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ETHER ONE HAS BEEN GREENLIT – HERE IS A THANK YOU MESSAGE!

Hey guys,
So.. It’s official! We have now been Greenlit!! Wooo!! Thank you all so SO much for voting for us and pushing our game out to all your friends and to anyone else that would listen. It’s such a relief for us knowing that we’re now going to be releasing on such a huge platform such as Steam. It came as a total surprise to us all and kind of caught us off guard. We’ve been waiting and watching through many different Greenlight batches and seen some awesome titles get through. Thanks to the guys at Valve, our time came this week!

The development has not stopped though and we’re not celebrating just yet! We’ve got the Rezzed game show coming up next weekend (22nd + 23rd) down in Birmingham, UK where we are showing the first playable demo of Ether One as part of the Leftfield Collection! This week we’ve been making lots of tweaks to a (roughly) 45minute playable demo along with a small Oculus Rift demo to showcase at Rezzed too. We’re hoping to see lots of you down there and it will be a great chance for us to chat with you all about what we’re working on and what we’re trying to achieve.

This next week will be crazy busy for us but it’s also an exciting time of development for us all. We are hugely grateful and excited to be considered as one of the titles to be Greenlit and although we may not be able to reply to all the comments and enthusiasm you guys are sending our way, we do read them all and it really drives us to keep making sure we’re delivering the best game we can to you all.

We wanted to make this thank you a little more meaningful so we cleaned the studio and hid all the leftover food wrapper to create a video that shows just how thankful we are to you all!

Enjoy!!

WPG: December – Development of Sci Fi & Conception

The work in December consisted of fleshing out the prologue to Ether One and working on the hub world for the game.

The shot above shows the hub world in a very bare form. Me and my fellow artist James sat down and planned out how we could make the environment more interesting.  We discussed how a large structure in the center of the dome would help bring the environment together. Like a sauce for linking Jeans memories with the player.

The images above are quick silhouette concepts James drew up.

The images below show 3 stages of creating the concept for the hub world.

This is how we intend the level to look once it is complete.

The Ether Institute and other Science Fiction environments are based in the 1950/60s so all of the reference images for computers and technical equipment come from that era. Me and James also visited the museum of science and industry in Manchester and found some really nice circuit boards and old computer systems.

Below are the texture sheets for the Electric equipment.
The shot above shows a test scene I created to demonstrate how the environments could look in game. I also created some placeholder textures for the walls, floors and ceilings, these textures will be finished at a later date.
Wall
Ceiling
Tiled Floor
Lights
Ether Chair
Silo
Silo 2
The shots below are high quality renders taken from a level in Ether. This environment is some kind of institute so it has a sterile cold feeling to it.

The Ether Chair that was textured at the Futureworks presentation is the focal point for this room.

The shots Below are taken from the living quarters I was working on in the last post, this time they have the right textures and assets in place. These environments are still a work in progress, but none the less a step in the right direction.

That’s it for the art from Ether development in 2013. Hope you all found it interesting!  Next up we’ll be showing some of the technical art side of things.
If you enjoyed the post we could really use your vote on Greenlight!

If you have any questions leave a comment and thanks for reading ! :D

WPG: October/November – More development stuff and new area!!

Development Continues…

I continued to create the new harbor area, in the next month we planned to put out a gameplay trailer so I had a few weeks to completely finish this area. The shots below show continued development.

I then had to move on to creating the second part of the mining area as shown in the development shots below.

Reusing Texture Sheets.

In a previous blog post I mentioned how i created a texture for the metal shutters with the intention of re-using it on other assets. Below are mine carts that I textured using the shutter texture. It is also used on the train tracks as well as the settling tanks, but these meshes also required the use of wood textures. It all helps in saving memory and with the amount of detail we want to pack into Ether, every little helps.

Player Arm & Lamp

In the first level of Ether the player has to hold a Davy Lamp so to help with immersion we need an arm with a hand holding the Lamp. Below is a shot of the Arm and the corresponding texture sheet.

Texture Work

Below are some texture sheets I created for the finished Harbor  they are not yet complete as they need line work and some overlay textures.

