Notifications
Article
Dystopia (FINISHED)
Updated 5 months ago
97
0
What a mess this has become...

Why, Hello Earthling! (An Introduction)

My name is Michael Shaw. A pleasure to meet you, user! I am a 16-year-old (17 on Feb 1) solo indie dev from Salt Lake City, Utah, currently based in Seattle, Washington, and, to be frank with you, this is the first time I've done something this big in one month.
So far, under my studio Flippin' Fun Video Games (FFVD Games for short), I have developed and published one game (Project TOY) and am currently working on four other projects; one of which I have yet to announce (not Dystopia), one that has been postponed for personal reasons (When Rain Ceases), one that might be too big for my mouth to chew at the moment (The Doll Movement), and another that I am working on with a very good friend of mine.
This project was completed in 31 days on January 1D, 2018.

Inspiration

To be honest, the artwork from Georgi didn't inspire this music video (although his illustrations are quite beautiful).
I was inspired by futuristic apocalypse situations like the one presented in the Fallout series. Personally, I love apocalyptic scenarios, so this project was a playground of fun rather than a chore of doom and misery.
Speaking of prototype artwork, here's a Halo 4 image that I really liked. It's just the right amount of advanced technology and nature that brings out the apocalypse in Halo. Although I have never owned a Halo game (hate on me, I dare ya), I like the environment that Microsoft created for the Halo series. I just like the idea of having super advanced stuff mixed in with ruins and nature.
This image is just a cool wallpaper that I found. To me, it's like an alien invasion sometime in the future (which it obviously is). The invaders have this super advanced tech that's waaaay ahead of ours, yet there's always the hope that the old can beat the new (because the government always comes out with something amazing at opportune moments). It also kinda matches the title and theme of the project; Dystopia.
I don't know why I just did all of that when I could've just said "I want to make this like Xenoblade Chronicles but dystopian..." Oh, well.
I think that Dystopia would best fit under this image from Mr. Simeonov because it matches the natural-technological merge environment that I want to create and it also looks like the societal rules that the characters depicted seem to follow suggest they're in a dystopian society. It also looks like Xenoblade Chronicles, one of my favorite game series to just look at and admire...

Story

The film takes place in an Earth centuries in the future from now, and it's beed devastated by past wars that nearly wiped out the human race. As the surface is very radioactive, humans have been forced to move underground and rebuild their societies from scratch. Because each city is cut off from the rest of the globe (or any information), each one is more or less a dystopia. Some have survived self-destruction so far, and some have even fully recovered and have become utopias. Not the city that has been dubbed Dystopia by travelers. One individual is determined to end the cycle of misery and destruction by kidnapping the queen, who herself is named Dystopia. She hopes that, once she is awoken, she will restore humanity to its former glory...

Assets Used

  • Asset Store
  1. Cinemachine
  2. Post Processing Stack
  3. Nature Starter Kit 2
  4. Ruins Creation Kit
  5. SciFi Handlight Free [HQ, Lowpoly, PBR]
  6. White City
  7. Black Rain Texture Pack (DEPRECATED)
  8. MCS Female
  9. MCS Female: Sci-Fi Bundle 01
  10. Cyber Soldier
  11. TypeOut Animated Text
  12. Dirty Lens Flare
  • 3rd Party
  1. Cryotube (SketchFab)
  2. Ivy with Wall (3D Warehouse)
  3. 2D Ivy #1 (3D Warehouse)
  4. hatch v.2.0 (SketchFab)

Song Used

Dystopia - Written by Michael Shaw

Attributions

Cryotube by bsichterman is licensed under CC Attribution
hatch v.2.0 by TadasSadauskas is licensed under CC Attribution
Ivy Set by 3dynamite is licensed under CC Attribution

