Sep 30

EvolutionOfHarryUp until now, the main character in Dehoarder 2, Harry, hasn’t had much visual presence in the game. That is changing. I wasn’t even sure that the main character was going to have a visible avatar until now.

MakeHuman has always been on my list of cool technologies to check out, and I was starting to need more human characters than what the LowPolyDudes/Dudettes could supply. It turned out to be really, really easy to create a model with MakeHuman and import it into Unity. There are still a couple of snags to be worked out, but for the most part it is working great. I think I am going to use it for all character models in the game, except maybe the alien.

All of those parameterized sliders for adjusting model appearance in MakeHuman gave me a great idea: What if the game could show a visual progression of Harry from his low point at the start of the game, to the high point at the pinnacle of his success? Other games like Fable have done this before, and I always thought it was a great device. If your character is undergoing great inward personal changes, then yes, the outward appearance should reflect that. So Harry will have three forms to evolve through.

MirrorMirrorHis first form, at the beginning of the game, is frankly slovenly. Probably I will add stains to the clothing and such to really drive it home. At this point he’s just a soft pile of doughy flesh covered with dirty, loose-fitting garments, and he just exudes unhappiness.

Harry’s second form, for acts II and III of the story, represents a great improvement in well-kemptness, while making it apparent that there is still further room for improvement. His clothes are clean and mostly well-fit, if not optimistically so. He still looks like he could use some gym time, and he doesn’t seem quite happy, though he doesn’t look nearly as miserable as his first form.

Harry’s third form, achieved right before the story climax in act III, represents the “completed” Harry. He is well-dressed, well-groomed, looks like he takes care of himself at the gym and dinner table, and he looks happy. Harry’s final form projects confidence and well-being.

I also have a set of three Harriet models that I am working on, for those preferring to portray a female main character. These show a similar progression from bottom to top.

Harry can always check his style in the bathroom mirror. I’d like to have more reflective surfaces for Harry to be able to see himself in, however, reflections of this level of quality are very expensive performance-wise, as they need to essentially re-render the scene from a different point of view.

I really think these additions really help to tell the story of Harry. I’m looking forward to implementing more of the story now that the engine is stabilized.

Categories: Dehoarder 2


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