I learned a ton, working on this project. Firstly, about optimizing and creating assets for VR. I love working with VR, and I’ve optimized assets for games for VR before which is definitely its own task, but not too difficult. Creating post-processing and VFX for VR though often requires its own version of the effect, because of how VR cameras work. On top of this, working with the lightweight render pipeline, which also requires its own graphics constraints, made many usual art pipelines more complicated. I know more now about making VR assets for Unity’s Lightweight Render Pipeline than I did when I started, but it’s still enough of a roadblock that I think I prefer using the normal pipelines and optimizing through those.
For texturing I definitely got a workflow down. The process continued throughout the project mostly the same, and while there were bugs or fixes to models and UVs that needed to happen often, the pipeline itself rarely changed, and was very smooth from start to finish, which was wonderful. I got to build up a library of substance designer patterns and substance painter smart materials, and also learned several workflows for creating game foliage in Zbrush. That was great, but is also one side of one of my ‘could have been better’ moments. Earlier on, I spent a lot of time making things for the plant wall, models, foliage, gardening tools, texturing those, etc, when it would have been a much better plan to do larger texturing sweeps of the game early on.
I also learned more about how color palette can interact with lighting and player visibility, and quite a bit about how to select assets that should be busier, vs assets that need to be textured more plainly so that they don’t demand too much attention. Since our game is all in one room, and also in VR, it was an interesting challenge to make sure that it wasn’t too busy or cluttered, while still maintaining a gothic tone (which is mostly ornate decorations).
Overall, there were some early choices that I think would have saved a lot more time as the project went on, but I learned a lot, got to test many different pipelines for asset creation, and enjoyed working on a fourth VR project.