We’ve been playing our cards pretty close to the chest here at Gaslamp Games when it comes to showing final game assets. You know, put your best foot forward and make a good impression and all that. There were some scenes showing rendered assets (not in-engine) shown in the PC Gamer preview but we have since overhauled much of what was shown there. For today, let us focus on the characters.
Our character artist here at Gaslamp Games, Gentleman Joseph, has been very, very busy.
On The Matter of Enhancement Of Certain Qualities
After an initial run of art asset production we looked at what we had and decided there was a lot more graphics capacity to burn through. We’ve doubled the original triangle budget and texture resolution for characters’ heads, hair, and hats. Now with higher quality identifiable features on people we can now reasonably pull head-and-shoulders shots of character models directly in the UI instead of needing to separate portraits (or no portraits at all). The increased polycount even allows a degree of emotional expression, which our animator, The Talented Mr. Triolo, is going to have to run some experiments for.
The Modular Makings of a Human
Clockwork Empires characters are divided into a number of modular parts which are assembled together in-engine (or in saucy Potemkin-esque renders) to form all the variety of your population. The pieces are body, head, hair and/or hat, and various retexturings of all the above.
Given these people-pieces, all manner of people can be created. (I should note here as well that we intend to have a variety of skin colours available, though these shots don’t show it.)
A Subject’s Station & The Betterment Thereof
The alterna-pseudo-Victorian society of Clockwork Empires is eminently class-based. As such, character parts are tagged by class. A lower class character will appear unruly, unbathed, and unshaven as befits the toiling labourer. The middle class will aspire to the grooming and encrustings of the upper class which in-turn, of course, shall tend toward neatly waxed mustaches, finely coiffed hair, and tasteless displays of wealth.
There’s much to be said about how the class structure fits into gameplay, but that’s post for another week. So let’s leave you be. By the way, we’re going to be doing these Clockwork Empires updates on Wednesdays from now on because it takes us until the middle of the week to truly wake up after The Deathless Sleep.
(And some props to “The Doctor” Hamilton, our environment artist, for the gravestone. More of his work shall surely be showcased soon – he’s been cranking out upgraded pipe-sections like a certain ill-begotten factory in the lost colony of Shiveringhope.)