Creating an important Area

After the release of the gameplay trailer I got to work on a new environment, it was a 1950/60s Science Fiction living quarters. The shots below she me using existing textures and assets to create an initial pass. The wall textures and furnishings would soon be changed.

I then textured the Ether Chair, showing all of my processes and steps to creating the Ether style. Below you can see the finished chair on the Steam Greenlight icon, a Reference image sheet and the texture sheet.

Thanks for reading this blog. If you have any questions/comments don’t hesitate to ask :) Next up, we’ll be showing the more sci-fi undertones of Ether in the HUB area.

Posted on by Pete Bottomley

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WPG: September – Making Stuff & New Textures…

Using the Mining environment assets I created some test scenes to see what kind of caves shapes can be created using the one rocky wall mesh. The results below show that a lot of natural open spaces can be created.

Small Vertical Slice

Pete was planning to upload Ether onto Steam Greenlight and wanted to create a trailer showing more of the game. I created this small vertical slice for a camera pan shot. Below shows some work in progress shots from editing the environment to finished lighting build.

Creating new Textures and Building Industrial Mining Area

I decided to create some more wall textures to add more verity to the games buildings. I had to create a large industrial mining area so brickwork along with metal paneled roof textures where needed.

Brick Wall.

Stone Wall.

Corrugated Metal Roof.

Slate roof.

Painted Wooden Wall.

Bare Wooden Wall.

Once I had created an assortment of textures I set out building the industrial area based on Pete’s designs and research into Cornish mining areas. The shots below show the process of building the scene.

Once the exterior was built and finished I fleshed out the interiors by adding floors, support struts, stairs and railings. I also did a basic lighting pass.

Due to the fast pace of my work flow I was able to create this scene in a couple of days. The modular process has enabled me to work fast and precise and be able to create a verity of different buildings with little repetition.

Revisiting the Harbor

It was at this point that I decided to redo the harbor. I felt that the old design didn’t flow correctly or make sense as a harbor. I wanted everything to work well together and I felt I could improve upon what I had produced months earlier. The shows below show the work in progress of the new Harbor.

Posted on by Pete Bottomley

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WPG: August – Concepts, Modeling & Important Meetings…

Concepts for new level

After the release of the trailer and a bit of a break from development I was drafted in to create some concept art for a new level. I was working from the levels block map which Pete created in UDK using the BSP brush. Using the block maps as templates I was able to quickly create some concepts that would help us visualize how the level could look. Below are 3 concepts I created along with the block map shots.

This was the first one I made, I wanted to create the illusion of open space and scale. It also provided direction on colour palette and atmosphere.

This concept was very fun to create, I decided to use this one to show how overgrown and derelict the level could look. I decided to add a pale yellow light shaft that breaks through from the left hand side. This makes the place feel a lot warmer and is a nice contrast from the dark corners to the right of the image.

Speed Painting Video

I was in full swing with my concepts at this stage and Ben suggested recording myself creating a one. The images below show the block map and final concept.</strong>

Check out the Youtube video of the Speed Painting Below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=G7nS6u3yf6A

Trip to London for Important Interview!

As a team White Paper Games got through to the final interview stages of the Prototype Fun and we were invited to London to attend an interview with Abertay University. This was an important moment for us  and we knew how crucial it was to represent ourselves professionally and show that Ether was worth their investment.

The meeting was in a modern building that had exquisite interior design. We were interviewed for about an hour and then went on our way. I personally couldn’t tell how it went, we were drilled with loads of questions and were never given a clear indicator how well we had done. We just had to wait and see…

Back to Development

I was tasked with creating a unique building for the level, it was a large industrial structure that Pete designed. It required metal shutters railings and was the most complex building I had created to date.

Above are some work in progress shots and below is the texture sheet for the metal shutters and railings. I created this texture with the idea of using it again on other assets, this saves on game memory and is an approach that i plan to use a lot more.

 

Some shots of a final render and block map to finished environment comparison.

