Ganymede (Grimmlost colony 2901)
Updated 2 months ago
...the life rich, Jovian moon.

...About the Developer...

I have been a painter for most of my life, I mostly work in oils and pastel. I stumbled upon Unity in February of 2014, as I was a computer hobbyist. I have been HOOKED on Unity since day one. I have always been interested in making a video game but I never understood how it was done. With absolutely no coding background and a traditional studio painting background I dove into Unity Game Engine. Since then, I have pushed myself to learn the game engine inside and out (and still learning.) I have been working on some very cool game concepts after the experience of this challenge I am flooded with great ideas for future projects and definitely enhancing my current projects. I am happy that I have had the opportunity to compete and grow as a developer with this challenge.

...About the Project...

I am very excited to present my entry to the Neon Challenge - Unity 2107 -2018. I started with a completely blank canvas and rushed in to create...
I was inspired by the Adam films, in the way that they conveyed a sort of intimacy in the cinematic shots that really brought the scenes to life. I wanted to take my project in a direction that would also create an atmosphere and a living breathing scene. The project as a whole took me out of my usual element of straight forward game play. The use of cinemachine in the editor is a must have in all of my projects. I am learning more and more tricks and tips from the Austin Live sessions as well. I used the cameras to give the scene flow and action (learning about the follow zoom behavior really helped me to consider cool composition.) I also drew a lot of inspiration from Jim Henson's Dark Crystal as I thought a mystical feel would make things curious and interesting. I have always been a fan of that genre of fantasy puppetry. So, in effect, my characters are puppets.

The idea of a rich oceanic life on a frozen moon within our solar system, is very intriguing to me. The possibilities are endless when you realize that UNITY 3D is your playground to make all of these concepts possible...
Ganymede, one of Jupiter's frozen moons became my focus (mostly because of its greenish blue and rusty purple colors. I started researching the moon ( I like to stay just a little within the reality of facts and then embellish the story around it) and found that to be a great starting point. The frozen, salty ocean is miles of thick ice and possibly harbors life. I took it a step further, I evolved the life on Ganymede and gave them a dramatic struggle for the rich resource of Ganyminium ( a fictitious element found on Ganymede.)
Immediately, I began to build. I have never tried this kind of prototyping and I found it so beneficial in quickly testing configurations of the scene without committing to bake. Fleshing the whole scene out first to give it the feel of a populated area, I moved quickly with PRO BUILDER (FREE). Housing, buildings, structures, flags, everything was starting to feel alive. I had added a drone and other "lively" activated elements in the scene to give it the appearance of a bustling, busy hub of activity.

I realized that this project was growing fast, I have a great filing system and I stick to it. Only root files in the hierarchy and working models are left on top until they are prefabed and complete. Keeping things neat in the hierarchy and the asset folder is the most important thing that you can do in your creation. It helps you to quickly find anything that you need and solve problems faster.
My models are made in BLENDER ( BLENDER is key stroke heavy and that helps me quickly move through the process of prototyping any needed item.) I later make detailed models and textures and replace the prototypes. Cinemachine , with the timeline, makes it easy to get different shots in the scene and muting them when not needed. The use of dolly tracks helped me follow the busy inhabitants of Ganymede.

Timeline helps me keep the project in order as well( I cannot stress a neatly fluid workflow enough ), using key drop downs and nesting the tracks, make adjustments a snap. I have just begun to use this tool but it is extremely powerful and useful. As my project began to take shape tweaking the cameras in the scene makes everything just right. Post processing adds the finishing polish to the project with a nice bloom for highlighting the scene and color grading to get the warm film feel.

I liked tweaking the post process effects. Post process stack V2 (with a blend of Stack V1 for the color grading, as it is the fall back for compute grading.) pushing the Sci - Fi envelope to its limit to get other worldly atmospheric effects.

I used puppetry to convey the drama in the scene and to give it a spacial feeling. The "actors" all play a part in the unfolding story. The cinemachine cameras brought it all to life with the flexibility to shape the scenes and how they blend together. I see timeline as almost a storyboard that one could move around the components. Timeline,cinemachine and post processing stack are very powerful tools that can really turn a scene into magic! I am looking forward to learning more about them and developing my projects with the finishing touches needed for a great quality game.

...Assets, Models, Music, and More....

