Umiko is a graduation project made by seven students from New3Dge that was done during our last year. It’s a complete game (not a demo) with its own unique universe inspired by Genshin and Studio Ghibli’s movies.
On a peaceful island lives a shrine maiden named Umiko. Her goal as a maiden has always been to make sure that the local Kami, Kurage, and her children get their offerings every day.
But everything changed when, one day, she woke up late and forgot her duty. Kurage's children went hungry and left their mother's domain to find some food. Kurage started crying about the loss of her children and her tears flooded the island.
Umiko knows what she has to do, find the children and bring them back to Kurage to appease her and stop the flood.
In order to give diversity and coherence to our game, we were able to create different zones to explore and find the Kodomos. Here are some images and videos per zone showing you the different environments.
For the lighting, we've got two main objectives. First, give a unique feeling and mood for each islands and, secondly, add a lot of life in the game despite the fact that we are in a top-down game. We created, since the early versions, some tool to help us create lighting quickly and which we can iterate easily.
In our game we have two main characters: Umiko, the protagonist and the Kami Kurage.
We have also been able to integrate Hayame who is a crystal merchant, the Kodomos who are the missing children of Kurage, Yumi who is the friendly Manta Ray that we ride to move on the water, and finally various fishes, birds and insects that will be found everywhere in our game.
Because she is related to the sea, we went for a design with a lot of elements inspired by jellyfishes. Her belt, haircut, and accessories are made from gold and gemstones to show her power. The ring on her back is inspired by the clothes you can see on Japanese kami like Raijin and Fujin
Hayame is a wandering merchant who once was a Ninja. Now retired she still use her skills to travel around the islands and trade crystals for goodies.
At last, a presentation of the shader that we've made in order to get the cel-shading that you saw on all the characters (in unreal engine 4)
Props and Foliage
For the realization of the different assets in the game, we created a Smart Material in Substance Painter combining different masks in order to have a procedural Handpaint rendering.
Also, some of our props are modular such as all the compositions combining rocks (Stairs, Bridges, Environment, Shrine) or the Shrines to give a maximum of diversity to our game.
We have three differents sets of foliage depending on their island.
Breakdown Kagura Suzu :
First, here is the main Gameplay VFX on the game. This VFX represents the sound of the staff's bells ringing in the environment. The player can use it to collect some little spirits that dive inside each bell of the staff.
Breakdown Crystals :
The player can also collect crystals hidden in the world. In addition, he can find large rocks that act as chests and are filled with these crystals. We made a custom animation on 3dsMax for opening the chests.
Breakdown Waterfalls :
Here are the stunts in the game, they are fully customisable in the Blueprint and are really cheap in the engine as we only used masked textures for this VFX.
Breakdown Dash :
Later in development we decided to add a Dash for the player to cross waterfalls. The player turns into a magic ball and we created procedural splashes when the player collides with a waterfall.
Breakdown Manta Ray :
The player can also surf on a Manta ray, we made a big puff of smoke to hide the spawn/despawn of the ray. When the player is surfing, the power of the splash is based on the speed of the player so that as the player goes faster, the splash gets bigger.
Breakdown Tori Gates :
We added some blockers in the gameplay, these are magical barriers that the player can dissolve. Also when the player gets near, the barrier gets more intense.
Breakdown Miscellaneous :
To add more life to the game, we made various small visual effects like fireflies, falling leaves, and foam moving in the water shader using the range field. We also created a widget when the player collects a new item. Finally, we wanted to challenge ourselves with 2d animation, so we made a hand-painted flipbook of fire in Adobe Animate and combined it with texture noise and particles in Niagara to blend it into the environment.
Working on Umiko has been a wonderful experience for us. Being able to work with so many talented people, students as well as teachers. It really taught us how to work in a group, create bonds with each other, and think as a team. We went through all of this together and we are proud to show you the result of this hard work.
We hope that you enjoyed our work as much as we enjoyed doing it!
If you want to see more, check out our respective posts here:
- Thomas Corvée ( Fx Artist / Cinematic Artist / Environment Artist )
- Mathieu Méchaussier ( Lighting Artist / Animator / Level Artist )
- Gustave Besnard (Art Director / Character Artist / Tech Character Artist )
- Aniss Laghsas ( Technical Artist / UI Artist / Optimisation )
- François Larrieu ( Environment Artist / Foliage Artist )
- Maxime Lecas ( Props Artist / Level Artist )
- Joe Rodrigues ( Environment Artist / Props Artist )
Concepts done by :
- Clément Legouini
- Guillaume Bidault
- Ian Farlay
- Nicolas Pertays
- Arthur Ripert
Go check these dudes ;)