Satanic looking spiral with the Eternal Damnation logo in the middle
008 - Jungle Temple Build

008 - Jungle Temple Build

kat | Thursday, February 22, 2024

Ernst Stavro Blofeld staring at the camera with his cat.

Ahhh Mr. Bond, we’ve been expecting you. Welcome back to our devblog, Kat and - wait what do you mean I don’t get the James Bond dev-log anymore? Damn you Daniel. Anyway, today I’ll be showing you the in’s and out’s of designing, building and executing a scene focus via our Temple Jungle Scene. This is just a small section of a much larger biome to demonstrate our fun assets, technical features and process behind our level designing. Here are the 7 days of Creation.

Day 1 - Valley Build

In the beginning, God created light… and then randomly generated terrain until she found a cute valley. Just kidding… kinda.

To build our base earth, we use Gaia, allowing the random generation of terrain based on set sizes. Rather than starting from scratch, this gives me options and inspiration to work with from the beginning. Our Jungle Biome is designed to be lush, full of life and a natural colour, so this snippet needed to capture all of that. A valley was chosen as the point of focus due to its natural vibe of ‘culmination’ at the end of a valley.

Image of a computer screen showing unity with a terrain of a valley.

Day 2 - Bob Ross

While the randomly generated terrain can be inspirational, the texture paints don’t always match the vibe or level of detail we want. Due to this, in those areas that need detail, I find hand painting the texture can add more depth. I have a total of 4 texture options for the smaller scenes which means I must focus heavily on the pallet. To do this I spend time finding my wanted assets and test them alongside potential terrain textures.

Once the textures are chosen, I focus on the natural curves of the terrain to build up the layers, often faking the image of steeper or shallower hills and where water has affected the terrain.

An image of unity with a more painted terrain.

Day 3 - Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

To add rivers, waterfalls and lakes, we are using GeNa. Water engines are the bane of my existence.

GeNa’s rivers work on a spline system, allowing you to make them as long or short as needed. This system also allows for as much detail to the shape of the river can be added as is necessary. Such detail comes at the cost of some finickity practices. Oftentimes, the rivers would curl inside out after the tiniest rotation or the water texture would begin to flow backwards. It was a system of trial and error to learn how to get the spline to perform as needed.

GeNa’s lakes were much simpler. They work in a similar form to a spline, allowing points to be placed upon the terrain in an automatic closed circuit.

Image of a waterfall running down a mountain in unity.

Day 4 - Temple Run

As the focus for the screen is the temple, this asset was to be made as its own prefab. The inspiration for the temple came from a mix of ancient greek and roman architecture to build the feeling of a long standing temple while still contrasting from the real world to feed the fantasy vibe. For the moment, the temple remains relatively simple, focusing on a clean aesthetic with the jungle environment slowly taking over.

Image showing a greek inspired temple with reference images on the left.

Day 5 - TREE

You can’t have a jungle without plants and my favourite of those will always be the trees!

Image from a sketch "English for Aliens" of aliens pointing at a tree.

While we have limited tree assets, by varying their size and rotation, I was able to fill out our jungle without it appearing repetitive. Using the same trick with both rocks and lower foliage the jungle thickens out and comes alive. The biggest difficulty when dressing up the set with nature is making sure not to repeat placement patterns too often. The biggest trap is finding a combination of trees, rocks and foliage that I enjoy and subconsciously recreating this combination in other areas. To avoid this, I keep the nature under separate parents so I can isolate each one and spot easier where items may be clumping or repeating. Overall this is my favourite part of the process as it changes the whole feel of an area.

Temple surrounded by trees.

Day 6 - Particle Finishing

The biggest focus for particles in this segment is the waterfall. Without particles, the water looks flat and lifeless. With particles, the connection of water points can be hidden and an illusion can be created of splashing water against both the lake surface and rocks around the sides of the falls.

Waterfall with particles

Day 7 - Rest

And finally the jungle was finished. Of course, this is just a slice of the world designing pie, but I hope it’s given you a better insight into the processes behind Eternal Damnation. With our diverse selection of biomes, the creative process is always expanding and changing, however the drive to create an immersive environment will forever stay the same.

Finished temple with trees and waterfalls.

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