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  • Foto van schrijverSuzanne Bongers

Sky Pies Process: the Game

A magical world made of food. Harvest the ingredients and create your own virtual meals! This is how I came to the Sky Pies game design and how I made it.

An earlier experiment to combine digital and physical food. Later, I chose to focus more on cooking, instead of eating.

An early step towards working with VR. I came up with the idea of creating food digitally, to then get it delivered to you. Cooking without the hassle of actual cooking, but with a real-life edible reward.

After deciding that I wanted to create a virtual kitchen game, I did some research by playing several food related games on multiple different types of devices. I tried the PlayStation (1 controller, screen separate), phone (just a screen), Nintendo Switch (screen + controllers in one), and VR (goggles, 2 controllers).

The games that were the most realistic were also the most boring, so I knew that I didn’t want to make a simulation-type game.

Earlier in my process, I did some experiments with “lazy” food products, like mashed potato powder and instant pudding. I didn’t continue on that, but I used the techniques and shapes for my final foodscapes.

The worlds are made completely from food items, that I 3D-scanned to use it for the game.

For the scanning process to work, you need good lighting. Bright enough, but very even and diffuse. Otherwise, the shadows will distort the colors.

The aftermath..

After scanning, the models had to be prepared to use in the game. The original models consisted of too many polygons, which can make the game very slow. To reduce the amount of polygons and still make it look good, the texture (colors) from the original model need to be “baked” into the simplified version.

The “unwrapping" method that the original model uses is too complicated and messy, so I had to create my own “seams” for a better end result (see pictures below). This is also one of the reasons I chose to do make the final level design in separate parts. A base and several single models that I could place wherever I wanted, and play with scale. The smaller models were way easier to edit, the big one was almost impossible.

I also had to manually had to fill some holes and bad geometry at parts where the scanning app got a bit confused.

Before After

Almost no visible difference between final and original when they are texture baked

When I was done with preparing all the models, I could work on positioning all them, as well as writing some code to be able to change between controllers, and adding a sky.

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