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Dev Diary #273 Visionary Visuals

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Ahoy Ylanders!

Have you ever wondered how Ylands visuals come to life? Here is your chance to peek behind the scenes. As you probably don't know, there are jackals coming into the game one day and we will use their visual production as today's example! Also, you might want to know that jackals are monogamist, as they mate for life.

Step 1 - Game Design idea

Here it all starts and ends. The game designers figure out that jackals are the way to go for the next content update and provide seemingly endless list of specification like: In which regions can you find jackals? How fast and aggressive are they? Can you tame them? Something like our community Ylands wiki!

Step 2 - Art brainstorm and sketches

It's art's turn! How to integrate a real jackal's visual into the low poly art style of Ylands and meet all of the game designers' conditions at the same time? That's what artists brainstorm together and create first sketches. Based on those sketches we can figure out the Ylands jackal's final look!

Step 3 - 3D model and wireframe


The next thing we need to do is to add one more dimension. No biggie! Once the 3D model is ready, we create its wireframe that connects parts of the jackal's body so they are influenced by each other's movement. Sounds easy and smooth, right? Well, just wait 'till it starts moving!

Step 4 - Animation

Let's play a game. What are all the kinds of movement that Ylands animals can do?

Walking, running, several attack types, jumping, getting hit, getting petted, feeding on a bait, you get the point, there is a lot of them. Now, the animators animate animations for the jackal, and it comes to life!

While it would be great to give you a sneak peak of a moving jackal, the animations are quite complex and usually take the longest time in animal creation. Instead, we will offer you this cool story: A long time ago, when it was the honey badger's time to be animated, we couldn't find any suitable reference of a real honey badger moving. It was a real struggle. We didn't expect this to happen, but luckily there was a family of honey badgers in the nearby zoo. We shot our own reference videos and now the Ylands honey badgers can happily roam the Tropical Region. Yay!

Step 5 - Implement


*Insert some very important, but very non-artsy and technical animation-controlling gibberish here.* When the technical necessities are done the game designers will add finished jackal to the game database and set their specifications like hit points, where you can find them, and so on.

Voila! New doge good boys are ready to be let out. Woof woof woof woof woof!

Btw. You might wanna know that each jackal family has their own yipping sound that only members of their own family respond to. Cool, right?

The whole process usually takes several weeks, and it is quite similar for almost every entity that needs to be manifested in the game. Hopefully, you've enjoyed this little peek behind the scenes of Ylands art creation and we wish you a great weekend.

Stay Classy Ylanders.

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