The challenge in modeling the bioroids concept art for Herogrinder: Tactical Combat Arenas was to follow the exaggerated proportions of their style and to deviate from the standard human anatomy. We aimed to carry over the edges shown in the drawings into both the 3D design and the texture map painting. At the same time, we had to keep in mind that the model had to be properly animated.
When texturing, it was also important to keep the drawn cartoon style, so that the result should not be too simple nor too realistic. The essence of our visual world is based on hand-painted maps and rough, prominent proportions, as well as characteristic color schemes that are applied to all characters and environmental assets.
The basic concept when building characters was based on 2 “gender” models and 3 sizes, for a total of 6 basic characters, who would have different characteristics, advantages / disadvantages in the game. The head would be the only static element, so that the head accessories created during the development could be easily adapted to the characters.
First, we created base bodies in the nude, then we modeled the clothes and the armor. When attaching an outfit, it was essential that the armor follow the body seamlessly and that when the user switches between armors, there should be no change in the character – the arc of the shoulders, abdomen, etc. For areas where the skin surface remained exposed, the armor was attached to it while retaining the mesh structure of the original body.
Another important aspect was variability, so that users can be free to customize the size and look of their characters to suit their own styles and tastes. Therefore the texture maps were added to the characters in black and white, and the user can then color them with RGB masks based on a color palette.
In every case, the texture of the outfits are divided into 3 colorable areas based on the RGB mask mentioned above, while there are some armors where the emissive map on them can also be colored by another RGB mask on the alpha channel. The RGB mask on this alpha channel is also responsible for the patterns on our characters, which can also be selected and colored by the user. We also used this system in weapon design, so the 10+ types of armor and 50+ weapons currently available can be created in many versions, resulting in extremely unique characters.
You can check out the final versions of the bioroids, armors, and weapons in our PC demo app from Steam, view some dev demo vids about our level editor tool on our Youtube page, and check out our progress on Twitter. Hit me up if you want to learn more about the bioroids concept art.