Design Notes

The Secret about Girls...

Posted by on 69 comments

Return to Akiba

I missed you! It is great to be back at the lab working on the games. For the past two weeks I was in Japan. For most of the adventure, I was in the town of Akiba (Akihabara), which also known as "electric town." Imagine a city dedicated to, and overflowing with buildings dedicated to anime, arcades, robots, games, music (vocaloid!), comics and cosplay.  I was so inspired by the town, that upon returning home from my first visit two years ago we created a place after it AdventureQuest Worlds ( /join Akiba ) . During this trip there, I spent my time studying design, trying out the new games, hanging out with a long time player, TravelingTom, and coming up with fresh new ideas for the future our gaming community. I also infiltrated several Vampire lairs. More about this later... today, I want to talk about... girls!

I love AkibaAbout 7 blocks of arcades, cosplay, games, music, cosplay... otaku heaven!

Meet Poly. She is a Countess. (a... um... Poly Count-ess!)

The 3D girl pictured below, is the current low poly count, ready for game play, female character model. I spent today working with Dage and Yergen on the art. They say the eyes are the gateway to the soul. So, I believe the secret to creating girl characters... is the eyes! Ours still seem a little blurry to me, but Xero said we can dedicate more space to them to give more detail and shine - making her more human. If you are not already a guru of 3D creation, you might be wondering, "What is that weird box with the stretched face to the right of the girl?"  That is called a Diffuse Map. That is what we paint, and then stretch around the 3D model. The diffuse map for the body even looks weirder... which I will post for you tomorrow. So please come back to check it out!

Poly Count-ess
(Actual Game Play graphics)

It is pretty crazy that we are making this all from scratch -- for the team's first 3D game I feel we are off to a great start!

Comment Question: What do you think? Other than, "WHEN CAN WE PLAY!?"

Sorry Comments are now closed for this post.
thekillr one
thekillr one: so far the face on the model looks really good, like other 3D games, cant wait to play this when it comes out, good job.

-the darkest of shadows follow mine...and the darkest of fears grow off of mine-
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Solo Xz
Solo Xz: WEBA (WELCOME BACK) ARTIX!!!!, glad you could post today Artix and very happy you went to Akihabara in japan =D. Anyways back to the making a question, how far of a completion rate of aq3D do you think you have?
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TheChillWill
TheChillWill: Are the eyesof the character head from the UV/Diffuse Map? I think you should actually model the eyes, and animate them to blink so that it looks more realistic. Just my opinions. But, I`m loving the progress reports of this game, and I cannot wait to test.
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MrPyro
MrPyro: Looks Great Artix hope you had Happy Easter
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redpanda2016
redpanda2016: Totally incredible! The hair is looking a slightly stringy through. You might wanna smooth it out unless you plan on making her look a bit rugged and if she is going to fight then i guess that's a good thing.

PS. Keep a spot open in the team for me! :D
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Awyra
Awyra: Poly's actually really pretty. Keep up the awesome work, AE!
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Branwyn
Branwyn: All I'm hoping for is that the game is more like traditional MMOs, and I'm also eager to see some alpha testing!
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Zeke Lionhart
Zeke Lionhart: Wow, I honestly doubted about the female character's good looks when it was all gray, but now she is looking.. perfect! :D
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Smog The Magnificent
Smog The Magnificent: FIRST POST!!
I think she looks great I am amazed by the talent of ae artists. good luck and I know I will be testing your new game soon.
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ElrynWarmage
ElrynWarmage: *Elryn chuckles*

Low detail and first try? Very well done if you ask me.
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Dragonmaster Flynn
Dragonmaster Flynn: Welcome back! I can't wait to play AQ3D. I'm about to make a Unity 3D game myself: made after the story in my novel-in-progress, DragonChild! (By the way, I think it's creepy how the girl's face was stretched out like that.
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KJinx101
KJinx101: Real-- Almost anime eyes... the game is coming along well...
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director123billy
director123billy: wow i THINK ITS SO AMAZING BATTLE ON!

ps: my username is billk123 for aqw just telling...
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Practel
Practel: I really am excited for this game :) The female model looks great!
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skyax117
skyax117: I think low-poly count models are the way to go to factor for gameplay fluency and lag issues, but what you said about the key to the character being in the eyes, depends more on how you're going to take the game's view. Would the characters be seen from the back (like grand theft auto, and other such games), or will it be more like an Isometric sort of 3d (like Rumble fighter, Acclaim BOTS or other such games).

