 11:07 am

very nice! yeah that game is a on my list..

I agree about the modding. I looked into modding Minecraft and it's not difficult, more of a hassle than anything. I'm a game developer, so I'd almost rather just make my own games instead of modding...

Right now I've been making models for my games.. I'm no artist, but I can make things look decent (enough for me).
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