Version 1.0.0 - 01/13/17

Cinemachine and Me

Today marks the day that the music video is (hopefully) complete! After wrestling with Unity freezing, school, and my less-than-useful programming skills (don't tell anyone I got a 3 on the APCS test in 2017), I somehow finished this thing! I did need to make a few changes before I could record it, though (such as removing the captor model and changing the way light renders)... I also had to ditch the idea of using Unity Recorder (since it can't render UI). I used Elgato to record the film at 720p and Hitfilm Express to crop the video so the Unity interface wasn't present.
First, here's the video without special effects (just so you can see the difference between the outline and the final version)
Here's the video with special effects, which is also posted at the top of the article.
Good luck to the other challengers! Can't wait to see who wins!
~ Michael Shaw, Flippin' Fun Video Games
ASSETS ADDED
  • Asset Store
  1. Dirty Lens Flare

Version 0.3.0 - 01/03/2018

New Year, New Computer

So I'm picking up this project in the new year with a brand new gaming computer, which means I have to start using a new set of tools that I haven't touched before. Here's what I somehow managed to do over the past two days with school in the way.
First thing's first, I put in a hatch to the city. Looks much better than 0.2.0, right? Later, I'll animate the doors so they open leading up to the chorus.
I actually finished the city! It was a pain in the neck, especially since school started back up, but I finally did it! (I totally didn't just randomly place buildings down, what are you talking about?)
The temple/shrine/whatchamacallit is also finished!
That's all I got for scene updates.

Logo Updates

Big progress over the past few days. I'll try to spend as much time as possible on filming over the next couple of days so I can get this thing done and dusted by Jan 15. Here's what the home stretch looks like:
  • Animate cameras and scenes to the music
  • Add environmental SFX (Let me know if you want this in the video)
  • Use post processing
  • Fix any small details and bugs
  • Record the video
  • Upload the video to here and YouTube
Good luck to all challengers in this final stretch! Be sure to tell me what you think in the comments below!
ADDED ASSETS
  • Asset Store
  1. TypeOut Animated Text
  • 3rd Party
  1. hatch v.2.0 (SketchFab)
  2. Ivy Set (SketchFab)

Version 0.2.1 - 12/28/2017

The Hills are Alive...

I think you can complete that sentence.
Do you remember the mess of a song I made? I finally got around to recording the vocals for it. It actually sounds amazing! I've attached the full version of the (very short) song below if ya wanna give it a little listen.
See y'all in 2018!

Version 0.2.0 - 12/22/2017

Story Update

I think I finally have a full story to go with the project.
The film takes place in an Earth centuries in the future from now, and it's beed devastated by past wars that nearly wiped out the human race. As the surface is very radioactive, humans have been forced to move underground and rebuild their societies from scratch. Because each city is cut off from the rest of the globe (or any information), each one is more or less a dystopia. Some have survived self-destruction so far, and some have even fully recovered and have become utopias. Not the city that has been dubbed Dystopia by travelers. One individual is determined to end the cycle of misery and destruction by kidnapping the queen, who herself is named Dystopia. She hopes that, once she is awoken, she will restore humanity to its former glory...
This will be available at the top with the rest of the Introduction section.

From Rural to Urban

It's time to move on from the countryside and begin work on the underground city and the temple! Today is also not detail day. I'm just laying out the city with basic assets before I add smaller details (like lights, animations, props, etc). I do, however, want to set the temple's details in stone before I do much else with anything else.
First off, I put down a flat cylinder in the ground as a placeholder for the city entrance. Eventually, it will become a sewer cover of some kind.
Next, I simply added a basic grid texture that just so happened to be pre-installed with Unity onto a terrain that will host the city.
Now it's the longest part of this process; building the city. All I did was grab a city building asset, surround it with black, non-reflective walls, and start moving buildings around based on a grid-like system while making the city look and feel like... well, a city. So far, I'd estimate that I'm at least 5% done with it. I'm in for a treat...
I also got to work on the temple scene, the fourth and final scene in Dystopia. The textures I used for the floor, the walls, and the ceiling are no longer on the Asset Store, unfortunately. The characters are just generic ones taken from the Asset Store besides the one in the tube. That one was made with the MCS system. The tube was taken from SketchFab. The vines so far are from 3D Warehouse, but I still need to add more to make the temple feel like it was just taken directly from the ruins and placed on the top of a building. Moving the characters around was probably the most tedious part of this project so far (3D fingers are now a trigger for me).
Last of all, I started work on the song that will be used in the film. It's called Dystopia (so original). I've got all of the instrumental tracks done and dusted all the way to the credits. Tomorrow, it'll be vocal track recording day... Joy...
Oh yeah, I also made a logo with the temple. It's very preliminary, but I think it looks pretty cool!
So far, the list of things I have to do has been reduced to:
  • Finish the city
  • Finish the temple
  • Detail each scene
  • Start using Timeline, post processing, and Cinemachine to outline the video
  • Record vocals for the film music
  • Animate cameras and scene, all timed to the music
  • Add environmental sound effects
  • Fix small details that may be hanging about
  • Record the dang thing
That's all for today. I've got a Star Wars VIII showing to catch. Ciao!
ADDED ASSETS:
  • Asset Store
  1. White City
  2. Black Rain Texture Pack (DEPRECATED)
  3. Red Samurai
  4. MCS Female
  5. MCS Female: Sci-Fi Bundle 01
  6. Cyber Soldier
  • 3rd Party
  1. Cryotube (SketchFab)
  2. Ivy with Wall (3D Warehouse)
  3. 2D Ivy #1 (3D Warehouse)

