Posted by on April 30th, 2015

Last week’s blog focused on our new skydome, which allows our artists to really push stylization with shape and color exploration. @NKDenthorn did a stellar job programming in the skydome feature because I, @TheCamboRambo, was able to pull off some slick color combinations for the environment and I am no artist. Really… check out my sweet “Seed” concept art if you think I am kidding.

Now that we have this feature, what’s next? More biomes of course! If you have been playing TUG since the old terrain generation tech, you’ll notice that there are a few biomes missing in our current build. The good news is that  @input_output_7 and @x_nekochu_x is working hard to get them all back in. They were temporarily removed because it required some rework for the new terrain generation tech.

Warning! The updated biomes will break game your games saves once we have it in. We tried our best to avoid this but the biome generation code has changed significantly.

With this new update we have reworked our generation system.  While a lot of these biomes will look familiar and others are being brought back from some of our older generations, the big change you will see is biomes of proper size! Gone are the tiny deserts or the smattering of trees from one biome in the middle of the other.  You will see vast plains, large arid sands and polar regions tucked away in the mountains.

This update also gives us much better control over the restrictions of biome regions.  What this means is that we are able to control which biome occurs next to another.  So no more snowy mounds in the middle of a desert!  Unless that’s your thing…

Finally one more little addition that will come out of this update is a one to one for material gathering.  We’re opening up the floodgates and now when you dig a particular rock pattern, you can expect to get resources of that rock to place back into the world.  There will still be cobblestone and other unique patterns but now you’ll be able to build with the cliff rocks and granite that has previously been unavailable in survival mode.

Now feast your eyes on some biomes!

Check out our latest ‘In The Works’ video of the new skydome tech and art revamp tease. The art update is still very early but we are moving towards that direction!


Cambo checking out

Posted by on May 1st, 2014

Hey everyone! I’m Ken aka Inkmech, a member of the art team here at Nerd Kingdom. I am a concept designer and modeler. Today I’m going to go over the creation of a new biome.  Since this is in the early stages, we’re not overly concerned about style or lore.  The goal here is to find cool shapes and colors to create a variation that we don’t currently have in the game.

Let’s begin!


This whole process is about iteration and ideation.  We start off with a group of thumbnails in black and white value to find our forms. For this demonstration we only did nine; however, if you have the time, it is always better to do more.  We are staying pretty loose and just focusing on composition.  At this point, the art director and the other artists will look over the thumbnails and pick and choose features they like and give feedback.  After that, we begin the actual mood painting.


Here we combine parts from some of the previous images (shown above in red lines with arrows) into one image.  Upscale! Blur! And then start refining shapes and values.  It is all about getting good lighting and making that transition in values to create depth.  Overlapping forms and repetition also helps build the depth of the piece.  Again, we adjust the values and start adding color in a new layer.   


From this point, we concentrate on the color harmony and finding something that works together.  There are tons of online tools to help with this. I personally am a big fan of Kuler.


After some more refinements and tweaks we push some edges and effects to give the painting a final push.


Now we repeat the process to give a variety of mood and feels and tweak colors. The more options and renditions we make, the easier it is to refine and create something amazing.  This process lays out the foundation for how the generation files are managed and helps with the planning of what plants, animals, and other things should fill out the biome.

Here it is in sequence.


Thanks for tuning in!