We decided to start with a very dark, surreal scene that we call the Badlands, this takes place in chapter one of the Forgotten Lands.
The Badlands is a world ruled by solitary and odd creatures. The land is made up of small beach lands. We wanted the current Badlands to serve as a mining area for goblins. Although the lands itself is very arid, the player will find many odd-looking structures in the Badlands. Termite hill like structures are spread throughout the world, and contain various cavers to explore. The odd-looking trees that still remain in this world have an extremely dark and surreal appearance giving the world a fantasy touch.
Steps of Creation
The first step we took when creating the world of the Badlands, was to define the key features of what this world is known for. And our ideas started at three simple features; it is arid, it serves as a mining place for the goblins, and it’s surrounded by a sea.
Once we had the base idea mapped out, we decided to go directly to Unity without creating any concept art. Because we are faster in creating terrains in Unity, we saved a lot of time through this decision. Aft first, we placed a plane, and created one material for the plane that would later serve as reference for the rest of the ground materials, that we would use on the Badlands. In this scene we tried many types of skyboxes and lighting styles. When we found the right one, we adjusted the color of the plane material to blend well with the sky. The last step we took in this very simple scene was to add the camera’s post processing effects. when we had the scene together and we approved of the style, these values would remain for the rest of the Badlands chapter.
The next step was to create an actual terrain. By coping the values and components of the plane scene, we started to only focus on the terrain’s shape. At first, we tried many ideas for the shape of the world, some had mountains, others had canyons, and we even tried terrains that had the floor covered entirely with non-deep water. To test the terrain’s scale, we created a standard VR placeholder prefab that we could drag and drop in the scene. In the end, we ended with small sandy beach islands surrounded by a sea. The terrain, in the end, had almost no hills or mountains to give it a very surrealistic and lonely look.
VR and the Badlands
Because the Badlands is very simple in style, we decided to keep objects and environment props at a minimum. This keeps the Badlands very visually clean that helps the view in VR.
It was extremely important to test frame rate since we are developing the project for VR. Somethings that we tried in the environment but had to sadly get rid of it due to low frame rate are volumetric clouds, water, and certain lights.