The Art of Husk: Blending 2D & 3D.

A few people have been asking about Husk's unique blend of 2D and 3D art - Where did the idea com from? Why did you make it that way? Why not put those details in the 3D world?

I'll be attempting to answer those questions here in the dev logs.

Designing Within Limitations

Husk was originally a week-long game jam project for Halloween 2020, put together by a group of friends in our Discord server. We spent an entire day bouncing around ideas and trying to land on something we were all satisfied with. After 8 hours of brainstorming, the one idea we all seemed to like was for a 3D first-person horror game, with a focus on building an unsettling atmosphere.

That would've been easy to just run with, but there was a problem - we had no 3D artists

Our team consisted of audio designers, 2D artists, some Unity engineers, and a few writers. A few of us could do basic modeling, but none of us could deliver on the level of quality that this kind of game would demand.

It was around this point where the idea came to us - why not just make the important details illustrated? We could have elements in the environment that you "investigate", which then show up-close, fully illustrated images, or "investigation cards". One example we used during ideation was a "jar full of eyeballs" - the jar would be a simple low-poly prop in 3D space, but the card would be highly detailed and grotesque.

This idea enabled us to really lean into the skill-sets of everyone on our team. Our artists were creating detailed drawings,  our audio designers were building tension with a dynamic soundscape, and our writers were able to create a story that played out through the cards.

The 3D House

Our Unity engineers were going to be responsible for building the 3D house, since we were the most familiar with using the engine.

The layout of the house was mocked up in MS paint,  and then modeled in-engine using ProBuilder. 

The house's interior, props, and surrounding environment were built using a combination of assets found online - mostly from the Unity Asset Store. Here's a few of them:

The Monster

This might come as a surprised to some of you, but the monster is actually a 2D! 

The monster is a billboarded, animated 2D sprite with a custom shader and normal map. We used Unity's new 2D animation package to rig the static sprite and animate his movements.

At some point in the near future, I'll be doing another dev-log to go into detail about the monster's design, technical implementation, and AI logic!


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It's amazing! All along, I thought the monster was 3D! Well done!