Putting the F-U-N in FUNRNACE!

A few of my loyal readers have shown interest in a behind-the-scenes look at how the environments are created, from sketch to the finished product. While I've handled this a bit in previous posts, let me take you through the process step-by-step, focusing on a single object in the cellar environment from Warnings at Waverly Academy: the furnace.

The cellar furnace played a dual role in the game - it not only had to add to the spooky atmosphere we were trying to create, it also was the scene of one of the game's puzzles. This meant I had to design a furnace with a lot of character that also had specific features (ten valves) that could be seen on a single game screen (so the player could solve it without navigating away). Sorta tricky.

After studying a LOT of reference photos of old, rusty furnaces, this is what I came up with: 

If you squint really hard you can make out a skull shape to it. Squint harder.

I sent this to my 3-D partner (in this case the talented Josh Crandall), who created a model of the object (in yellow, below) and unwrapped its separate elements:

Next, I took the unwrapped file into Photoshop and created a 2-D texture for my 3-D partner to put on top of his model. In this case, since the furnace was supposedly constructed out of the same metal, the resulting texture ended up looking like a big rectangle of rust with some shaded bits here and there:

Doesn't look like much, right? But put it in the game environment, add some environmental effects, and viola: big, spooky, puzzling furnace:

Ta-da!

And now I've got just a touch of bad news. I'm running out of interesting things to show you from games that have already been released, and I can't show you art from games that have yet to be released. So, until the next game is out, the Drewsday posts will be a bit more sporadic. However, once the new game is released I'll have just a TON of fun stuff to show you guys, so watch for that around... er... July? I think?

Anyway, Cheers!

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All the images in this post (except the header), © Copyright Her Interactive, Inc.