Archive for August, 2010

A Sneak Preview of ThIATRO

During the last two weeks I designed the 3D world for the Serious Multiplayer Game ThIATRO (“The Immersive Art Training Online”). It is far from being finished but the result so far gives an impression of the visual style of the game. At first I took a long walk through the historic center of Vienna and made pictures of numerous house fronts. In a next step I corrected the horizontal perspective and distortion of every picture in Photoshop to get useful textures for the 3D model. For the current version I am using only 11 different house-textures to guarantee that the 3D environment loads quickly and still looks diversified. Google SketchUp provided the tools to model the houses, assign the textures and export the model to Unity. The main goal was to keep the polygon count as low as possible to provide a high framerate when the game is running in the browser window. So I paid special attention to only draw faces that are visible to the player and to get rid of all the other faces. In the end I was able to design a whole “urban district” with just 700 faces (…even some single trees have more faces). Some lanterns and point lights in the tunnels arrange for a special atmosphere. Furthermore I was wondering about which additional buildings to add to the city that will act as virtual museums in the final version. I decided to import a baroque church and a neo-classical building (Glyptothek in Munich) from Google 3D Warehouse. The first model was all right and could be integrated into the 3D world without any problems but the Glyptothek needed a major redesign. The creator of the model did not bother to draw right angles, parallel lines or straight surfaces. So it took me hours to correct all these inaccuracies and, in addition, I made the building accessible. It is still not finished but I am working on it… As soon as there is a newer version of ThIATRO, I will upload it here, so stay tuned!

Here is the sneak preview: Click the VSEM logo to start application, navigate with WASD keys and Mouse