Mine Modular

Our level is based on the Cornish coastline where mines where present, it  was a very popular sauce of industry in 1950. It also provides us with cool game play opportunities. I had to create some modular wall pieces to be used to assemble the mining areas. It was my third attempt at creating modular assets so I was quite confident with my work flow.

The images above show some work in progress shots of creating the modular mine pieces. Bellow are the textures for the mine wall, floor and ceiling.

Ceiling.

Floor.

Wall.

I also had to create some Support structures for the mining passages as shown below.

Creating the Village

The shots below show some work in progress images I took when I was creating the Village.

Next up: Making stuff and new textures!!!

Thanks for checking our development out and if you have any questions, fire away :D

WPG: August – Concepts, Modeling & Important Meetings…

Concepts for new level

After the release of the trailer and a bit of a break from development I was drafted in to create some concept art for a new level. I was working from the levels block map which Pete created in UDK using the BSP brush. Using the block maps as templates I was able to quickly create some concepts that would help us visualize how the level could look. Below are 3 concepts I created along with the block map shots.

This was the first one I made, I wanted to create the illusion of open space and scale. It also provided direction on colour palette and atmosphere.

This concept was very fun to create, I decided to use this one to show how overgrown and derelict the level could look. I decided to add a pale yellow light shaft that breaks through from the left hand side. This makes the place feel a lot warmer and is a nice contrast from the dark corners to the right of the image.

Speed Painting Video

I was in full swing with my concepts at this stage and Ben suggested recording myself creating a one. The images below show the block map and final concept.

Check out the youtube video of the Speed Painting Below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=G7nS6u3yf6A

Trip to London & Important Interview!

As a team White Paper Games got through to the final interview stages of the Prototype Fun and we were invited to London to attend an interview with Abertay University. This was an important moment for us  and we knew how crucial it was to represent ourselves professionally and show that Ether was worth their investment.

The meeting was in a modern building that had exquisite interior design. We were interviewed for about an hour and then went on our way. I personally couldn’t tell how it went, we were drilled with loads of questions and were never given a clear indicator how well we had done. We just had to wait and see…

Back to Development

I was tasked with creating a unique building for the level, it was a large industrial structure that Pete designed. It required metal shutters railings and was the most complex building I had created to date.

Above are some work in progress shots and below is the texture sheet for the metal shutters and railings. I created this texture with the idea of using it again on other assets, this saves on game memory and is an approach that i plan to use a lot more.

 

Some shots of a final render and block map to finished environment comparison.


Mine Modular

Our level is based on the Cornish coastline where mines where present, it  was a very popular sauce of industry in 1950. It also provides us with cool game play opportunities. I had to create some modular wall pieces to be used to assemble the mining areas. It was my third attempt at creating modular assets so I was quite confident with my work flow.

The images above show some work in progress shots of creating the modular mine pieces. Bellow are the textures for the mine wall, floor and ceiling.

Ceiling.

Floor.

Wall.

I also had to create some Support structures for the mining passages as shown below.

Creating the Village

The shots below show some work in progress images I took when I was creating the Village.

Next up: Making stuff and new textures!!!

Thanks for checking our development out and if you have any questions, fire away :D

Posted on by Pete Bottomley

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Conception of Memories: From Block Map to Concept Art

For more info on Ether please visit www.ether-game.com.

In this speed paint our resident Environment Artist, Oliver John Farrell, uses a block map created by our designers to concept a piece of environment art. The piece of art produced is for an environment in Ether that is named ‘The Case’.

Music for the video is by our resident Sound Designer and Composer, Nathanial Apostol.

Posted on by Ben Hill

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Ether Dev Diary #4

Ben talks about audio recording, a hugely successfully Northern Game Dev Meet Up and answers some of your burning questions on self funding, big hurdles, perfect sundays, Christoph Lehmanns face and what the right term for a doughy, bready ball is.

Posted on by Ben Hill

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Ether Dev Diary #2

Ben talks about the latest screen shots of Ether, helping the game development community in the North West and White Paper Games trip to Birmingham and their attendance at Launchconf’s Meet the Game Press event. He also talks about future dev diaries and question time!