Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Nanotale – Typing Chronicles | Fishing Cactus | Houdini Connect

I’m Nathanaël Lesage and I’m a 3D artist and animator on Nanotale at Fishing Cactus. Fishing Cactus is an indie video game studio based in Belgium known as the studio behind Epistory – Typing Chronicles. We are currently eighteen people and eight people worked on Nanotale – Typing Chronicles, the successor of Epistory. I’m Quentin Ghion, I’m a 2D and 3D artist. Nanotale is a typing game with an RPG aspect and a very colorful environment. You are Rosalind, a novice archivist and you study plants and creatures in this colorful world. I’m using Houdini for the animation, it’s pretty simple. It’s like any other animation software. Houdini has the same tools for the creation of the system rig and the animation. In Nanotale I create system rigging for each character we have and I animate it with keyframe animation. Houdini brings us the HDA system so it’s very cool to have the flexibility with it. It’s easy to work with a work-in-progress model. Since we use an HDA, when we have the final model it’s simple to just skin it and it will keep up the rate on each file. For example, in Nanotale I’m working with Rosalind, the main character. A few months after the final rigging I had to add a book and it was easy to add bones, parameters, and a switcher. Do the animations with the interaction between Rosalind and the book on old animation files so it’s pretty powerful and it’s a gain of time. Procedural assets are very great for the level design because level designers work with a very basic block-out to build the maps. With the HDAs we can have a lot of flexibility and we can decorate the scene very soon in the process to have a good feeling with the game as soon as possible. We can readapt the environments with the new block-outs. There is a lot of flexibility with the HDA. We export a curve, in Unity we edit the curve to have a nice shape for making, for example, some roots, we have a lot of roots, and some platforms. Also we have rock walls and we can have any shape that we want. That’s great to build very fast the forest or some rock fields or something like that. It’s valuable because the procedural workflow allows us to save a lot of time. I think it’s also a great tool because you can build your own library of tools. Any studio can have it’s own tool libraries. The only advice I could give is don’t be shy to test and practice Houdini. It has a lot of videos and tutorials and a good community to help you. After seeing the strength and the power of Houdini we don’t want to do another game without Houdini.

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