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A jam submission

Elder Tree EnvironmentView project page

3D Environment for rising star stage 2 competition
Submitted by Chris186 — 9 hours, 14 minutes before the deadline
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Elder Tree Environment's page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Research & Development#54.2004.200

Ranked from 5 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Research and Development - Concept was thoroughly researched and this was very well presented. I have taken a star off as I would of liked to of seen some ideas of different layouts and hero props you went through.

    Technical - I'm finding it hard to fault anything in this project technically as you have been able to highlight your own shortcomings (Texel density etc) This scene exceeds my expectations and the quality of work is to a studio level. 

    Creative - Scene is very creative and you can see the inspiration you have pulled from in your research but not copied. My only critique is I'd of expected to see a very old worn bark texture as its slightly flat - look to a Giant Red Cedar for inspiration of a tree of this scale.

    Documentation - Can't fault - all sections were well documented and well explained/laid out

    Presentation - Scene was very well presented. A playable exe would of been preferred as well as some breakdowns of your other models that can be seen (books stack, lanterns etc)

  • Really lovely piece of artwork. Detailed pre production with consistent quality of assets and well detailed materials. I would have liked the lighting to pop a bit more to create more contrast in certain areas but also make the greens of where the lighting hits, emmit an almost subsurface effect of a glow. Despite that 10/10 would go on holiday here.

  • A lovely piece of work, nice modular components, the moss effect on the stone robot head didn’t feel right, however it does look better on the statue.  The foliage, which was the aim, looks amazing, especially the placement.  Consider the cost though of having baked maps and vertex shading for foliage rather than procedural.  Due to the size of every leaf, it is a interesting notion either way which works best.  Its noticeable that you know when to vary workflow, and the results are amazing. 

  • Submission Title:                                  Elder Tree

    Submission Tier:                                   Sumo Digital Rising Star

    Assessor:                 Anthony O’Donnell                          Lead Artist                           Firesprite

    Concept design & Development:

    A wide range of research was carried out covering most of the featured assets from the robotic skull and statues to the trees. The mood board per prop approach is good as when assigning art tasks / briefs out to a wider team as it helps to maintain an overall aesthetic and consistency within the scene. Suitable real-world referencing was done to further define elements of the concept.

    Chris discusses his take and understanding of the techniques employed in the concept art in terms of how value and leading lines direct the eye around the image which showcases his understanding of these concepts.

    The blockout stage was taken to an appropriate detail level with some test lighting to flesh out some ideas.

    Technical Art:

    The production diary displays a strong knowledge of game art production techniques currently being used in the industry. They were understood and executed well.

    Materials utilise channel packing in the textures which is very efficient for memory usage. sRGB was unchecked for these maps as these need to be in linear space which is correct.

    The ZBrush workflow for the tree, robot head and statue via ZSpheres was a good approach. ZBrush in conjunction with Substance Designer for the leaf is a fast way to get good results for foliage.

    The efficiency taken by Chris for the background assets being modelled only with detailing done in Painter makes perfect sense and is a good demonstration of time management.

    I was especially impressed by the reduction of alpha overdraw of the grass via cutting the geometry closer to the opaque areas of the texture thus reducing the final cost to render the pixels.

    The use of blueprints in UE4 to allow for quick placement of the lanterns and wires was a nice touch and a time saver if more of these were needed across a larger scene.

    Overall Chris has shown a strong understanding of the technical side of game art production via texture channel packing, asset optimisations and sensible effort per asset and detailing across the scene along with very suitable workflows for the assets he produced.

    Creative Art:

    Overall Scene

    Overall this is a well-built scene. The asset budgets are consistent across the scene with no major issues. The albedo / diffuse maps could have had more contrast in hue / value as when the scene is viewed in unlit mode it’s limited in value ranges.

    Lighting / Materials

    The lighting / final image compositions are handled well. One of the charming aspects of the source concept art is the strong saturated colours which have been somewhat lost via strong use of the post process volume.

     I’d advise Chris if he were to approach lighting this scene again to do the majority of the lighting and texture balancing without a post process volume and only use this for final small tweaks / balancing.

    It was mentioned Chris found the post process volume useful to control the final look. This is not useful in a wider game production when the materials / textures could be shared across other areas. The initial source art needs to be balanced to suit the wider game and not just one isolated scene. In this case for a limited scene you do get away with it.

    Written Documentation:

    The document is well presented and goes into some nice production details and clearly displays solid understanding of game art creation techniques / workflows.


    Final Presentation:

    Aside from the aforementioned feedback regarding the lighting and materials the final shots are well composed and showcase the intentional hero props and main assets well. Each shot focuses on an aspect of the scene with no “filler” shots in there.

Challenge Tier

Sumo Digital Rising Star

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Amazing work!