Archives for : Artist Lab

AA: UI and Animations

Hey there, Michael & Jesper here.

In todays blogpost we will talk about Station 5’s user interface also known as UI and our current progress on animations.

UI (Jesper):

Hey, my name is Jesper, i’m one of the artists working on Station 5 and also one of the original founders of InkDropGames.
I’m here to talk about UI today, and the general design idea behind the few UI elements we want to have in the game.

First of all we want our gamescreen to be pretty clean. We do not want big bulky borders or obstrusive elements, therefore we only want the few elements we actually need to clearly tell the player(s) what he can do and what is happening.

Since we made the choice that the game should be voxel based we thought, of course all of the 2D elements should be pixelart, to keep a coherent style.


Here you can see a speedometer, a icon for showing if your blue lights are on or off (even though that is quite obvious if it is, but it is  more to show that the player have the ability to turn on/off the siren) and lastly a icon to show if the next light regulation is showing red or green, and that you can change it.

We ended up with quite a “high-res” pixelart style. We decided to not use noise, so our elements look smooth and clean. Noise in pixelart has its home and charm, but we decided that it did not belong in our game. All UI elements is handdrawn in Photoshop and implemented using Unity’s own UI system.

Going forward we still need a lot of  UI elements for things like, the title menu, missions screens and so on.
Keep an eye on our Twitter, to keep up with our progress.


Animations (Michael):


Hey, Michael here! I’m the Technical Artist and Animator working on Station 5.

So it’s time to talk about the fabulous animations in the game.

There have been a ton of animations to do, and still is, we needed to have animations for everything rather fast since it would help shape the feel of the game, so a big part of my work have been focusing on making the animations satisfying and funny to look at.

So far all the basic animations are in place, such as running, walking, jumping and strafing. Though there are still a lot more animations to come, I can give you a little sneak peek of an animation of our player animation when he is carrying 2 handed stuff, such as buckets and ladders, etc.


All Animations are made in 3DS max and imported directly into Unity using FBX.

There is alot to look foward to when it’s time for polishment of the animations, we have a lot of funny and goofy ideas. Everything from special taunts towards other players and special interaction animations, to more detailed basic animations, and a few funny easter eggs.

That’s it for this time folks, stay tuned on our website for near daily blogs or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more frequent updates


AA: The world of voxels

Hello and welcome to Artists’ Articles, we are Marc and Hjalte!

As you may know, our game’s models are made out of cubes named voxels. Voxels can be viewed as the 3D-version of pixels. Some games like Crossy Road and Cube World also use voxels to make their 3D-models. While it is possible to make voxels in other programs like 3DS-Max, it is far more efficient to make the models in a voxel-program, such as Qubicle (see Here are some examples of our work in Qubicle:

treeseses stopsign

There are many reasons why we chose to go the voxel way. First, Making voxels heavily  reduces the time it takes to make our models. Going for a 3D game with this short development span means we need to cut time wherever we can. Second, going for voxels make the game feel more cartoony and fun, which is exactly what we are trying to go for with our game. Making the game too realistic or too serious would do more harm than good. Third, we are used to working in voxels in previous projects. Check out Above the Skies on our website to see what we’re talking about.


This week we’ve been working on the fire station itself. The station is of course modelled based on the Station 5, which the game is also named after.

Due to high amounts of individual voxels in big complicated structures like Station 5, we’re creating the individual parts of the station seperately before mashing them together. This means our sensitive and fragile graphics cards wont break their nails trying to render it all, which in turn gives us a smoother modelling experience.

Replicating the station in voxels is a process of looking at the station and trying to recreate it. This can be difficult with just a picture or two, but thankfully we chose a real world location, which means we can look at our structure in Google Maps and get all the angles. Still, it seems the google car that took those photos didn’t possess the ability to fly, so we still need to use a few drone/helicopter shots.


It’s also extremely important to keep scale in mind when creating a structure like this. The fire station is your home in the game so of course players and fire trucks need to fit inside the station, but it also needs to be comfortable size so it doesn’t feel like a big empty hall or a cramped attic.

To solve this we use fire trucks and player models when creating our buildings, so we can constantly see the relative size.


That’s it for this edition of Artists’ Articles, feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. We’ll see you next tuesday for more artsy endeavors!