Skyreach is a driving game with strong puzzle and exploration elements set in a mystical red rock desert floating the clouds. The player drives a car from one end of the map to the other while choosing what track part to place directly in front of them. Skyreach combines track building and driving into a simultaneous action creating a unique challenge. Our team was made up of 15 talented game dev students; with two designers, two artists, three tech artists, five producers and five engineers. All of whom were a pleasure to work with.
My job as a Tech Artist was the asset creation pipeline and level art pipeline. For the most part I played what I would call a creative sweeper, a position where I did anything that either fell through the cracks or was about to. I ended up doing a huge amount more than just pipeline from project art direction to creating our teams graphic identity and marketing materials. Below is a list of discrete tasks I was directly responsible for.
Skyreach changed many times since we started in the spring of 2015. Originally called Crash City which was a game about controlling traffic using traffic signs to cause chaos in a city. Big change since then. Take a look at these screenshots from prior designs and art styles. We went from a cartoon city to a Wreck-It Ralph inspired candyland to finally the floating desert that is Skyreach.
One of the trickiest problems to having to work with a flat hierarchy where no one is the boss. This means if you want to get investment from others it must be done in an empowering way such as consensus building. The only way to get an entire art team behind an idea is through consensus building. Voting simply creates division and guarantees losers. Consensus building works to make sure everyone has a voice and that the voice is heard. Skyreach’s floating Utah styled desert in the clouds was arrived through consensus building which gave the entire art team ownership this differed from prior iterations which were voted or arbitrarily decided leaving many feeling the game had moved in a direction they were unhappy with.
As volunteer art lead I was responsible for creating a color palette and style guidelines for the other artists to use. I also developed pipelines and processes so all our assets would at least look somewhat similar. Take a look at the color palette.
I also designed the logo and picked out the typeface for our Skyreach logo. This was fun as I hadn’t done logo design in a few years. The logomark is taken from the car’s wheel.
The majority of environment art I concepted, modeled, textured, lit and finished in engine. My pipeline was model a low-poly version in Maya which is sent to ZBrush for high poly sculpting. From Zbrush its passed on to Substance bouncing between Substance Designer and Painter until its textured eventually moving on to Unity.