Little dots everywhere!

31 Jan 2015

I've been living in Bali for the past 3 months, in a small town called Canggu, where I spend my time surfing and working on my indie game, Of Dust And Dreams. I've been working on this project for a while now (roughly 6 full months), and it's still very far from finished, but I'm happy with the recent progress and I feel like I can share some screenshots and tell some stories.

Throughout the whole month of December, I was working on the rendering style of the game. I wanted to achieve a "stippling" effect. Stippling, for those who don't know, is a drawing technique where the artist uses a lot of little dots to represent the shadows and light in the image.

Here are some results:

Stippling 1

A simple wall, with the stippling effect. Notice how the amount of dots vary to represent the transition from highlight to shadow.

Stippling 2

An abstract sculpture that I made to test things. Low-polygon style + stippling.

Stippling 3

Close-up of the shadow.

Stippling 4

Another close-up.

All those dots are calculated in real-time, and vary dynamically with the light. This isn't a static texture. Achieving a real-time 3D stippling effect like this was a lot of work, but also extremely fun and rewarding. I'm thinking of writing a paper about the technique I'm using here, though I probably won't do that until I make more progress on the game first.

Ok, so that's what I worked on back in December. Now, I'm working on the story itself. At some point in the story, Emily (the main character) will find this huge glass bottle standing upright in the desert. Inside the bottle, there's a city. She'll go inside the bottle and meet the Harvesters, the people who live there and who go out at night in flying ships to harvest the colors from the Memjellies floating around...

Bottled City

Yeah, the bottle is empty now... But there's going to be a whole city inside, promise!