Level design & geometry

Since the Blade Of Power project started as a fun-creation project inspired by Masters Of The Universe cartoon from the '80 all my levels were under the influence of general MOTU esthetic's. I tried to remake in my own way some of the most known 2D design solutions from cartoon and transfer them to 3D geometry.
Even after I have made the decision to develop fully original 3D game I was determined not to abandon MOTU concept all together but more to enhance it. The only troublesome parts of this transition can be seen in level one where some of the textures are made to resemble most common MOTU symbols. By the end of the game development they are going to be replaced with different  symbols originally designed for Blade Of Power.
All my levels are modeled in Game Studio WED (World Editor) and then exported into Game Studio MED (Model Editor) for fast texture changes and easy outside lightmap creations.
So far the game has 3 levels with total of 11 sub-levels from which i have modeled 10. There is still 1 level with 2 sub-levels left to be modeled.

LEVEL 1 : Sub-Level 1/5

Philip's Kingdom (Level 1)
Garden (Sub-Level 1/5)


LEVEL 1 : Sub-Level 2/5

Philip's Kingdom (Level 1)
Castle (Sub-Level 2/5)


LEVEL 1 : Sub-Level 3/5

Philip's Kingdom (Level 1)
Rooms (Sub-Level 3/5)


LEVEL 1 : Sub-Level 4/5

Philip's Kingdom(Level 1)
Secret passage (Sub-Level 4/5)


LEVEL 1 : Sub-Level 5/5

Picture
Philip's Kingdom(Level 1)
Defense walls
(Sub-Level 5/5)


LEVEL 2 : Sub-Level 1/2

Catacombs (Level 2)
Higher parts
(Sub-Level 1/2)


LEVEL 2 : Sub-Level 2/2

Catacombs (Level 2)
Lower parts
(Sub-Level 2/2)


LEVEL 3 : Sub-Level 2/4

Kingdom of Arta(Level 3)
Village (Sub-Level 2/4)


LEVEL 3 : Sub-Level 3/4

Kingdom of Arta(Level 3)
Castle (Sub-Level 3/4)


LEVEL 3 : Sub-Level 4/4

Kingdom of Arta(Level 3)
Lower wing
(Sub-Level 4/4)


LEVEL 4 : Sub-Level 1/2

Picture
Devastated lands of the North (Level 4)

North entrance
(Sub-Level 1/2)

LEVEL 4 : Sub-Level 2/2

Picture
Devastated lands of the North (Level 4)

Ellektrikon
(Sub-Level 1/2)

Level & model lightning

Lightmaps for all levels and models will be made outside Game Studio in Blender (www.blender.org).
So far I have only made Blender-lightmaps for levels, models and props currently existing in Level 3 : Kingdom of Arta (Sub-levels 3 & 4). All other levels still have Game Studio WED lightmaps.

Models design, geometry & animation

In it's early development stage the game was meant to be as close to MOTU cartoon as possible but at the same time 3D oriented. So the idea was to have game environment in full 3D but all the game characters in 2D.
Later, after the decision to turn fun-fiction MOTU project into original, full 3D game, character models needed to be re-created. In attempt to preserve MOTU spirit and still have completely unique esthetic solution, models design is leaning toward '80s He-man, Conan and Flash Gordon concepts.
All currently existing character-models are modifications of open source models.
Creation process:
My first step in creation process is to animate model in DAZ Studio, free program for 3D art and animation (www.daz3d.com). After animation stage I export model to Blender where I do polygon reduction and first part of design and geometry modifications. After that I export animated, optimized and redesigned model from Blender to Game Studio MED for final geometry changes and bone-removal. Last step is to apply effects and shaders.

Programing

Blade of Power combines two Game Studio languages : C-Script and Lite-C. While the entire game is basically done in C-Script all post-processing effects are coded in Lite-C. Main game scripts are modifications of the GS Template 5 scripts and all additional scripts are written by me or written by other authors and adapted by me.

2D artwork

My 2D work consists of two main segments: texture and panel work. In the early stages of development I have also done some classic animation work because all characters were meant to be in 2D).
All textures or panels for the game were done using PaintNet(www.getpaint.net), IrfanView(www.irfanview.net), Gimp(www.gimp.org) or Microsoft Paint (www.microsoft.com).

Story

Blade Of Power project started as the >Masters Of The Universe: Secret of the Sword< fun-creation game that was meant to have only two levels and combine 3D environment with 2D characters. From there it evolved into fully original 3D game.
My idea after the decision to change project concept was to keep MOTU spirit and not make something completely different and unrecognizable to me as a MOTU fan. So story with He-man and Skeletor had to be modified but still remain similar to the origin. One sword that had all the powers of the Grayskull turned into three swords that contained three unic skills: Power, Wisdom and Logos. Adam turned to Philip (that doesn't turns to He-man but is still the Prince of the realm), Skeletor turned to Zardax and everybody else gain original names and appearances.
The most important thing was to keep global MOTU concept of non-too-much-violent situation solving when it comes to human characters and non-blood-and-gore situation solving when it comes to non-human characters. So all major enemies cannot be killed but only disabled and all enemies that can be “killed” are androids or just robots.
Also the game is adventure based and all action segments are there only as a tool for story to be told.

Gameplay & quests

I wanted Blade of Power to be a first-person adventure game with number of action segments and end-level boss battles. Game's centre, adventure gameplay segment, is turned toward exploring the environment, task solving and item manipulation and it's action gameplay segment consists of classic shooter parts and boss-battles. Action segments are not present in every level because the core and real tone of the gameplay is meant to be focused on adventure and exploration.

Pavle Nikolic
contact mail:

nikolic_pavle@live.com