95 % of the assets, models, characters were created by me , specifically for this challenge.
  • Blender (Models)
  • Awesome Bump (BumpMap/Normal creator)
  • Gimp (Image manipulation)
  • Krita (Quicker Image manipulation)
  • ArtRage4 (Sketches)
  • (Texture pile + brushes)
  • NASA
  • Action! (Video Recording)
  • Tool2017 (terrain tool )
  • Post Processing Stack
  • Post Processing Stack V2
  • Cinemachine
  • Text Mesh Pro
  • UMotion (Animation editor)
  • OpenRecentScene (Bosoniq Tools)
  • Hx Volumetric Lighting
  • Ultimate Game Music Collection
  • Universal Sound FX
  • Gems Ultimate Pack
  • ProCore lite
  • SECTR Audio
  • Playmaker
  • Yughes Metal textures Pack
  • WaterFX pack
  • Stagit Planetary Skybox
  • Animset Movement Pro
  • Mutation textures Pack
  • Sci - Fi barrels (free Asset)
  • Equipment for industrial buildings (free Asset)
  • Unity flares pack
  • 3D brothers Basic motion pack(free)Gesture pack(free)

WIP # 8 . 1/12/2018

This is my second to last update. I wanted to leave the real juicy stuff for the final draft. Still working through the animations of the crystal activator guy. I will do another light pass and adjust, then re bake ( 5 - 10 hours. Perfect time to finish the submission page, cross all of the T's and dot the lower case j's) . I have struck a nice balance in the bloom and color grading to achieve a colorful and warm scene.

tying in the animations to the models and stringing them together is nicely managed with timeline. I use it as a rough draft of where I want things to be but I have the flexibility to change it quickly. Also, started to flesh out the mother ship. Note the lights do not cast shadows, adding a material to the model gets the job done. Also sound effects are a snap to build on the timeline as well.
The team makes it to the mother ship and they get the crystals. The ship heads back to the spaceport with the goods.

WIP #7 . 1/7/2018

In this update, I am still trying to get UMotion up and running. With very fast response and support from the developer I was making very cool Animations...
...I digress, I am working out most of the landscape and peripheral props and scene fillers. I used Unity trees to make interesting Ganymedean trees and foliage. I used Krita, Gimp and Awesome Bump to create those textures.

Ganymede is a frozen oceanic moon, it is slightly smaller than Mars, in our solar system. I used this as inspiration that in the year 2901 the solar system is open and more species have been found to be intelligent. Thermal vents that are charged with Ganymidium ( a fictitious New Element) melt the instantly freezing ice. this created the colony known as Grimmlost. Discovered by a lost Earthling outpost leapfrogging to other habitable moons within the solar system. The colony has become a contentious point in the solar system as the value of Ganymidium is Universal, pun intended. The moon is being over run by a dominating species known from Proxima Centari system.....

WIP #6 . 12/28/2017

Playing with sounds and more visuals, learning how to use the post process stack (and how not to overuse it.) mostly tweaking the camera shots and prototyping for what could be in the place.
The native Ganymedeans have been suppressed for too long. It is time that they take their colony, their home and their Planet back and preserve the resources that they depend upon for their very existence.

WIP # 5 12/22/2017

Prototype of the spaceport is looking cool. I placed some peeps in there to see if they work or where they work in the scene. plus the working with the running guy.
The Native Ganymedeans have sent a team to the mother ship to retrieve the crystal Ganymidium. If they are successful the Alien Force will not have enough power to wipe out every last one of them.
I am working out the story to show the team on the mother ship, stealing back the Ganymidium crystal. Lets see how it goes...?..

WIP #4 12/14/2017

I am still learning how to use cinemachine. I use a lot of prototyping and place markers to work out the scene flow. I really like how it gets you into the action, playing with composition and different camera angles. With the help of timeline, one can easily try out different camera angles and zooms.

WIP #3 12/11/2017

Progress is coming along nicely. I am trying to round out the story more. Originally the story was: Humans have sent ten ships out to find other inhabitable moons and/or planets. They landed on Ganymede and started to use the Ganymidium as thermal vents to thaw sections of the ocean and live within those colonies. I am starting to change it in that aliens that have evolved from sea creatures under the miles thick ice above a lush and vibrant ocean. Adding in the menace of a dominate alien force.?.


WIP #2 12/7/2017

I am using the third person controller to run around in the ice canyon. I am still exploring and thinking on which direction I would like to take this project.

WIP #1 12/7/2017

Starting the Neon Challenge. I made my version of a drone as inspired by the Neon Challenge scene. I am excited to join the challenge and put in my best effort.
I have watched some videos on cinemachine and I am eager to start messing around with it...

Michael Yount
Full-On Artist, Game Design - Artist