Bringing Blobs to Bear | State of Matterless #42

New Incos modeling and animation polish proceed in-house, and we pull the curtain back to reveal how we make our BOOMS in Floorcraft: Arena.

Bringing Blobs to Bear

While we’ve been going full throttle with Floorcraft: Arena since its launch in the App Store, many things have been bubbling in the cauldron of creation for our AR companion app, Incos.

Bounce, Bob, bounce!

Here’s a look at some creative explorations from Merlin, our 3D sorcerer. He’s been modeling, rigging, and extensively stress-testing our new Inco blob creature, breathing life into the new form factor. We think this new Inco type allows for a greater range of dynamic expressions without falling into the uncanny valley; a challenge we experienced when creating our Shiba and cougar Incos!

The blob Inco also allows us to get more creative with our sounds. In the above short, we’ve integrated the Inco language that Dusko has been concepting. “These sound effects have been instrumental in the animation process,” Merlin adds, “They add another sensory level when it comes to both working on and interacting with the Inco.”

Do you like the Shiba more? Or would you rather play with a tiny blob-like creature instead? Pop by our Discord and let us know!

Glitchy Touches

Part of what makes Matterless magical is the ability to reach out and interact with an Inco physically. However, since Incos aren’t physical beings (yet!), your hand simply clips through them with jaggy artifacts present. Jaggies are stair-like lines that appear where there should be “smooth” straight lines or curves, and here is CTO Robin explaining how we want to resolve this:

When you touch a matterless object, there is a slight gap between your hand and said object. To make that gap blend in and look more intentional, we started experimenting with a glitch-like effect on your hand, which should bridge the gap and also serve as visual feedback that your hand exists in the matterless space.

We experimented with several different solutions to qualify the best look and feel, and zoned in on a simple offset effect. Over time we worked towards the glitch effect you see above. However, even this has its drawbacks, as it can be distracting to some because of the way it obscures your hand and the Inco. For the time being, we’re stepping back from this effect and saving it for later use.

How to Make Booms

Over at Floorcraft: Arena, our sound engineer Dusko has been banging out (sorry) more effects to liven up the AR racing experience. One such effect he demonstrates in the video above is the BOOM effect from your hovercar smashing into a rival, or an obstacle.

That pile of metal bits and thingies is for creating shrapnel sound effects! Dusko explains:

When a hovercar is destroyed, the explosion effect implies particles of metal, glass, and plastic fragments falling to the ground. Most of the particle layers were created and recorded in-house using foley. New explosion types are also a thing and will differ based on the size and power of each car.

Speaking of explosions, you can get racing and smashing in Floorcraft: Arena right now!

We have a competition running on social media where you might win USD250! Simply share some gameplay footage, use #playFloorcraft, and tag us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. Smashing hovercars has never been more profitable.

Midjourney Tripping — Episode 6 of the Podcast is out

Our conversations about the metaverse, augmented reality, and other technologies on the cusp of transforming human behavior continue in the latest episode of The Cyberdelic Podcast.

This time, Nils and Damir explore the already well-known text-to-image AI-generated artwork with tools like Midjourney. Now we can create not only fictitious people, objects, and locations but also entire visual styles.

Users can type prompts to receive artwork that resembles a comic book, game art, a historical diagram, a realistic photograph, and so much more.

Tools like Midjourney are already democratizing the ability to express what’s on someone’s mind. Having these at one’s disposal can help anyone realize an artistic potential, not by learning to draw by hand but by learning to think more clearly about what they want to visualize. And clear ideas lead to more critical thinking, a skill still well beyond any AI currently available.

Subscribe to our weekly update for more insider info, and give us feedback on what you like and want to see less or more of. See you here for the next one.

— Kerwin, social media manager

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Matterless

Matterless

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Our mission is to prove to the world that digital things are real by creating genre-defining experiences in shared augmented reality. Magic is matterless.