I say, the viewing gives you the key in making characters unique
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Vekyo
Vekyo: Really good work considering time and experience, but that hair makes me want to slap a helmet on her
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Memory
Memory: Anyone else thinking The Sims? Anyone?

I'm sorry, but seeing that is a bit of a letdown after seeing the gray character models earlier. The face looks very flat and the hair probably could look more realistic, though I know doing hair is really hard. I was expecting more anime/manga-ish characters, not something that looks like it's from a make-up game.

Do keep on working hard though! It's too early to determine the quality of the game already! Continue perfecting the models and the first testing material and I know you won't let us down!
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pkmnmastah
pkmnmastah: Two things, first that seems nothing like Akiba and second WHEN CAN WE PLAY!?
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DoomClaw2
DoomClaw2: Hmm.. The hair look's choppy, In my opinion.
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Atherionus1337
Atherionus1337: I think the best thing you could do would be a FULL face customazation; f. e. like in Mass Effect AND ......... BATTLE ON AE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ..................

P.S. WHEN CAN WE PLAY ?!?!?!?!?! :D
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Nylis
Nylis: I think that ( as far as i've seen ) is that the game looks AMAZING!! All of the grafics and story line are all i look for in a good game, and so far i belive that this so far is really really great!!! cant wait til the game ( or more info on it ) is out!
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Serious
Serious: Why isn't she wearing anything? lol
I think it's pretty good, but I think you can do better, get some ideas from other 3D MMOs.
By the way, is this game going to be a MMO or something else?
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Kinzvlle
Kinzvlle : Just Japan? For someone reason I thought he went to more then one country. Also that Diffuse Map looks just plain creepy.
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IAP3TUS
IAP3TUS: Comments:
1) Definitely +10 pts for the second most catchy post title so far :D
2) Hope you had a great time!!!
3) Phenomenal job with the eyes, that truly was an in-genius idea.

Questions:
1) Will all of the small details (which make the game FANTASTIC) create and enormous amount of lag for the average computer?
2) It will be a browser based game, Correct? I think the early registration gave that away, but y'all never came out and said it :P
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HimLo
HimLo: Total Whoot dang awesome :) Looks great and yes the -weird box- does look weird , putting human and cute aside - is there eyes with evil intent - intent is always a good thing :)
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BladeMaster
BladeMaster: First to comment! This is my time to shine....

Well, I think this will be awesome, and will take a bit of time to complete, knowing that your team formed it from scratch. It will also remind me of a few games...


:o
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100Rob123
100Rob123: WHEN CAN WE TEST?!




Sorry, I just had to. this looks pretty cool though. Can't wait to see the male design too.
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mturf
mturf: looking gooood ^-^ (altho the one on the right is obviously http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra_%28Doctor_Who%29 :P )
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Whs123
Whs123: Honestly i am really interested in how all this is done and i would love to se a video of how say a monster is painted and animated in the future. Can't wait to see the finished product.
Your ever anxious player:

~Whs123
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Joanaker
Joanaker: Nice job! I for one really love proportions of the face :D. Yet it makes me wonder: To what degree of customization will the player have in this game? Will it be more like AQW, where the player can change eye color, skin color, and hair style, or like Hero Smash, where eyes, nose, and mouth can be changed? Also, during cutscenes--if there are any--will the avatar's facial expression change?
Again, great job! Can't wait for the release!
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dwait99
dwait99: I think its awesome!!!!!
Also can you please give an approximate date that the Aq3d beta will be released?
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rob360
rob360: Lookin good ^ ^
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pratik1999
pratik1999: make the boy
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Bladebrawl
Bladebrawl: First off, welcome back dude!
I have to say the female model is looking REALLY good. I'm impressed. The hair is a bit pixelated at the moment, but by the time you zoom out it will probably look fine.
Really excited for the new game! Good luck!
Oh, and "WHEN CAN WE PLAY!?" d:

Oh, on a side note. That video link you posted, was freaking weird! But yet somehow so right.....
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Rezilia
Rezilia: *looks at Poly*

*looks at Kiara*

...

