Published on Wednesday, 05 October 2011
Tag Games is using Autodesk 3ds Max to create striking 3D environments for ‘Funpark Friends’, a
new build-your-own theme park simulator game for iPhone and iPod Touch mobile digital devices.
|It has eye-catching 3D elements that help the game stand out from other games on the market. Developing games with a 3D workflow helps smaller studios like Tag Games attract attention in a competitive market. Managing director Paul Farley noted that social games have generally been created in 2D, but Tag wants to update their look by using 3D while retaining a clean, bright, colourful aesthetic. 3D is also associated with higher quality. “Many people still download or buy a game based on a screenshot. They are judging your game on one static screenshot, and 3D makes a much bigger impact than 2D.|
|“Our primary concern is standing out in our field, while maintaining tight budgets and a small, but highly efficient team. The answer was to move towards 3D gaming,” said Stewart Graham, head of game art, Tag Games. “3ds Max has everything we need in a single package.” The team is aware that working on a small screen means using every pixel carefully.
Tag Games designers used 3ds Max to shape and create the distinct visual design of ‘Funpark Friends’. “We were going for a recognizable, plastic toy look that players could experience in a 3D environment,” said Martin McGregor, game artist, Tag Games. “Max tools like TurboSmooth made it easier to get the exact look we wanted for the game.” New content will be added every week. Because the animation is quite basic it can be hand animated, then rendering out single images, exporting as Targa files and recompiling them in After Effects. From there they can apply markers that export information for the programmers.
Using 3D software also means they can work with pre-rendered elements, and get the textures and materials qualities they want. “We are seeing a growing trend of mobile, social and casual game developers adopting 3D workflows,” said Marc Stevens, vice president, Autodesk Games. “Games like ‘Funpark Friends’ are an example of the quality you can achieve with 3D software. It’s these more impactful, 3D visuals that grab the consumer’s eye and help games stand out in the crowded mobile game market.” Paul Farley aalso pointed out that games companies are in the entertainment business, and games have to compete against TV, online video and music for people’s time. www.autodesk.com www.tag-games.com