It's been a while since I've updated anything regarding this project. Last time, I left off with saying that I wish to focus on the art assets first due to the engine transition and how I'm going to need models regardless if it's Leadwerks and/or Turbo.
This weekend I've decided to model the very first model - The box. Boxes are very common with puzzle games, so it was ideal to get this model done and over with. There were a few things I wanted. The puzzle box must be perfectly square and it has to break if it gets crushed or something. In the past, I would have went with some science fiction box but it was hard to make gibs for it and if you needed it bigger or smaller for whatever reason, the model never looked right outside it's native size.
So I decided to go with a normal wooden crate. It's simple, looks good at any size, and it can break with the gibs being easy to make. I first went online to see how other modelers went with making a crate model, but I mostly got low poly models with the normal and speculator maps doing the detail work. This makes sense if crates are just details for a map, but I didn't think this was appropriate for a model used for gameplay. Normal maps tend to wash out under some lighting conditions and scaling can ruin it too.
So I ended up making a top and bottom part and the four sides are the same. I meshed in any bevels and it turned out nice. I'm not sure if the UV is done, but I've baked an AO map for now.
I would have did the texture map with it, but I'm currently not sure how to go forward on that. I like to model on my Ubuntu machine and the best raster program is gimp. Although I'm getting used to Gimp, I feel I'm more efficient with Photoshop. My original idea was to use free and open software that's multi-platform so anyone could open the raw assets. Gimp as a PSD importer, but I ran into issues loading some old PSDs I had. I think I'm going to experiment with exporting as older versions of the PSD format.
Another thing I've come across was a neat program called Materialize, which allows you to build normal, speculator, metallic, rough, and height maps off of an image. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks useful since Turbo is going to do a PBR render. Sad part is it's Windows exclusive so I can't use it on my Ubuntu machine nor my iMac. (Which I was considering using it as my art machine.) I think I should establish a proper workflow before I continue to be fair.
I've started other models like the button and the puzzle door. I'm not 100% satisfied with their meshes right now like I am with my crate but I'm happy to start meshing shapes again and getting ideas down.