Simply creating complex maps with Blender

Modeling one level in “Why Does It Spin?” is done basically in two steps as explained in one of our previous posts. In this video we demonstrate this map creation process by example and show how easy it is to create a complex map with our level tools in Blender in a few minutes. After creating outlines with Spiro splines, different game elements are playfully placed and arranged.

Introducing “Why Does It Spin?” Episodes!

From now on, we will weekly post a short video of one gameplay feature in “Why Does It Spin?”. While waiting for the release of the game, you can kill time by watching them. Every particular episode gives more insights into the game and reveals another addicting game concept. We gently start our series with the first episode about the most important rule: Don’t touch the walls!

Level tools built upon Blender

Our 3D content creation pipeline is mainly based on Blender (www.blender.org). When creating a level we start with painting the level outlines and then in the second step place all the game elements needed, selected from our 3D model database. We wanted our level outlines to be as “blobby” as possible to visually fit the look of the game where a permanently rotating stick is moved around. Hence, circles and arcs are often encountered in our level design. For this purpose we have used Spiro splines (for more information on Spiro splines please check www.levien.com/spiro/). Our experience in short: Although numerically unstable, Spiro splines are very intuitive in practice and create visually pleasing results. In order to use Spiro splines in Blender we have ported the C implementation from Inkscape (www.inkscape.org) to a Blender plugin implemented in python. All 3D models used in “Why Does It Spin?” were also created with Blender. We have extended the Blender GUI to allow for adding different game entities (e.g., springs, gates, conveyors, etc.) along with all their specific properties. While advancing from level to level new game elements are introduced, and each chapter in “Why Does It Spin?” has its own style defined by specific decoration objects, colors and textures. We wanted the players of “Why Does It Spin?” to have fun exploring the levels and detecting all its details besides solving the level objectives.

Why Does It Spin? – First Gameplay Footage

This is the very first official gameplay footage of “Why Does It Spin?”, the debut title of Incodra, coming soon to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The concept of the game is to control a continuously rotating long stick (the spinship) by tilting the device. There is only one important rule: The spinship may not touch any wall! This sounds rather simple, but as the player encounters narrow areas and moving obstacles avoiding damage becomes a quite sophisticated task. Watch the video to get a first impression of the upcoming game challenges and join our YouTube-Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/WhyDoesItSpin) for any new official footage.

At this point we would also like to thank Thomas Flachs for the 2D artworks and Markus Roth for the background music. Both have done a great job in pushing our game to premium quality.

Incodra prodly presents: “Why Does It Spin?” coming to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

“Why Does It Spin?” is a game of skill with a well-balanced arcade style gameplay where a continuously rotating spinship needs to be controlled through a colorful and fascinating world full of narrow areas, moving obstacles, and many other interesting game elements. The game is developed by us, Lars Krecklau and Darko Pavic, who are two experienced computer scientists from Germany with a strong affinity for games. During our academic career at the chair of computer graphics and multimedia we have published a bunch of papers at international top conferences such as Eurographics and FMX (have a look at the our list of publications: Lars, Darko). After finishing our PhDs we decided to go indie and founded Incodra to start something on our own, namely the development games for mobile platforms.

We started our first project with the development of our own 3D engine for large-scale 2.5D game environments with major focus on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. From the beginning, we wanted to create a visually pleasing premium game without in-app purchases and with a nice story behind. Hence, we carefully planned the outline of our first title “Why Does It Spin?”, developed and designed a lot, and now we are close to its completion. The featured image shows an artwork of the main character (Dusty), his rotating spinship, and his family members, who got lost in the strange world of colorful bands.

We have also just finished our sites in the following social networks:

http://www.facebook.com/WhyDoesItSpin
http://www.twitter.com/WhyDoesItSpin
http://www.google.com/+WhyDoesItSpin