Brave New World
Game: Brave New World
Genre: First-Person Narrative Puzzle
Engine: Unity 2019.3 (HDRP)
Team: 6 people (2 game/narrative designer, 1 tech & level designer, 1 level artist, 1 voice actor, 1 sound designer)
Soon (Steam Page)
"Brave New World" is a 3D First Person Narrative game made by a core team of 4 game design student.
You play a new employee of the Central London Hatchery, a place where babies are created.
As the level artist, I modelled, UV, textured props in the game following a modern PBR workflow using mainly, Photoshop, Maya, Substance Painter and rarely used, B2M3, Zbrush, Substance Designer.
I also help with some design decision about gameplay focused asset.
The game is set in the world created by Aldous Huxley in his book. And we were inspired with the retro-futurism genre such as Brazil, The Fith Element, Brave New World (the movie), Alien Isolation and Blade Runner, as well with the 70s technologies.
Harry Tuttle's glasses are somewhere in the game as a Brazil easter egg.
The Central London Hatchery & Conditioning Center
What is the purpose of this place?
The center focused on manufacturing human in test tubes and incubators following the Fordism (cf. Henry Ford) society in place. They give a certain amount of hormones and other chemicals to place them within a specific category of the society's caste system: Alpha > Betas > Gammas > Deltas > Epsilons.
The Hatchery creates humans that the government wants, and the Conditioning Center brainwashes people to think the way the government wants them to believe.
Defining the center's visual identity.
The center's logo is a human embryo in a circular shape, where a thin syringe is about to perse the small embryo's head.
I wanted to symbolise that human manufacturing is at the center of the world and society in place, with the baby inside the circular shape symbolising perfection, the Earth, the world and everything.
I also wanted to make a disturbing logo, for the non-brain washed person (the player) but the human from the BNW world would find normal. That's symbolised with the thin syringe which is just about to perse the small and vulnerable embryo head to inject some chemicals.
Finally, I wanted the logo to be simple and recognisable, that could be placed on any props, textures, documents in the game.
The world's Rules
To avoid creating ludo narrative dissonances I followed some rules such as "avoid organic materials, everything is industrial", or "this work-place is designed for a Gamma, it should be useful but not pretty or luxurious".
Level Layout and mood
The choice of colours was made to subcounsiuously reinforce the player's emotions.
A nutritional liquid artificially flavoured with ramen flavour.
The first space the player will walk in after leaving the elevator.
It looks formal to emphasize that this is a workplace.
Posters are used as environmental storytelling tool about the world, society and the center.
This vista has radial and axial symmetrical element to show that this is a workplace, with a hierarchy and order.
The big logo is here to make the player feel small.
This is where the player will spend 20+ minutes of gameplay looking for clues, solving tasks discovering the story by exploring the props in the rooms.
Cold colours are used to show that this is an office, where the person is supposed to work at his desk on the console.
Bedroom & Toilet
This is where the worker sleep and live some time during the week.
It's the brighter room in the game to contrast with what's comming next, and use a lot of yellowish plastic.
The transparent plastic strips are used to foreshadow the next space, to not give away everything as soon as the player enters the room, and to encourage exploration.
The Ventilation Corridor
This is a corridor used to repair the pipes containing chemical for the center's operation.
The green is used to create an uncomfortable space.
Massive ventilation shafts expelling air containing harmful chemical materials, and the damaged textures are here to show that the health of the people who work there do not matter much of others in higher casts.
The Technical Room
This is where a part of the center is being monitored and maintained.
There is a lot of technology.
There is the corpse of Kreep who took his own life with an overdose of the Soma drug.
Props Modeling & Texturing
Props present in the game.
The game was presented at different game events such as the Student Game Show and the Geek Touch-Japan Touch Haru in Lyon France.
The two players are playing an early version of the game.
We used these sessions as playtests and asked for feedback afterwards.
What went right?
Working with the level designer to make a believable game space and game asset for each area (office, bedroom, etc.)
Set up a texel density early in development.
Look at a lot of references before making each mesh.
What went wrong?
I was working with weak hardware which increased a lot the asset production time, mainly the texturing in Substance Painter, that limited the numbers of original props.
The voices are in french, and the game had to be translated in English as well as the props which increase the production time.
What have I learned?
I learned a lot about 3D artists vocabulary.
Ask for feedback, especially when producing a gameplay-related asset.
I've earned what 3D artists have to go through to produce game asset, with a PBR workflow destined for the Unity Engine using the High Definition Render Pipeline.