You and me and baby makes three. And another baby makes four. And two cats and two dogs and six chickens makes fourteen. And then Mama decides she wants honey bees and the total soars to somewhere around 25,000. That’s the family that makes up Vermont Digital Arts.
You could say that we are all the worker bees. Papa is an artist and programmer and does most of the technical work at Vermont Digital Arts. Mama is the Queen Bee who sits back and is fed royal jelly all day … oh no, wait, that was my fantasy. No, Mama flits from one thing to the next, writing, designing, organizing, keeping the hive running. The two youngest humans in the family make games, stories, art and music.
One day the youngest human thought that it would be cool to have a game that was a cross between Spell Tower (http://www.spelltower.com/) and Chip Chain (http://chip-chain.com/), so a meeting was called. Everyone (except the chickens and the bees) gathered around the dinner table and talked about what such a game would look like. Mama took notes and then a few days later made a paper prototype. Being a beekeeper, she used hexagons to make a honeycomb board and took the name Waggle Words from the movements that bees make to communicate with each other which is called a “waggle dance”.
The family decided that Papa, a trained artist who wanted to hone his programming skills, would engineer the game himself. Learning how to program requires time, patience and extra baking. Thankfully, Papa was up to the task of learning and Eldest Child who loves to bake kept everyone happy with lots of treats.
Finally the Vermont Digital Arts family has a playable game. We are so excited about how Waggle Words is turning out. It is a super fun, strategic, single-player word game AND it will also be a groundbreaking multi-player VR game. Just wait!
Do you make 3D art, animation and or use Unity to make multiplatform Games? Anyone can download or make 3D art assets and anyone can make games in Unity. It is another story when it comes to creating an art pipeline that accounts for efficiency, flexibility, multiple resolutions for multiplatform optimizations. Art optimization begin in the tools one chooses to uses for content creation. Optimization is also dependent on the way tools are utilized and how they export assets for Unity. Finally, art optimization happen within the Unity editor, which varies for individual targeted platforms, with best art practices and smart coding.
Elliott Mitchell, co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts and the Boston Unity User Group, gave a Unite 2013 (Unity Developer’s Conference) talk on this topic last August in Vancouver, BC. Check out the video of his talk and check back here to see a series of blog posts on topics covered as well as the plethora of areas he didn’t have to touch upon in his talk at Unite.
Special thanks goes to Anzovin Studio for providing The Setup Machine for Games to Elliott and Vermont Digital Arts. In addition, Anzovin provided their expertise by rigging the Elliott’s 3D Samsquanch character as well as animating an Idle and Walk cycle for this demo!
Remember, there is no optimized game without good coding even if your art is exceptional. Make friends with talented engineers or learn to code yourself! It takes both sides of the brain to make great games!
Vermont Digital Arts is back from Unite 2013! What a conference!
Elliott Mitchell (founder of Vermont Digital Arts) presented on Successfully Avoiding Common Pathways to Heartbreak and Disasters in Your Art Pipeline last week at Unite. Due to popular demand, keep a posted on a series of upcoming mini-posts relating to Elliott’s talk.
Overall I feel my talk was well received by the audience at Unite 2013. The audience was an interesting mix of artists and developers with various levels of experience in Unity and art pipelines. I realized I only had time to cover a fraction of the content I thought was important so I just went with the flow and covered what I could in the allocated time. I’m looking forward to authoring a series of posts covering my talk and points beyond!
-Elliott Mitchell (Founder Vermont Digital Arts)
Also we wanted to give a shout out to Anzovin Studio for the rigging and animation on Samsquanch with TSMG!