The IOTA Project

The IOTA Project is a VR mech fighting game that I worked on as Art Director and lead animator. I wanted to create a fun and cheerful setting to be the backdrop for our robot battles so I went for building a futuristic and colorful city that was set on an island with crystal clear oceans and bright green palm trees. The feel of the game was super important to me as I wanted to avoid the bleak, dark, and post apocalyptic tones of many mecha games currently on the market. What excited me about the project was re-living childhood fantasy's and throwing players into somewhat of a Saturday morning cartoon or Power Rangers.

I wanted the game to have a lot of energy so I thought the best place for that would be this anime inspired tropical city.

I wanted the game to have a lot of energy so I thought the best place for that would be this anime inspired tropical city.

The entrance to the walled in tropical city.

The entrance to the walled in tropical city.

The road to the city used to be a relaxing escape from the cramped life inside the wall. Now it is a battle zone devoid of life.

The road to the city used to be a relaxing escape from the cramped life inside the wall. Now it is a battle zone devoid of life.

An early promotional painting I made for the game.

An early promotional painting I made for the game.

Concept paintover for a player entering the city. Beacons would represent super-weapons and the kaiju foot prints would lead the way to a boss battle.

Concept paintover for a player entering the city. Beacons would represent super-weapons and the kaiju foot prints would lead the way to a boss battle.

A giant evil space ship from another dimension looms above the city. What will you do to save the city!?

A giant evil space ship from another dimension looms above the city. What will you do to save the city!?

I loved the idea of a city constantly under siege from kaiju and citizens just going about their regular lives.

I loved the idea of a city constantly under siege from kaiju and citizens just going about their regular lives.

Damaged buildings.

Damaged buildings.

Original concept for the city. First visions were very bright and colorful. Biggest inspiration was 'Sunset Overdrive'.

Original concept for the city. First visions were very bright and colorful. Biggest inspiration was 'Sunset Overdrive'.

Some early building concepts.

Some early building concepts.

Concepts for the wall and door assets. This was the main entrance to the city. If the town was under attack the door would lock down as to prevent more kaiju from entering.

Concepts for the wall and door assets. This was the main entrance to the city. If the town was under attack the door would lock down as to prevent more kaiju from entering.

Initial door concepts

Initial door concepts

Randy was my favorite part of the game. Initially Randy was suppose to be a fleshy kaiju but we settled on a robot as it gave us more opportunities to weaponize components from Randy himself. I eventually animated and rigged Randy.

Randy was my favorite part of the game. Initially Randy was suppose to be a fleshy kaiju but we settled on a robot as it gave us more opportunities to weaponize components from Randy himself. I eventually animated and rigged Randy.

The Randy concept was always pretty clear to me, however I liked playing with the idea of different head-dresses and feet designs.

The Randy concept was always pretty clear to me, however I liked playing with the idea of different head-dresses and feet designs.

Turret Tick. An enemy concept that was meant to scale buildings and jump at the player. There was also a regular Leaping tick without a turret hardpoint.

Turret Tick. An enemy concept that was meant to scale buildings and jump at the player. There was also a regular Leaping tick without a turret hardpoint.

The game designer asked me to give the Turret tick a more revealing silhouette while the tick was jumping, so I designed a shell that could animate outwards when the tick lunged forward. Pretty spooky.

The game designer asked me to give the Turret tick a more revealing silhouette while the tick was jumping, so I designed a shell that could animate outwards when the tick lunged forward. Pretty spooky.

Various powerup concepts. We ended up going with the one that looked like a soda can and a slice of cake.

Various powerup concepts. We ended up going with the one that looked like a soda can and a slice of cake.

Developed rigs and animations for all our skeletal assets.

Developed rigs and animations for all our skeletal assets.

R4N-D Animation and Rigging

The drone enemy type that I modeled and animated. Final texture pass by Brenton Goodwin.

The drone enemy type that I modeled and animated. Final texture pass by Brenton Goodwin.

Glove concept. Model by Brenton Goodwin

Glove concept. Model by Brenton Goodwin

Each structure would have its own unique destruction states as well as transition between each state.

Each structure would have its own unique destruction states as well as transition between each state.

Early building color swatches. (back when game used to be called WELD)

Early building color swatches. (back when game used to be called WELD)

At the center of town is the super structure. A massive building that serves as a way point for the player and they traverse the city.

At the center of town is the super structure. A massive building that serves as a way point for the player and they traverse the city.

Early robot designs

Early robot designs

Underpass concept.

Underpass concept.

The first iterations of the cockpit designs.

The first iterations of the cockpit designs.

Getting closer to the final concept.

Getting closer to the final concept.

I wanted big puffy anime clouds for our sky. So I painted these fun floofs.

I wanted big puffy anime clouds for our sky. So I painted these fun floofs.