Big Project - A tribute to the old retrogames

I wasn’t quite sure if I was gonna make a blog post about it, but after thinking for a while I thought it could inspire others and maybe it would be beneficial to hear opinions from others.
It’s also inspiring to see when others share their WIP, so why not do something similiar??
But before writing about my Project, a big thank you to the Sketchfab developerteam for making such a wonderful website for sharing artwork, as I spend tons of hours just browsing here almost every day. And thank you to the many talented Artists who are willing to share their are artwork to the world, thank you for the amazing content.

About this Project of mine, I decided to do a continuation of one of my other projects I uploaded several months ago. That one was already such a huge amount of work, but I think I can do bigger than that:#

For context:

The new project is based on the same idea, only this time I’ve planned to add so much more stuff to it, making it look like actual gameplay. Some Dialogue, selfmade Soundeffects, animation and other stuff…by myself. Call me crazy if you want :smile:

I’ve already spend two to three months of work on it, and I’m far from finished, yet I feel some satisfaction from a project that keeps me busy for a while

I will try to post on a regular basis, maybe once a week or every two. There is a lot to show, so I won’t do it in one go, but for now let’s get startet with it

:beer:The Concept: :beer:

There isn’t much to say about it, since this is based on an existing idea i already had.
Long story short: My maincharacter Serena got “Isekaied” by pure accident into the gaming world, and the only way to escape is to finish it. But at some point she has to fight some bosses of course, so in this project she is going to fight one of the guardians guarding the relic she needs.
So time was saved quite a bit, since the Idea was already set. As for the boss I decided to make one big-version of the skeleton-enemies, and the area is set inside a vulcanic place.
Anyone who ever played banjo kazooie will see that I took some inspiration from that game, especially the fight with the dragons, and designed the area in similiar fashion

:beer:The Concept - building the scene: :beer:
I like pixelart, and it’s 3d equivalent is voxelart. Albeit it has a more modern touch, it still captures the feel of good ol retrostyle, like super mario, bubble bobble, zelda, bomberman etc in their early days. And for that, magica voxel is a good choice, thank you ephtracy for your gift. The only thing: It still does a wonderful job at doing terrible exports with terrible meshoutput…
But if you are creative enough, you can get around with, and luckily i didn’t need it to be perfect for animation, so yeah, everythings fine…

One thing: The boss is made of several objects, to avoid the issue of having weird deforms when rigging

Here are some screenshots from Magicavoxel:

Here you see that the boss has a “Helmet” and I wanted him to have facial expressions, which I ditched for now

where the artifact will be:

I planned to have him hit the spikes under the bridge, but I noticed that it was going to be too complicated at some point,
so I ditched that as well. The Platform has already been changed a bit

The scene still needs some refinement, but I felt that it was time to export it to blender and tinker with some lighting setup and I also wanted some testanimations get done to find out, like how does the boss attack even, how to damage etc, but I’ll shave that story for later.

The lavatexture was made in krita, then ported to magicavoxel, but when I decided to have it animated i stuck to a simple plane instead


Feel free to use this tileable one

This concludes part 1, there is more in part 2…
Thank you for reading and thank you for beeing a great community


I love this - this is a great tribute, and a nice write up of your thought process going through. Thanks for sharing!

I really love that lava texture too :nerd_face:

1 Like

It is great and fun! Thanks!
I agree, exporting from magicalvoxel is a mess. How did you manage this part?

Part 2 of my blog:

:mailbox: Exporting to Blender: :mailbox:

While the scene still needed improvement, I wanted to export it from Magicavoxel to Blender in order to test a few things, like lighting and basic animation.
And exporting is MV weakness… sadly… :sob:

To answer @fpierron 's question:

If you use magicavoxel for a project like this, there are a few things to consider:

If it’s a still, inanimate object, like the platform, then having a bad mesh doesn’t really bother that much. If it’s animated, like a character, it’s best to make limbs a seperated object, this will avoid the issue of weird deforms when rigging.
There is also the format to consider: ply and obj, since these are widely supported.
Ply gives a cleaner mesh result, but color ist stored as vertexcolor and you will have quite a lot of geometry. Obj gives you material and texture, but will give you a bad mesh result.
In my case going with obj didn’t pose a problem, so I went with that.

Once imported to blender, I then went to editmode, merged all vertices, which caused viewportshading to freak out and scream in pain :scream::scream::scream:, so I removed the custom normal data in the properties->vertex data. Autosmooth is still enabled, but now it looks good and it won’t give you bad artifacts.
Finally, I merged all the 1000 materials into one.

As for the boss character, he is the only one who needed to be fixed. While he is made of several objects, the torso is not, as i wanted some organic deform. To fix that I used the Remesh modifier, then readjusted the UV for it.

I’m no professional armature builder, but I think it’s decent enough for me to work.
When building an armature, it’s good to plan ahead. If you know he’s going to do that attack, make your armature in a way that makes it as easy as possible to animate.
I had to revamp the armature several times to make it work the way I wanted.

After that, it was time for the next step:

:flashlight: Lighting setup: :flashlight:
I experimented a little bit with the lighting by setting a bunch of pointlamps, different settings for the sky and wether I should use volumetrics or not. I didn’t want to go into specifics, but this general setup helped me getting the right direction I wanted to go. Using volumetric did look kinda cool, but it is memory intensive, so I disabled it for now.
For the lava I used an emission shader.

In this picture I felt it was too dark and monotone, so I kept that in mind for the future versions.

More in Part 3