by Dominik Zieliński | Lead Artist of This War of Mine – 11 bit studios
This War of Mine (TWoM) is a game explicitly different from your every day product. It has no flashy muscled characters, nor science fiction robots, Or mind dazzling eye candy. TWoM tells a down to the ground, straightforward story rooted in brutal reality of life in a conflict zone. TWoM message is: “This war can happen to you”.
This is why we needed characters that felt believable. We turned to scanning because we wanted to capture this ordinary every day person feel. I think the fact that all characters that we meet in TWoM are scanned from real people adds a certain layer of depth to the entire game experience.
For our scans we’ve used Kinect, a rotating platform (and some duct tape), and the results we’ve got were perfect for what we needed.
I especially liked the cloth wrinkles that would require some time to simulate, or even more time to sculpt, and the effect probably wouldn’t be that good. That was a big plus because the characters in TWoM are mostly fully clothed. ReconstructMe contributed greatly into characters overall quality.
Scanning heads is great. Percentagewise, while working on TWoM, most amount of time was saved thanks to scanning real people’s heads instead of sculpting them in 3d.
When we were in the midst of the development process, the selfie functionality was added, and with it came along the automatic capping of holes in unscanned areas. That was a big help, it sliced of a large portion of the development pipeline, and saved us artists some time.
In the end we made more than 200 scans, of torsos, legs and heads. We scanned so much, that during our last scanning session the custom made rotating platform we used, broke down.