April 18th 2020 Update


Greetings and welcome back to our behind the scenes look at the making of The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox. Every day our journey picks up momentum as we remain laser focused on launching our Early Access on Steam this August. We’ve got a jam-packed update this week so let’s get going: One huge creative milestone is now moving from our 3d team over to our development team: the customizable player character! If you’ve been following our biweekly updates you might’ve noticed us talk about “morph targets” recently. Many artists use this technique to create animations such as a smile, eye blink, etc. Eric Crosby has been using it to give our players the ability to create any face they can possibly imagine, and he made a slider for the player’s body too! Here’s a picture that shows all 40 sliders, and take note… Eric wants to ultimately do more! There’s also a video too, look close to see how the morph targets work:

CLICK THIS FOR A VIDEO EXAMPLE: https://streamable.com/22lzh4

Here are some quick examples that we put together to show how easy it is to create a new player look:

Crosby also worked on making out new player model work with all of our legacy animations. We think it might be time to upgrade some of them but for now, check out the new player model linked up to the old critical attack animation and the idle wheelchair animation:

CRITICAL ATTACK ANIMATION: https://streamable.com/klv4jp

WHEELCHAIR IDLE ANIMATION: https://streamable.com/07jjmf

As if that wasn’t enough, he also completed some of the colorable hair zones. Each hair style will be able to be colored by base color, shadows, highlights and a dyed area. The player will also be able to customize the styles themselves by making them longer or shorter! Here’s a look at one of the hairstyles that will be available during the character creation process:

Elsewhere in 3D land Caleb Embleton-Oliver continued his pursuit to get all of our starter gear created. Here are pics of various items that the player can choose from during the character creation process.

If you notice, each clothing item has three “zones” that are colored red, blue and green. I think by now you may know what that means… the player will be able to color those zones as they please. We will provide a default color scheme but don’t let that stop you from changing things up! To drive the point home, here’s our starter backpack. The default color is gray, but here it is with a gold finish:

In non 3D news, the team worked towards the implementation of the character customizations, main menu UI, back end architecture, parent’s dashboard, characters (Chuck and S.I.R. in particular) and the 3rd person controller. So tons of work on the development side, not to mention that our teacher Pete began work on some of the free Battle Trivia content that will ship with the Early Access.

On the hiring front we brought on a talented programmer to work on our “parent’s dashboard” and we also found our Lead Writer / Narrative Designer!! Stay tuned for an announcement on that next week!

That’s it for this update. Thanks for reading, see you in two weeks!