Good tidings, fellow flounders!
It’s graduation day at Classroom Aquatic, and another class of degreed dolphins head out to conquer their kelp beds. So determined, so porpoiseful. And though it's sad to see them go, graduation also means it's time to welcome a new crop of pelagic pupils to Classroom Aquatic: say hello to the new Student Body!
These new students have been a huge project for everyone here at Sunken Places (well, 99% of the work was done by our resident master of motionography Mickey Goese, but rest of us provided emotional support! Team effort WOO!). Our new rig is a huge improvement over the old one, and gives Mickey much more control over the movements, poses and even facial expressions of our cetacean students!
Our new rig greatly expands the behavior of the dolphin students. Take Dolph Lundgren here, for example:
While last year’s class was so stoic, so stone-faced, Dolph and this new group of students are far more responsive and reactive to your every move: they become noticeably angrier the longer you stare at them, and they try harder to block their test when they notice you peeking. They even change their behavior depending on their mood!
And, most importantly, they’re even adorable.
Turns out this new adorability factor (or cuteness component, if you’re on the metric system) is directly linked to our new art style, which our also adorable resident dolphin designer Adeline Ducker explains:
“We wanted our art style to be more reflective of the fantastical and surreal world we have envisioned for Classroom Aquatic, so we worked on creating a student that had exaggerated proportions and a texturing style with bolder shapes and colors. With larger eyes, longer limbs, and a highly articulated mouth, the new student is capable of a much wider range of emotions and produces slightly more of a ‘toon-stretch’ effect when animated. We’re currently reforming the environment and the teachers to match the student design and are excited to be revealing more in the future!”
While this incoming class gets settled, our next project is upgrading Professor Porpoise to the new rig to expand his mechanics as well: so when some exchange diver student tries throwing an eraser at him, the reaction will be truly special!
And that’s not all. While Adeline was putting together Professor Porpoise’s new classroom, she was struck-- not by an eraser, but by inspiration! And by the time inspiration was done striking her, she knew how the History and Dolphinities teacher’s room should look. Behold, the drift fruits of her labors:
You’ll also see elements of the demo’s current classroom in the new Science and Math classroom, and the Detention Hall (reserved for class clown fish and dolphin delinquents).
We even have some news about platform support. We here at Sunken Places want everyone to be able to enjoy our game; Why? Because we’re givers. But balancing game making with game porting has really slowed development. A little birdfish told us there may soon be an update to Unity’s VR code that will streamline and normalize a lot of the functions. Yay! So, for the time being we’re creating the master build of the game. Once we're finished with our immediate goals, we'll be updating the Steam demo so that you can all check out the new stuff!
TTFN! Until next time, remember to always know where your buddy is during a dive. (If you’re not sure, “In the ocean” is probably a safe bet)