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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 😀

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 😀

Posted on by Pete Bottomley

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Ether One Gameplay Trailer is here!

White Paper Games is proud to announce the release of their first game play trailer for Ether One, the first part in a two game mini-series named Ether.



The game play trailer takes the viewer on a journey through a small portion of Ether One showcasing story elements, puzzles and interactive actions displaying the core game play elements of a science fiction first person adventure game.

Here are some new screenshots as well!

Posted on by Ben Hill

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Ether One Work in Progress Update #1

Hey all!

This is the first entry in a new series of Ether One updates that are going to chronicle the development of the game from its current position through to final release.

This post in particular is going to be an update on Ether One and the impact that White Paper Games recent success has had, allowing us to move forward confidently with developing the title.

Firstly if you have not already heard, White Paper Games (the developer behind Ether One) received backing from Abertay Universities Prototype Fund grant scheme, gaining financial aid of £25K to build Ether One to a completed beta standard. This sort of aid has allowed us to move Ether Ones development into a lovely and creative studio environment as well as focus our creative ideas and spirit into getting this title out to you guys so you can finally play it. We have also had the great opportunity to hire a dedicated programmer for the team, allowing us to troubleshoot effectively fixing any issues with our game mechanics that we have. Keep your eyes peeled for a personal tour of our new workspace!

With this boost we have been hard at work refining our environments and game play whilst building up a detailed and comprehensive game play trailer that we are all very excited to show to the world. We are particularly excited as we feel you guys will be delighted by the depth of game play as well as the way that the story is unfolded and the ways you can interact with it. We have a core Milestone at the end of October that we are incredibly confident that we will hit and hopefully we will be releasing our detailed Game Play trailer shortly afterwards. Until then we have a couple of new in-game screenshots from Ether One below for you to look at.

So thanks for checking out this post and we will be getting more info to you guys soon.

Much love,

The White Paper Games team.

Posted on by Ben Hill

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White Paper Games obtain Prototype Fund. Moves to New Studio Location!

Hey everyone!
We are delighted to announce that we have been extremely fortunate enough to obtain up to £25K of grant funding to develop our two part PC adventure game, ETHER.

The grant awarded through Abertay Universities Prototype Fund has allowed uss to step up and focus on developing our classic science-fiction inspired adventure game for PC and Mac, as well as expand to a new studio location. Moving out of our ‘home office’ space, we have set up our new studio in the heart of the Manchester area, where a large array of creative and media industry resides.

This opportunity will allow us to fully focus on creating a great game as well as finally have a studio home. Below are some pictures from the move in :)

Thanks for all the support so far.

The White Paper Team

Ether One, Steam Green Light and New Revised Teaser Trailer.

Hey everyone! Some big info coming in this post as well as some exciting news for Ether and the White Paper Games team.

Ether One News

Firstly you may have noticed a slight change in the name of Ether in the title of this post which is no coincidence or spelling mistake. Due to the scope and size of the project coupled with the size of our teeny Indie development team and financial situation Ether is now going to be in two separate parts. These parts are aptly named Ether One and Ether Two and will be impressive sized chunks of episodic game play for you to enjoy.

The great news about this is that by releasing in two parts you guys will be getting the first part (Ether One) a lot earlier in 2013 than we had initially penned Ether in for and hopefully Ether Two will follow shortly afterwards. Due to this change we have also updated out Indie DB site and our Ether Home site that has lots of features (and secrets) so check it out.  

Steam Green Light News

Our next big piece of news is really exciting as we have just added Ether One to the list of awesome games over on Steam Green Light which means that you guys can go and view a new revised Ether One Teaser Trailer which shows some new footage of the game! Please help spread the word about Ether One and Steam Green Light, the more votes that we get the more likely we are to get Ether One on to Steam for everyone to enjoy! Our main goal as a studio was always to get Ether onto Steam and through Green Light we are hoping we can achieve this, but we can only do it with your help.

 A link to the Green Light Page is here.  

So Tweet, Facebook and tell your friends! Lets get Ether One onto Steam!

Posted on by Ben Hill

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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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Its Time for a White Paper Catch Up: Develop Conference and Ether

So as I am sure lots of you have noticed we have been pretty quiet on the blog and dev diary scene recently. This was primarily due to us all working very hard to get our teaser trailer released for Ether as well as our attendance at this years Develop Conference, where Ben was speaking in two different sessions.

First off Develop Conference was excellent as always with us meeting new people, catching up with old friends as well as talking a lot about White Paper Games and Ether. Lots of things were learnt from the carious sessions on during in the week and lots of fun was had during the various networking events – Ben was even on the team that came joint second at the Guardian Blog Quiz and Pete met the legendary Mark Rein (VP of Epic Games).

Ben giving his lecture at Develop Conference

Although Develop is always a large week on the White Paper Calendar it was even more important to us this year as on the Friday prior to the conference we released our teaser trailer for Ether our up and coming first person adventure game. As an Indie Developer we always hoped that we would get a small amount of interest in the teaser trailer, to spur us on with the development of the game as well as gain feedback on the the overall idea behind Ether.

A mysterious marker stone.

We can now say that we were pleasantly surprised with the trailer being picked up by multiple international publications and being watch over 13 thousand times in the past 2 weeks – and its still rising! Really all we can say is a big THANK YOU to all of our supporters and the great journalists who took time in writing articles about the game and its début. As a catch up I have listed some great quotes about Ether and its teaser trailer below with links to the relevant articles – some of them have pretty awesome titles!

A Fishing Hut

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So that’s pretty much it from us at the moment, keep your eyes peeled for a whole new approach to our development diaries that we are working on as well as an upcoming post about the lecture that Ben gave at this years Develop that he is making available to everyone via his blog.

Ether Press Quotes and Links

“Ether definitely seems odd in the best of possible ways.” – Indiegames.com

“From what they’ve shown us so far, the art style of Ether is just gorgeous” – Destructoid

“I’m keen to have my faith in first-person adventuring restored and what better game to do it than one starring a person known as a ‘restorer’?” – Rock Paper Shotgun

“Every once in a while a game comes along that hits you with a vivid art style and intriguing design at a hundred miles per hour.” – The Indie Game Magazine

“If you’re looking for something different to play, I may have found the game for you!” – Gamebreaker.TV

That’s it from us folks, if you have not yet seen the trailer any one of the links above will show it but you can also get info straight from us at www.ether-game.com ! Speak to you all soon!

Posted on by Ben Hill

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