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Wind in the willows March 20th, 2013

Wind in the willows

Soon after hitting the submit button for Anne Frank to go to the App Store, work began on our next independent project, Wind in the Willows.  The brief for Wind in the Willows was to bring the story to life by including 3D introductions, interactive cut-scenes and audio narration for key passages. The project included 3D rendered scenes of key passages to make the experience even more immersive. We were very excited that Stephen Fry agreed to perform the audio narration, many of us in the office are huge admirers of his work so it was a privilege to work with him.

Key Technical Achievements

This project was the first to make use of our new in-house developed typesetting engine. The engine was based on established professional print typesetting principles and a bespoke C# API was created for easy integration into Unity 3D. The engine allows us to generate professionally typeset text in 2D and then import into Unity 3D retaining typeset layout and associated contextual markup.

A realistic 3D animated model of a book was developed in Maya  to display the text rendered from the typeset engine in Unity. A queue of rendered pages was produced on-the-fly, applied to the pages of the model and enqueued and dequeued as pages are turned.

Lessons learned:

  • Alpha Blended shaders that include texture RGB work well for rendering text meshes.

  • There is no double ended queue (deque) data type included as standard in C# so a third party one was used. This was preferable to using a combination of standard stacks and queues to dynamically add items to the beginning and end of a collection.