The recently restarted contest made me give my initial idea another try. Actually I had multiple ideas, but they all share a Steampunk Mars setting. Which is quite a challenge for me, but I'll try it nonetheless.
My initial plan was for a mining operation. Balloons would be used to rip huge chunks of rock out of the ground so they'd hover some hundred feet in the air, held in place by huge chains while being mined from the outside.
I later decided I'd rather keep things more realistic, at least partially. You can't breath on Mars. So it'd have to be some kind of base. I settled for a canyon with a glass roof.
The first draft was a very small canyon, consisting mostly of an airship dock. After creating a veeeery rough base mesh in Blender, I started working on the terrain in Sculptris, a very cool free sculpting program which dynamically increases the geometry fidelity (tessellation) as required. This is the result, brought down from 170k tris to about 7k. Most of that is background scenery, the playable area is around the orange dot.
I then started working on a balloon but it turned out utterly ugly. I'll have to redo that.
Actually, I'll probably redo everything. I'll still use a canyon, but it'll be a lot bigger since a real base on Mars would have to be bigger. Its purpose will be mining, so at the bottom there'll be tunnels and mine cart tracks. The players will be higher up in the docks, I think. There'll also be houses for the miners to live in, I'd like to put those on the walls of the canyon but so far I could never do that believably. And to create a breathable atmosphere there'll have to be plants. I don't quite know how they'll fit in yet.
The different levels will have to be connected by elevators so I can keep the players from going down in a realistic way. It's supposed to be a small-medium sized map, after all, and I have to get it done in 2 months.
I'll keep you updated on my progress here, if any.
So long, Mr. Wonko
if the playable is only the orange dot i would use a sky portal it can make a small piece of map seem huge
just an advise and good luck :)
Delta_135;5587545if the playable is only the orange dot i would use a sky portal it can make a small piece of map seem huge
just an advise and good luck :)
As in misc_skyportal? Nah, then I might as well render it to an image and use that as a skybox. I could use a highpoly version, too. But it wouldn't look as good in terms of having a nice perspective.
Anyway, as I already said I scratched that idea. Now I'm doing some kind of canyon/chasm/gorge thing - anybody got good reference for that? I'm not quite sure what a rocky cliff looks like...
I started working on the canyon and here's how it looks so far - interesting, but I'm not sure it'll work well. It also doesn't really capture the strengths of models.
But since the terrains are turning out pretty well, unlike anything else I model, I might just simply create an interesting terrain and not much else. Xycaleth suggested the Himalayas - that sounds pretty nice actually. Maybe I'll create a small temple in the himalayas.
--edit 2-- The Himalaya idea turned out pretty good - I wasn't so sure judging from the mesh, but the textures turned out better than I expected. We'll see if I can do a temple, but it sounds like I won't do a Mars Base after all. I can't change the title though.