Technical Artist | Interactive narrative exploring the lives of asylum seekers living in Calais. Made in Unity.
Laws of the Jungle is a 3D point-and-click videogame, designed to give insight into the life of asylum-seekers living in a refugee
camp (locals refer to it as 'the jungle') using real-life accounts from refugees.
The player is thrown into the role of a detective investigating smuggling rings exploiting refugees in the camp, who must go undercover as a low-level patrol officer who enforces dehumanising rules on the refugees, unintentionally uncovering the systemic mistreatment of the residents of the Calais Jungle in the process.
In this project, I was responsible for the rendering, techincal UI, optimisation, rigging, VFX, graphic design as well as production.
We decided that it given the setting of the game in Calais, it would be interesting to pursue the style of French cartoons and
illustration like The Triplets of Belleville. The illustrative effect is recreated in Unity's HD Render Pipeline, using custom
postprocessing shaders written in HLSL. It follows the traditional method of creating a cel-shader, by combining a sobel-function
outline effect and stepping the colour values.
In order to account for the realistic textures created by the team's artist, I adapted the shader to dedicate more steps to darker values.
I created a simple humanoid rig in Maya for each of the characters given the simplicity of the required animation. However, due to the thick clothing and rigid armour on the characters, I manually painted the skin weights to ensure correct deformation. The low poly model, and the rigid armour crossing over joints made this difficult, but I am pleased with the results.
The UI intends to reflect the thematics of the game, whilst not distracting from gameplay but still maintaning readability. The graphics for the UI were created in Adobe Illustrator, and the animations and functionality are written in C#.
The game runs fairly well without optimisations, at around 50fps in editor. However, after some basic optimisations, like removing unneccesary render features, reducing texture reolution for small props, occlusion culling, and enabling the SRP batcher. This brought the frame rate to a consistant 90fps in editor, bringing the performance comfortably beyond the 60fps target.
Lanwei Lin - Level Design
Zoé Magee - 3D Artist
Robbie Peden - Narrative Design & Audio
Ananth Pondicherry - Programmer
Innes White - Technical Artist & Producer
Gang Zuo - Gameplay Design