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Climate Commander

Climate Commander was a capstone project created in collaboration with NASA and was meant to raise awareness of Climate Change and its effects. Players must foster the growth of a city while gathering resources around the map in order to pay for upgrades, however, if less environmentally friendly options are chosen, it limits the amounts of resources you can still collect from the map.

I participated as a Game Tech Artist, however I wore many other hats during the project, like consulting for the game's soundtrack until we found a composer, enforcing quality control, and contributing research.

Concept Art

Environment Concepts

Concept for gameplay walk for Farm section, showing Before/After of Climate Change

Layout of Hub world level including demonstration of urban sprawl

I created some early concept art for the environment and some props and assets, as well as made some paintovers. The idea that the team and I latched onto very quickly was that the environment changed based on player input, and so efforts were made to display those effects. 

We settled on a simplified, disc-shaped environment as our "world" (insert "flat earth" jokes here). I made some explorations of how the map would be laid out and changed, featured here.

We also had to design levels for specific resource collecting minigames, and I created some concept art for characters and props to decorate the Ice Minigame, which would collect fish.

 

3D Work

Rigging of 3D Models

This was done in Autodesk Maya

The Player Character

The polar bear from the Ice Game.

I helped our 3D artist with creating 3D assets. I had some experience working in 3D, having modeled, textured, and rigged assets in Autodesk Maya for other projects and classes. 

For this project, since we had a 3D specialist on the team already to do the main modeling, I provided support by helping to texture some of these assets in Adobe Substance Painter, I also rigged our models, for animation, since that was not a skill that our 3D specialist felt confident doing at the time. 

Finally, as Game Tech Artist I was the one who implemented these assets into the Unreal Engine. I also laid out the assets for the city into our main environment, allowing for it to look visually pleasing, and evolve. 

User Interface Design

Final version of menu. The transparency lets the player keep constant sight on the city these upgrades will be attached to.

Sketch of menu choices. It was important to have room for educational information for these updates as well as an icon to list the resource used to "buy" the upgrade, which also draws a connection between the resource and the choice between a sustainable or unsustainable option.

UI Design for City Upgrades Menu

When concepting Climate Commander, early on we knew that there was going to be some sort of menu for a "shop" where the player can buy upgrades to their city with the resources that they collected. I created the UI for this "shop". I used UI art made by another artist on the team to inform my design for the UI, for example choosing another DIN font to fit with the DIN Condensed that had been previously used, as well as the same colors. 

I created layouts for instructional How to Play screens and did the writing for them. I had to balance being informational and being concise in order to fit the instructions well within the screen. Luckily, I had prior experience with this when I created instruction sheets for Playtesters before our final launch.

I also created the design guide for team use once we had new team members.

Logo Design

Logo created for game title screen as well as promotional material.

Final Logo

For the marketing of the game, and for its digital packaging, I created the game's logo. 

I wanted to have a circular element to the logo early on, because climate change is a global issue, the game's main environment is a circular map, and there are many circle graphics in the rest of our UI. But I also wanted emphasis on the text of the game's title, since this would represent our game and be on its opening title screen. 

Originally, I wanted to use another DIN font, but explored other options. After some feedback, a rounder, wider font was chosen. 

I wanted to incorporate a city and the globe into the logo, and made many sketches exploring how best to do that.

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