giovanni puppet

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

It’s great to have a rigged character. You become something of a puppeteer and it’s easy to try and experiment and directly see how a pose looks.

I needed a striking/arrogant/esoteric pose for a poster/flyer of an exhibition of the painter character Giovanni. After finding a good pose, I used the model as a reference to draw from and added the typograhpy.

The first version looked too friendy and nice, so I tweaked the drawing before scanning it again.

The image can be found in the form of a flyer and as a poster around Mundaun, foreshadowing the character of the painter before actual meeting him.

apiarist picture

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

To create an image of the apiarist to be used as a framed picture in the game, I started by recording a clip as a reference.

I pencilled the image based on a frame from that clip.

This is the finished object hanging in grandpas study chamber.

This kind of ping-pong process between digital arrangement and drawing is all over Mundaun. In this case, it went:

  • Model apiarist
  • Draw apiarist texture, scan and put on model and into the game
  • Capture textured apiarist in game
  • Draw picture of textured apiarists from the game
  • Scan and put that drawing back into the game

dark days

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

While playing with the environment settings I came up with this moody atmosphere. Like many things, it was born from a bug (in this case, the sun intensity stayed at zero, even when it shouldn’t have). The fog has a brighter color than the ambient, giving the scenery this unreal feel. I don’t quite know, where the vertical stripes come from, but I have to reproduce them conciously and use them.

exhibiting mundaun

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

Exhibiting a game in a pleasing way is a challenge. When you put a monitor on a table, the atmosphere is basically that of an office.

I recently had the opportunity to exhibit Mundaun for the “Werkbeiträge Applied Arts 2018” in Lucerne. I was very lucky when, during the preparations, I found a nice old chest of drawers. At first, I wanted to just exhibit some drawings of Mundaun on it. Then it hit me. Why not exhibit the game itself inside one of the drawers? It fits thematically and visually and makes the exhibit appealing to non-gamers as well.

The feel of playing the game which was almost laying on the floor, while standing up, was quite interesting. Quite immersive, if a bit dizzying.

I had to drill and saw a hole in the back for the cables. There were loudspeakers in the middle drawer. The resulting sound resonated interestingly through the wood. Plus there was some room for additional display materials on top and in the upper drawers, making for a nice well-integrated display of Mundaun as a game as well as a project and process.

In addition to the chest of drawers with the playable game, there was a table with sketch- and notebooks of the Mundaun project. Hidden in one of the drawers was a tablet with a making of and the trailer running in a loop. This gave me the idea of putting displays into drawers in the first place.

On the walls, I put quite a large selection of the original pencil drawings, which are the source of all the textures of Mundaun.

brick puzzle

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

I wanted to add a puzzle involving a pattern on a wall with some missing bricks. You would then have to find them and insert them the right way. The two bricks are the same, so it doesn’t matter which goes where. But they can be rotated in 90 degree steps and have to be inserted with the correct orientation.

Can you solve it?

Nobody except me, the designer, could solve it without some substantial hints. As I don’t want obtuse logic puzzles blocking the way and disrupting the flow senselessly, I decided to take another route.

The player now has to find three distinct bricks and place them in that wall to open a door. It’s not a logic puzzle anymore, but a way to block the way for the player in an intriguing way until she has all three bricks. As they visually complete the wall painting, putting them in is satisfying.

Of course I kind of liked the original logic puzzle but having it in the game adds little, while at the same time potentially frustrating players into giving up or looking up the solution. It’s either unsolvable if you don’t see the right pattern or very easy if you see it.

beaked figure

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

Turned off the main camera to test something. The postprocessing camera took over and the image transformed into a strange silhouette painting of a beaked figure standing among some buildings. It appears out of dark sections of the player figure collar. This is very surreal.

note books

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

A lot of to-do lists, sketches, pseudo UML diagrams, visual ideas, doodles etc. to jot down over the years. These are the Mundaun notebooks. I always have one open in front of me when developing.

burning barn painting animation

Michel ZieglerUncategorized

To accentuate the hand-pencilled aesthetic of Mundaun, some 2D visual effects are animated frame-by-frame. In this case, it is a painting by Giovanni, the sinister artist of Mundaun. The things he paints seem to become reality.

The process: An initial pencil drawing is scanned. Parts of the drawing are then erased and redrawn for the next frame, which is then also scanned. This is repeated for all the frames. This process has the advantage that only part of the image has to be redrawn and the smudged quality of the resulting sequence also perfectly fits how a painter would move paint around on a canvas.

The images are then alternated in quick succession in the Unity engine, resulting in the painting coming to life.