After finishing my changes to the citizens, the next thing I thought I would add to the game is livestock. The game will allow adding pastures where you can raise chickens, pigs, cows, and sheep. You’ll be able to slaughter them for food and possibly produce other products from them, such as leather, wool, and eggs.
The process starts with modeling and animating a low polygon animal. I chose a chicken.
The process of creating a 3D model for a game is unduly complicated. First a triangle mesh that defines the shape of the object needs to be created. The mesh then needs to be unwrapped so that a 2D texture can be applied to it. After being unwrapped, the actual texture has to be painted to give the object color. An ambient occlusion map is also rendered at this point to give the model better shading and lighting in the game. Once all that’s done virtual bones are added to the model and the mesh is weighted to the bones so that it can be animated. Only then can animations can be created by moving the bones.
The entire process for the chicken took me a full work day, and I ask myself, why didn’t I make a 2D game with sprites? Would it be any simpler?
As this is the first animated object with a bone structure I’ve made for the game, I expect later models of animals and people to be built slightly faster.
Once completed, the model of the chicken and the animations are imported into the game. After writing a simple AI in thirty minutes, the chickens wander around and they happily peck at the ground.