Riiiiight...
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1mm0rta1 4ever
1mm0rta1 4ever: 1st also i like the new 3d modles although we havent seen too much i bet you dont wanna give everything away :P ai also agree you're all off to a great start
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DestinyHero94
DestinyHero94: well i learned something new about art today thanks :D
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Khyst
Khyst: Will Human be the only playable race or are you going to include other race options, like elf or drakel? I think it would be cool to have other races and possibly offer different 'home' storylines accordingly, though it would certainly mean more work for you guys. :-P I know in your other games, races like the drakel have an extensive history you can draw on. Alternately, will you be including AQW-style morphs to let people get the look of other races if the choice to play is limited to just Human?
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Master_Yi
Master_Yi: This place is mention in Haruka no Himitsu if I can recall. OTAKUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
About the female graphic design? I would say it looks awesome, even though the hair strands could possibly be thinner for a more realistic effect. Awesomeness.
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Master_Yi
Master_Yi: Oh, and I forgot...



WHEN CAN WE PLAY!?
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GD
GD: The face looks amazing! Can't wait to see the finished results and male model!
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Ultimumlord
Ultimumlord: She looks great!! Although I think she needs more touch on her hair to make her even more realistic.
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Ross_the_boss
Ross_the_boss: Will humans be the only class and if not then will there be seperate storylines for different races?
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fatkiller1000
fatkiller1000: will there be any cool dage the evil 3D armors?
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_negachin_
_negachin_: Wow, that Akiba place looks pretty awesome :o
But first things first : THAT VIDEO!!! C'MON !! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO US???!!!!! IT IS HYPNOTIZING!!! o.0 (and really freaking me out lol)
Those game play graphs look pretty cool too and mmm ...
did I forgot something?
...
OH YEAH!
WHEN CAN WE PLAY!? XD
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Tiamaat
Tiamaat: Wow, nice start on the character mapping! It looks steps above Elder Scrolls Morrowind. Although not quite to Oblivion quality. But for doing 3D for the first time... WOW! I can't wait to play. Oh, yeah and your doing the motion capture for movements too, this is gonna be an awesome game!

About the music post, that is one strange commercial. And I can see why you didn't use Kristen Dunst's video... so much ecchi :p Ah, it really must be nice though, touring through otakku paradise. I envy you Artix! I can't wait to here about the vamps too.
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Zetralus
Zetralus: I hope its alittle like skyrim where every face is pretty different and has imperfections here and there. Also I would like to know if there will be different camera angles options.
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Hoplon
Hoplon: If you ask me what makes a girl/woman isn't only the depths of her eyes. It's also the cheekbones. And you seem to have hit spot on on that point :P
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Uzaak
Uzaak: I must say you caught me off-guard when you added "Other than WHEN CAN WE PLAY!?" to the end of your question, Artix. You're smart. Lol

Well, first things first: Akihabara looks awesome. I'd love to spend a couple of weeks there and you might have JUST inspired me to. Particularly for the cosplayers, it is really inspiring.

Eyes are the gateway to the soul, indeed! They're not blurry, they're shadowy. Perhaps a little more light would make them better. Careful not to make them huge anime-like eyes though! Hold your akiba-anime instincts back! Just a LITTLE more shiny.