Version 0.1.0 - 12/20/2017

Jumping Into Unity

To start, I had to upgrade my Unity from 2017.1.0f3 to 2017.3.0f3 in order to even run Cinemachine. It took forever to download, but it worked. Next, I downloaded all the assets required to start this challenge (listed on the challenge rules). After all that setup was over, I could finally get to work on the opening scene; the forest.
It was quite easy to get it started. All I did was download an asset with the style of trees, grass, and terrain textures that I wanted and just tried my best to replicate my absolutely terrible concept art (which I drew in seconds btw). I'd say I did pretty good.
Next, I started work on the ruins, which is the second scene in the project. I first imported a generic ruins starter kit and messed around with it until I though it looked good enough. Next, I added some ambient lighting with some sci-fi models to lighten up some of the shadows. I also changed up some of the sun shaft settings and the direction of the light. Now that I think about it, it kinda looks like something straight outta Myst... As of now, I have no clue how I'm going to make the ruins come into the scene and transfer into the city, but I'm sure it'll come to me within the next few days.
For today's update, I'm just focusing on the forest and the ruins. I'll begin work on the city tomorrow if I have enough time between setting up Christmas and cleaning the house! To supplement, here's my unity screen from all the progress I made:
The things that I now have to do in order to complete Dystopia are:
  • Model the basics of the city
  • Figure out the transition from ruins to city
  • Detail the city and the ruins
  • Work on finalizing the fourth and final scene
  • Place the fourth scene into the city
  • Start using Timeline, post processing, and Cinemachine to outline the video
  • Make some music to go along with the video
  • Animate cameras and scene, all timed to the music
  • Add environmental sound effects
  • Fix small details that may be hanging about
  • Record the dang thing

Making Some Prototype Logos

I decided that, since I made virtually no meaningful progress in this update, I might as well make some logos.
The first one was just some text on a white background. Nothing fancy. Just a basic Photoshop font on a simple, plain, white background. Just as basic as I am...




Next, I decided to take it a few steps further and apply the logo to some in-game screenshots, even though there aren't any post processing effects yet. As I develop this challenge further, I'll be sure to update every singly logo so they match the finished project (and hopefully stylize the text more):
That's the update for today. Good luck to my fellow challengers/competition, and good day/night to you, reader! Be sure to tell me your thoughts about this so far in them comments!
ADDED ASSETS:
  • Asset Store:
  1. Cinemachine
  2. Post Processing Stack
  3. Unity Recorder
  4. Nature Starter Kit 2
  5. Ruins Creation Kit
  6. SciFi Handlight Free [HQ, Lowpoly, PBR]

Version 0.0.1 - 12/19/2017

Story Concepts

The current story is a simple one; a person is stuck in a thing and some person comes to supposedly steal them. I set the scene beforehand with cool camera angles and beautiful scenery while building dramatic tension up until the camera cuts. Super simple, yet incredibly effective as it leaves an open-ended question; what happens next?

Concept Art


Michael Shaw
Solo Indie Game Developer - Owner
2
Comments