Things seem awesome overall. Really, I remember when Frogzard Hunting was hard back to the classic AQ and Bludrut Keep was the peak of adventuring. Glad to see how much the company has grown, and I'm sure AQ3D will be a great game.
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SoulAllyHanna
SoulAllyHanna: It like it so far! The eyes DO need a little work, but other then that it looks fine! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE MORE!!! :D
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o0Harmony0o
o0Harmony0o: I almost exploded when you mentioned Vocaloid because I was listening to songs by Vocaloids at that very moment!
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Aerwynn
Aerwynn: I think it's looking great! Of course, there are always some tune-ups and tweaks that could be done to anything created, but you guys will take care of it!
Very excited!
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Voodoo
Voodoo: I think that it looks great. Not as good as Skyrim, that's sure... but it's important to remember that it's your first 3D game and it's not even close to being finished.

So I'm happy :)
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LegionVampire
LegionVampire: pls get start play!
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RubyCrystalRose
RubyCrystalRose: Hi!
I think the design is awesome so far but still needs some work.
I don't know why you guys are fussing about the eyes so much they look fine to me. You don't want to make them too realistic otherwise it would be like sticking a photo on a picture you know? It has to fit in with the rest of the model.
I'm more concerned about the hair, it definately needs more work. The hair needs to be more realistic with highlights. I think it would look better if you got that effect with real hair of tones and highlights with the strands. It looks best on the fringe with the lighting effect but where strands split the hair looks thick and choppy like wool. Also the hair at the back looks like a mound of colour not thousands of strands being tied back.
I don't mean to sound critical it just detracts from the rest of the model.
I still think you guys are doing awesome with the 3D stuff
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Zhing
Zhing: Wow that video is so.........um. I can't find an adjective to describe it. Do they really have TV commercials like that in Japan?
Yeah! Wish I could go to Akiba. It makes me feel like eating more Onigiri :D

And the girl character...wow! Nice. It is a lot better than the first draft that you showed us, I think. The hair is in a ponytail right? because it kind of looks like a really really tall head... oh well... :D it's so awesome!! Welcome back Artix. Otaku means 'manga fan', right?
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Caanvost
Caanvost: For a first attempt, this looks more like other companies' third or fourth.... Overall, the only thing I would change is, like TheChillWill said, possibly modeling the eyes separately rather than as a part of the map...
That being said, it is nice to see a game which is incorporating some Fusion-esque artwork in comparison to strictly manga or strictly (Comic Books) American style.
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Carman Sandego
Carman Sandego: I think the eyes look nice but I am having trouble figuring out what color they are. I also think that the hair could use some work (especially the bangs). Still looks awesome though!
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Athysin
Athysin: You went WHERE? Lucky, I've always wanted to go there~
Wait, vampire lairs? Do tell :3

Poly looks great (though she really should comb her hair)
I think you guys have made rapid progress considering you had practically nothing, what, 5 months ago? Less? It's amazing
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Hobbes's Leviathan
Hobbes's Leviathan: This is a test xomment.
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Hobbes's Leviathan
Hobbes's Leviathan: This is another test comment.
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trevorg
trevorg: Looks great! All you need to do is to do a little fixing on the hair, looks a little blurry
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Ironloss
Ironloss: looks great
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Kodix 101
Kodix 101: I think you should add on to Akiba in AQWorlds and the extension could be for free players, too. Some things can be redrawn like during your Chinese New Year event in February...
I also think you need a shorter hair style for the girl and make her eyes glitter.
And one last thing, can you put real life modern styles in the 3d game instead of it being all medieval. Thanks for listening! :D
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Grimhowl
Grimhowl: Very good Von Krieger looks like your team is making some huge leaps into the 3D world. Very impressive, but then again should I be suprised? I say not. +10 points to the whole AE staff. YaY you. Well Von Krieger now I must find some way to tell my girlfriend about this place where otaku's rule...Until next time Von Krieger.

Grimnoire Grimhowl signing out.
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SamX
SamX: I think you should try seeing this game called Get-amped. it is a really basic 3D game which the characters look like bobble heads (they have heads bigger than their body). if you played it already, try focusing on the skin making program. there you could try painting the character and you could also learn a thing or two from that game to create a better looking character for AQ3D.
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bottled roses
bottled roses: When will this game be released? I can no longer wait to create an awesome character. Battle on!
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Rabies
Rabies: Looks great, can't wait for the game.
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